Let’s Talk Alcohol… AND Weight Management

Let’s Talk Alcohol… AND Weight Management

One of the most popular questions I receive is, “how can I drink without gaining weight?”

This is not a post on the dangers of alcohol use or issues of alcoholism. This is, hopefully, a simple answer to a simple question, “is there a way to have a drink or two without gaining weight?”

My short answer is yes… and no. Yes, not so simple. 😂

There’s not a lot of research or medical data on this. There’s plenty of good research on red wine, Resveratrol and heart health… but not much on weight gain.

So, please understand, my answer will be based on 30-years of experience w/teaching people what they can do to lose weight.

Let’s talk calories. When picking a drink, you’ll want to choose your calories wisely.

  • Regular beer [about 150 calories for 12 oz]
  • Light beer [about 100 calories for 12 oz]
  • Wine [about 120 calories for 5 oz]
  • Distilled alcohol — gin, rum, vodka, whiskey [about 100 calories for 1.5 oz]
  • Martini — extra dry [about 140 calories for 2.25 oz]
  • Pina colada [about 500 calories for 7 oz]

Pay attention to what else goes in your drink. Many mixed drinks include juice, syrup, or liqueur [which all add extra calories]. Instead, go for lower calorie options [i.e. a splash of juice & soda water].

Let’s do some math… If you drink 2 glasses of wine/day, that works out to be about 2 pounds of fat gained/month! OUCH. 🤯 Thank you, quarantine!

Excess alcohol can also turn to fat in your liver AND raise the amount of fat in your blood, says @sonya.angelone, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. It’s also more likely to be stored in your body as fat, she says.

Let’s talk STRATEGY since many of us will be having some cocktails over the 4th of July holiday…

❶ Get some [high intensity] exercise tomorrow [i.e. 15-20 minute jog/walk]. This can boost your metabolism for a few hours, helping your body to burn extra calories.

❷ Eat a good snack about an hour before your first drink. Having a little something in your stomach before you drink alcohol can slow down how quickly the alcohol is metabolized [aka hits your blood stream]. Keeping blood sugar levels on point results in making better decisions about what goes in your mouth [aka saying ‘no’ to the nachos w/extra cheese]!

Keep in mind, when you get a little tipsy… you’ll eat more, as your inhibitions are lower. I’ve read  a couple studies citing that research subjects ate about 30% more calories while drinking. 🤭


If you want to have a cocktail or two AND maintain your weight, focus on the lowest calorie AND lowest sugar options.

I’d like to share the “Top 5” list of lowest sugar and best #keto choices from @diet_doctor. On a keto diet, you can still enjoy a delicious drink or two on special occasions. Even though many alcoholic drinks contain a lot of sugar, there are still some great keto options, with little or no sugar or carbs. Here goes…

❶ Champagne or sparkling wine [extra dry or brut]. One glass contains about 2 grams of net carbs.

❷ Dry wine [red or white]. One glass contains about 2 grams of net carbs.

❸ Vodka, club soda, and lemon or lime. One tall drink contains 0 grams of carbs.

❹ Whiskey. One drink contains 0 grams of carbs.

❺ Dry martini. One cocktail contains 0 grams of carbs.

Happy and safe 4th of July to you. 🎉 God bless, America. 🇺🇸

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