The best alcoholic drinks for weight loss

The best alcoholic drinks for weight loss

6 min read


25 May 2023

Things you’ll learn in this blog

  1. How many calories does alcohol have?
  2. Should you drink if you’re trying to lose weight?
  3. Top drinks for low-calorie consumption.

We’re going to level with you; this article isn’t going to show you how to lose weight by drinking alcoholic beverages. Sadly the two don’t often go hand in hand, and drinking large amounts of alcohol is not going to be good for the health of your waistline. 

However, everything in moderation….

And for those of us that enjoy the occasional drink and don’t want to give it up entirely for weight loss,  it would be nice to know exactly what we can drink without putting ourselves on the wrong side of our calorie-controlled diet. 

So let’s look at the best ways to enjoy alcohol while sticking to your weight loss goals. 

How many calories does alcohol have?

Alcoholic drinks tend to be calorie-loaded; for example, one unit of beer or wine will set you back around 100 calories.  So those of us who are looking to lose weight, alcohol should be drunk in moderation.

Remember losing weight is all about being in a calorie deficit, so you need to consume less than you burn. Otherwise, you will put on weight. If you are drinking, be mindful of what you eat alongside it. That’s not to suggest you shouldn’t eat, but you should take extra care to eat healthy whole foods. 

Should you drink if you are trying to lose weight?

Being on a strict diet doesn't mean you can't have an alcoholic drink just because you're worried about weight gain. There is a way to drink sensibly without disrupting your diet. We’re talking about low-calorie swaps that can help keep you on track without disrupting your social life and enjoyment of the odd drink or two. 

In general, alcohol is quite a calorie dense, so we need to be selective, and some restraint is needed with your alcohol consumption, but that doesn’t mean it’s all over for booze. Let’s have a look at what we can drink without doing too much damage.

Top drinks for low-calorie consumption

 1. Champagne

Okay, we’ll start with the expensive one, but if you’re looking for a lower-calorie alternative to wine, it doesn’t get much better than champagne. Dry champagne has less sugar; extra-brut champagne has just 0.6% residual sugar per liter, so it’s a solid choice if you want to reduce your intake. 


There are roughly 35 calories less in a glass of champagne compared to a sweet wine, and because it’s carbonated, you’re likely to feel fuller, so a solid choice for incorporating into your social drinking.

Approximate calories per serving: 90 

2. Light beer

Beer has a reputation when it comes to stomach fat, but there are more sensible options to take which can reduce the amount of sugar you consume. Light beers, for example, contain fewer calories than regular beer; the rule of thumb is that the lighter the beer, the less sugar it contains. On average, there will be around 50 calories less in a light beer compared to a regular one.

Approximate calories per serving: 100

3. Martini

If you’re looking for a cocktail, it’s best to keep it simple. Too many ingredients, and you’ll be looking at a cocktail of calories. A basic gin Martini usually has a few shots of vodka, but stick to just two, and you’ll be sitting at a reasonably low number of calories.  A gin martini with two olives is under 200 calories and contains virtually no sugar or carbs.  

Approximate calories per serving: 150

4. Rosé wine

The trick with keeping the calories low with alcoholic beverages is to avoid the sweet ones as they tend to be loaded with sugar. A dry Rosé wine is a simple option if you’re looking to order a drink, and it won’t weigh you down. 

Unsurprisingly, dessert rosés are the worst choices, as do the wines with the highest alcoholic content. A dry wine with a low alcohol content will keep the cals low.

Approximate calories per serving: 150 per medium glass

Rosé wine

5. Bloody Mary

This one might surprise you, but if you’re clever, you can have a glass of this for under 100 calories! If you buy one over the counter, you’re likely to get around 400 calories per drink, but if you prepare one yourself, it can be much lower. Add one ounce of vodka to a glass with some tomato juice along with a splash of Tabasco sauce, and- voila-  that’s your traditional bloody mary drink, all for around 100 calories. 

This shows once again that if you prepare what you consume yourself, you’ll have far more control over the calories you consume.

Approximate calories per serving: 100  

6. Gin and tonic

There’s nothing wrong with a G and T now and again, and it won’t disrupt your weight loss plan- if you’re smart about it. The trick here is to use a diet tonic water as it will reduce the calorie consumption by around 60 calories per glass. If you need more flavor, stick a slice of lemon on the side. 

Approximate calories per serving: 120  

7. Rum and Diet Coke

Anything drunk with “diet” in its name is perhaps seen as a substandard version of the original, but when you’re mixing it with alcohol, you don’t notice the difference. An 8oz serving of the drink will set you back less than 200 calories, and you can even add an extra kick by incorporating a squeeze of fruit juice into the mix.

Approximate calories per serving: 180  

8. Tequila  

Just because you’re on a diet doesn’t mean the party is over.  Yes, we’d all love a couple of margaritas on a night out, but that alone would increase our sugar intake by around 400 calories. The syrups it contains tend to be the worst culprits as they are rich in sugars. Conversely, tequila is a much better option as it blends fruit juices rather than syrup mixtures. A tequila is low in carbs and sugar, so try to keep it that way, avoid adding high-calorie mixers, and stick to just one glass.

Approximate calories per serving: 110


9. Vodka 

We’re pleased to announce that vodka is one of the lowest-calorie alcoholic beverages, so if vodka is your choice or tipple, it’s a good news day for you. A vodka soda may be your healthiest choice if you're in the mood for hard alcohol.  Mixing it with soda water or even fruit juice will add zero extra calories, and as vodka contains no “nasties” such as added sugars or sweeteners, it’s a reasonably healthy drink, provided you don’t go overboard. If you’re taking it with fizzy soda water, the bubbles will slow your drinking and help you consume in moderation too.

Approximate calories per serving: 96 per 50-millimeter shot

10. White wine

Just as we said with the rosé wine, try to avoid the sweet varieties if you want to control your sugar intake.  Stick to the dry wines, and you’ll be able to enjoy a glass or two without the guilt. Pinot blanc, grigio and chardonnay are great low-calorie wines to choose from. Enjoy a glass or two in moderation, and your social drinking can continue without piling on the pounds.

Approximate calories per serving:  121

Should you drink if you are trying to lose weight?

When it comes to drinking alcohol, it’s not all doom and gloom regarding calorie count. Low-calorie alcoholic drinks are the way to go, and a slight change in your drinking habits is required. 

You can still enjoy the odd drink or two, and as long as you are clever, selective and consume in moderation, you can stay on track with your weight loss goals.