When you’re losing weight, is it okay to have a night out? Can you drink alcohol but stay on track to hit your goals? You can definitely have some fun when you’re losing weight if you plan ahead, make smart choices, and plan ahead. Here’s what you should know about having a night out while staying on track, and how Netrition can help.
Calories and Carbs in Alcohol
Why can alcohol be so bad for weight loss? Alcoholic beverages can be high in calories. First of all, alcohol is a macronutrient with 7 calories in each gram. In comparison, a gram of fat has 9 calories, and a gram of protein and a gram of carbohydrate each have 4 calories. That’s why all alcoholic beverages have calories.
On top of the calories from alcohol, some alcoholic beverages have calories from carbohydrates. Beer has starch, and many mixed drinks have sugar from sugar or simple syrup, flavoring syrup, sodas, or juice.
A 12-ounce bottle or can of beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, and a 1-ounce shot of liquor are standard serving sizes for alcohol. They each have about 100 to 130 calories. Mixed drinks can have more, depending on how they’re made and the serving size. A 7-ounce pina colada can have over 500 calories. A 4-ounce margarita has about 170 calories. A Bloody Mary has about 120 calories.
A “beer belly” comes from too many calories. There’s nothing special in beer that gives you a beer belly, though alcohol does promote fat storage. Drinking too much beer or too much alcohol in general, or consuming too many calories, will give you a bigger belly.
Extra Calories from Food While Drinking Alcohol
There’s another problem with drinking alcohol while you’re losing weight. Alcohol has the effect of reducing your inhibition and clouding judgment. That means you’re less likely to be able to say, “No, thank you,” to food that’s available while you’re drinking.
You may consume foods that you’d never even consider if you were fully sober. And, you may consume more of them than you realize. Bar foods aren’t known for being healthy or diet friendly. Chicken wings, mozzarella sticks, jalapeno poppers, nachos, and sliders are a few examples of what you might chow down on when you’re under the influence of alcohol. And that doesn’t even count what you may have at the after party, with late-night pizza and tacos being common.
Tips for Drinking Alcohol While Losing Weight
These are some tips in case you want to have alcohol without interfering with weight loss.
- Lower calorie liquors include vodka, gin, tequila, rum, and whiskey. They all have about 100 calories per shot.
- Sweeter cocktails tend to have more calories than less sweet ones. For example, a chocolate martini can have 400 calories, compared to 120 calories in a regular martini.
- Set a limit before you go. Having a maximum of two alcoholic drinks for men, or one for women, is a good general guideline for safety and health. Still, it’s best to ask your doctor exactly how much may be safe for you.
- Drink slowly and drink water between drinks. That way, you’ll end up drinking less, so you get fewer calories and have less of an effect of alcohol.
- Eat healthy food while you drink to reduce the effect of alcohol and to avoid eating unhealthy foods. A Protein Bar or some Protein Chips can be good choices. You can find them and other Protein Snacks at Netrition.
It’s important to be extra cautious if you have diabetes. Alcohol can raise blood sugar while you’re drinking, and your blood sugar can drop to dangerously low levels later on. Ask your doctor if it’s safe for you to drink and what precautions you should take if you do choose to do so.
Better Choices for a Night Out
Netrition has some lower-calorie choices that can help make your night out fun without being damaging to your diet.
Margaritaville Zero Sugar Singles-to-Go
These boxes come with small packets that you can take to any party or bar. Just add them to a bottle of water and shake them up before drinking them. Flavors include Pina Colada, Strawberry Daiquiri, and Margarita.
Each packet has 2 servings. There are 5 calories per serving, and 0 grams of sugar and carbohydrates.
Baja Bob’s Margarita and Tai Mai Mixes
Baja Bob’s Margarita Mixes come in Original and Triple Citrus flavors. They’re available in 32-ounce bottles. The Original flavor also comes in a multi-serving packet and a box with 8 single-serving packets. They’re all sugar-free.
You can also opt for Mudslide Mix Singles and Pina Colada Mix Singles, which are also sugar-free. Wild Strawberry Daiquiri, Maui Madness Mai Tai Mix, Havana Cabana Mojito Mix, and Loco Lemon Sweet-n-Sour Mix are available in 32-ounce bottles. You can host a party, make the guests happy, and still lose weight!
Skinnies Cocktail Mixers may be the answer if you want to take something discrete to the party and still lose weight. They come in boxes with 6 packets that you can easily slip into a purse or pocket. Mix the contents with an ounce of liquor, such as vodka, and you can enjoy your sugar-free drink without guilt. They’re gluten-free and aspartame-free, too. Flavors include Cranberry Twist, Moscow Mule, Lem’n Lime, Maui Mai Tai, Baja Margarita, and Mojito Twist.
Reed’s Zero Sugar Real Ginger Ale and Zevia Mixers
These cans are completely ready for you to use. They come in a pack with 4 12-ounce cans. There’s no sugar, and nothing artificial. Instead, they’re sweetened with erythritol, which hasn’t been linked to gastrointestinal issues. It’s a source of fun you can feel good about.
Zevia Mixers are also in 12-ounce cans. The flavor is Lemon Lime with Bitters, and it’s great for making Whiskey Sour without too many calories.
Jordan’s Skinny Syrups Cocktail Mixes
These cocktail mixes come in 32-ounce bottles and have only 5 calories per serving. They’re free from added sugars and have no carbs, either. Flavors include Cosmo, Frose, Margarita, Mojito, Pina Colada, and Peach Bellini. Now there’s no reason not to have fun!
Having fun is part of life, even when you’re losing weight. If you want to drink alcohol, and it’s safe for you to do so, there are ways to have a night out without interfering with your weight loss goals. Netrition is here to help!