How Many Calories in Your Favorite Tipple – Alcoholic Drink?

how many calories in alcoholic drink


Alcohol is often viewed as the enemy when it comes to weight loss yet it is not necessarily the calories within alcohol that are the problem. A popular misconception is that alcohol calories are stored as fat.

Surprisingly only 3%-5% of the calories from alcohol are in fact stored as fat, the rest being converted into acetate. The problem here is that your liver spends all its time dealing with the alcohol that its main purpose of converting fat into useable fuel for energy is compromised.

It is this compromising effect on your fat burning metabolism that causes you to gain weight through alcohol. Quite simply your ability to burn fat is reduced for several hours after drinking and for the first few hours, by up to 75%.

In addition alcohol can encourage you to eat more food, yet with a compromised digestive process as the liver is focused on processing alcohol, it is not able to properly break down foods especially those containing carbohydrates and fat which end up being stored as fat as a result.

Eating Additional Snacks

Often the problem with drinking alcohol is the accompanying snacks such as peanuts, crisps or even chips that are often consumed when you drink.

More often than not, these foods are salty or savoury, which in turn makes you thirsty and want to drink more. In addition, as the body is focused primarily on metabolising the alcohol, any other food is simply stored as fat.

Alcohol Lowers Your Inhibition

Another problem with alcohol is that it lowers your inhibitions and so you might find you give in to poor food choices that you would usually be able to walk away from.

In addition alcohol can stimulate your appetite and this is why for many of us, despite already having eaten dinner, after a boozy session in the pub, you seem to be drawn to any food that smells good. This might be good news for late night kebab shops and curry houses but unfortunately a nightmare for your waistline.

Not only is your metabolism already compromised, such that everything you eat being converted and stored as fat, but then you go and have a high calorie, high fat food that doesn’t fit in with any of your dietary plans and will only compromise your weight loss even further

Don’t Try and Bank Calories

If you are planning to go out for a few drinks later in the day, never try and bank some calories by skipping lunch or your evening meal.

alochol and weight loss journey

Instead feel free to go light with your choices, treating each meal as a large snack – maybe 150-200 calories for lunch, but make sure you have your afternoon snack and a light snack before going out, depending on whether you will be eating out or not.

Obviously if you are going out for a meal, don’t snack before. The important thing is not to starve yourself all day, if you really want to bank some calories, get in a workout or take a long walk to ‘earn’ a few drinks.

In addition drinking on an empty stomach means that the alcohol you do consume will be absorbed much faster and so the intoxicating effects will be enhanced, again potentially affecting your decision making.

Another problem as already mentioned is that if you go out whilst already hungry, the likelihood is that your food choices and quantity consumed might mean you piling on the calories rather than maintaining control.

If you are going out for a few drinks with some friends, always try and eat a healthy meal first – just maybe a little smaller than normal.

Alcohol is a Diuretic

Alcohol is a diuretic which means it dehydrates your body. The simplest way the body has of getting rid of the alcohol is by urination and so you are forced to ‘wee’ more. The problem here is that you actually urinate slightly more fluid than you have consumed and so you gradually begin to dehydrate.

Drinking water whilst drinking alcohol reduces the extent of dehydration but your body will continue to get rid of the alcohol as you drink it, with obvious consequences if you consume too much, being vomiting.

Together with the fluid loss, you lose minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc which are vital for your body to assist muscle control and chemical reactions within your body.

To help reduce your alcohol intake over the next few weeks try to follow these guidelines:

  1. Simply decide not to buy any so you won’t be tempted.
  2. Drink half of what you would normally consume.
  3. Decide not to drink ‘on a school night’. Basically cut your consumption during the week.
  4. Drink every other day.
  5. Choose to only drink 1 x bottle of wine from Sunday to Thursday.
  6. Choose to only drink 1 x bottle of wine during Friday and Saturday.
  7. If you can manage 1 x bottle a week or less for the next 2 weeks your weight loss will be quicker.
  8. Try to drink a long non-alcoholic between each alcoholic drink (such as water or sparkling water – not fruit juices or sugary drinks)
  9. Alternately, make your drink last longer by not holding it in your hand but placing down on the table yet always making sure you can see your drink (to avoid the risk of it being spiked or drugged).
  10. Instead of a glass of wine, why not try a ‘spritzer’ or have a Shandy instead of a bear to make the drinks last further.
  11. Increasing your walking or exercising time will help to burn off extra calories and fat.
  12. If offered another drink at the bar, don’t try and finish what you have, just place it down and take a fresh glass… yes it is wasteful, but it’s also fewer calories.

Calorie Table for Alcoholic Drinks

Drink Serving Calories Protein Carbs Fat Fibre Alcohol
Bacardi and Diet Coke 275ml 52 0 2.8 0 0 11
Baileys Irish Cream 37ml 130 1.2 7.4 5.8 0 5.2
Becks Lager 275ml 113 0 8.3 0 0 10.9
Brandy 35ml 72 0 0 0 0 10.4
Canned Bitter 440ml 141 1.3 10.1 0 0 13.6
Carling Lager 568ml 189 0 8 0 0 23.3
Carlsberg Export Larger 440ml 189 1.5 17.6 0 1.5 17.4
Champagne 120ml 89 0.4 1.6 0 0 11.6
Draught Beer 568ml 182 1.7 13.1 0 0 17.6
Dry Sherry 50ml 58 0.1 0.7 0 0 7.9
Dry White Wine 120ml 77 0.1 0.7 0 0 10.6
Fosters Lager 568ml 227 0 17.6 0 0 22
Gin 35ml 72 0 0 0 0 10.4
Gordons Premixed Gin and Tonic 250ml 213 0 16.7 0 0 25
Grolsch Lager 330ml 145 0 7.3 0 0 17.1
Guinness 568ml 210 1.9 18.2 0.3 0 23.9
Heineken Lager 250ml 110 1.1 8.5 0 0 9.9
Homemade Mulled Wine 120ml 227 0.1 29.2 0 0 16.7
Jack Daniels 35ml 78 0 0 0 0 11.1
Lager 568ml 165 1.7 0 0 0 22.7
Liqueurs, Amaretto 50ml 194 0 30 0 0 13.9
Magners Cider 284ml 105 0 5.7 0 0 12.8
Medium Sherry 50ml 58 0.1 3 0 0 6.7
Medium White Wine 120ml 87 0.1 3.5 0 0 10.4
Port 50ml 79 0.1 6 0 0 8
Red Wine 120ml 80 0.1 0.2 0 0 11.2
Rose Wine 120ml 83 0.1 2.9 0 0 10.2
Scotch Whiskey 35ml 78 0 0 0 0 11.1
Sparkling White Wine 120ml 87 0.4 6 0 0 9
Strongbow Dry Cider 375ml 161 0 12.8 0 0 18.8
Sweet Sherry 50ml 68 0.2 3.5 0 0 7.8
Sweet White Wine 120ml 110 0.2 6.9 0 0 11.9
Tia Maria 35ml 105 0 0 0 0 14
Vodka 35ml 72 0 0 0 0 10.4
Whiskey 35ml 72 0 0 0 0 10.4

I am sure that by now, you must be aware of the amount of calories in your favorite drink. It will be clear for you now that whether drinking alcohol effects negatively to your weight loss journey or not.

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