If weight loss (or just a healthy lifestyle in general) is something you’re focused on or that’s important to you, here’s to you. You are a legend! Even if you just started it today, go you! When considering your health, re-evaluating and understanding the food (and drinks) you put into your body is incredibly important. One place that can be a little tricky to navigate when focused on weight loss? Understanding the lowest-calorie, healthiest alcohol to drink on a diet.
Now you’re probably thinking, “Is there a way to still have some fun with friends while still being health-conscious about my drinking?” The shining light is that you absolutely can.
ALCOHOL AND WEIGHT GAIN
Okay, even coming from a team of alcohol distillers, we can tell you that alcohol isn’t your GREATEST friend when it comes to dieting.
Alcohol contributes to weight gain in a few ways:
- Alcohol messes up your appetite big time. Drinking in excess can cause your blood sugar to drop and, like marijuana, can cause “mad munchies.”
- Alcohol is a source of empty calories. Alcohol adds to your daily calorie intake but doesn’t provide any real nutrition.
- Alcohol disrupts your metabolism. When alcohol is consumed, your body prioritizes digesting it then removing it from your system before anything else – even before metabolizing the actual food you eat. One drink can pause your metabolism for an hour, with several drinks starting to slow your progress by disrupting your body’s ability to burn fat efficiently.
But ultimately, learning to balance occasional indulgences with a healthy diet is, in fact, the biggest key here (and the reason we distillers aren’t all super unhealthy).
Remember: everything in moderation.
ALCOHOLIC DRINKS TO STAY AWAY FROM WHEN ON A DIET
Okay, so alcohol, in general, isn’t the best when it comes to healthy lifestyles, but it’s also not the worst. Again, it’s all about balance and “slimming down” your drink(s).
That means keep it as natural, as clean, and as simple as you can. Here are some examples of some drinks that, while they’re amazing, probably don’t support your healthy lifestyle or diet.
Craft Beer (170 Calories per 12 oz Serving)
If you’re trying to maintain a healthy balance or lifestyle, another alcohol you may want to avoid is beer. They tend to be high in calories. Wheat beers, IPAs, and stouts are even higher in calories.
A 12-ounce craft beer runs about 170 calories and sometimes even more. When compared to more commercial beers, crafts often have extra ingredients/carbs which can increase flavors.
If you are looking to include some alcohol in your weight loss meal plan, here are a few examples of some of the better drink choices to consider.
Cocktails (500 Calories per 8 oz Serving)
Many don’t think about this because it’s not beer, but calories from mixed alcoholic beverages can add up quickly and offset any weight loss you’ve made. Choosing the lowest calorie mixes is critical in this (or eliminating mixes altogether). Cocktails can have as many calories as a McDonald’s double cheeseburger!
By avoiding drinks made with mixes high in sugar (juice, coconut, soda), you eliminate a lot of unnecessary calories.
Margs (280 Calories per 5 oz Serving)
A sunny lake beach day (or since we’re in Colorado, maybe a park?) calls you toward strawberry daiquiris and piña coladas but watch out if slimming down your waistline is your goal.
HEALTHY ALCOHOLIC DRINKS FOR DIETS
If you haven’t noticed, seltzers are a huge craze right now, due to being gluten-free, low-calorie, low-sugar, low-carb, etc.
However, even those are typically made with malt liquor or fermented cane sugar. The truth is, is that a lot of seltzers contain hidden sugars. While they’re technically healthier, you don’t usually have just one, so the calories (and chemicals, sugars, etc.) can add up. Less is more here, so going for a liquor packs a bigger punch without you needing to have multiple drinks to enjoy your time.
Gin (115 calories in 1.5 ounces of 90-proof gin)
Aim for something simple, such as a martini — and don’t skip the olives, they contain beneficial antioxidants such as vitamin E.
Tequila (100 calories in 1.5 ounces of tequila)
Silver kinds of tequila usually have much less sugar than brown tequila. Drink it straight up or with a no-calorie club soda.
Rum (A single shot contains 97 calories. No carbs or sugars)
Low in calories; drink straight or mix it with something like Coke Zero.
Vodka (Switch Vodka: 86 Calories, 0 Sugar, 0 Artificial Sweeteners, 3 g Carbs)
Vodka was originally invented as a source of medicine and has a number of health benefits (although we aren’t doctors, so don’t replace your medicine cabinet with vodka). It’s said that vodka promotes heart health. It also increases circulation in your body, preventing strokes and other heart diseases.
Stress when trying to lose weight is also a very real thing. Studies have shown vodka is a natural stress reliever. Again, everything in moderation!
A lot of alcohols are generally okay to drink when you’re on a diet or trying to live a healthy lifestyle, but the key is what you mix it with. Choose club soda and avoid sugar-saturated juices to mix with.
The great thing about Switch vodka is that it’s a lower alcohol content (30% ABV) and the naturally-flavored options make it easier to drink without having to add a bunch of other things or sugary mixes.
SIMPLE STEPS TO REMAINING HEALTHY WHEN DRINKING
- Keep Drinks Simple – Drinking many kinds of different alcohols tends to get your calories rising. Take your gin neat with a squeeze of fresh lime. Ahhh! Health!
- Tonic water is NOT the same as seltzer water – Tonic water contains tons of calories and sugar.
- Make an ingredient switch (pun intended) –Ask for a margarita with less agave. Or even mojitos with less sugar.
- Add your own natural things for extra flavor – If you want to give your alcohol an oomph, try adding in fruits, rosemary, basil, or even juniper to your bevs. While fruits contain sugar, they’re not as sugary as flavorings or fruit juices. Adding splashes of lemon, lime, cucumber, and soda water can elevate your fruit-filled drink to higher realms.
When it comes to the healthiest alcohol to drink on a diet, vodka is a great option. When it comes to vodka, Switch vodka light is an even greater option. Keep it light, keep it low calorie, keep it simple. The flavored vodkas we have really eliminate the need to add anything else (other than maybe ice cubes or cucumbers or something).
So go ahead and have your cake and eat it, too (you get what we mean).