MOST people think going on a diet involves going completely teetotal and ditching booze for good.
But it turns out having a tipple-a-day can actually help to blitz body fat – if you make the right choices when it comes to picking your drink.
Slimmers that have the most success on their weight-loss journey had allowed themselves a glass of alcohol when they wanted – and it didn’t impact their goals.
However, the number one thing is to keep in mind is what you’re mixing your drink with.
I typically tell clients to choose their indulgence…if you’re trying to lose weight, you may not want to go for the dessert and the alcohol every day, but you definitely can make room in your diet for one or the other.
Almost all shots of alcohol are about the same nutritionally—it’s what we have with it that makes a difference in the drink.
1. Rum and coke – 97 calories
There’s a reason Captain Jack Sparrow looks so good – and we’ve got our money on the rum.
It’s only 97 calories if you choose to drink it straight (in moderation of course!) or mix it with something like Coke Zero.
The tipple can also increase good cholesterol, also known as HDL cholesterol, and combat artery blockages, helping to prevent heart attacks and heart disease.
During the World War I, a ‘tot o rum’ was used to help soldiers stay healthy – as it was said to increase the bone mineral density.
2. Red wine – 123 calories
Nutritionally, there’s not much difference between red wine and white wine, but there are other benefits in choosing a pinot noir over a chardonnay.
Certain substances in red wine called antioxidants may help prevent coronary artery disease, the condition that leads to heart attacks.
Nutritionist Amy Gorin also told Women’s Health Magazine it might help to boost cardiovascular health, so even though you should still consume in moderation – it’s a smart choice.
A 2009 study in Canada showed that all wines can lower your risk of contracting diabetes by 13 per cent.
3. Vodka soda – 96 calories
Vodka was originally invented as a source of medicine and to this day it still has a number of health benefits.
It’s heart-healthy and can increase blood-flow and circulation in your body which can prevent clots, strokes and other heart diseases.
If your weight-loss plans are getting you down, studies have shown vodka is actually a great natural reliever of stress too.
It’s only 96 calories a shot, so make sure you pick a low calorie mixer to go with it too.
4. Gin & Tonic – 115 calories
Not only is this drink low-calorie but it also helps aid digestion thanks to the bitters used to make it.
The bitters themselves cause digestive enzymes and stomach acid to increase – helping with stomach acid secretions and making it truly a double measure of the alcohol’s particular benefits.
By doing so, the body is able to break down that giant cheeseburger you may regret bingeing on on cheat day, helping it not to block up your system.
It’s only 115 calories and make sure you opt for a slimline tonic.
5. Champagne – 90 calories
No need to feel guilty next time you pop the champagne cork at a wedding, christening or perhaps a super indulgent dinner party.
The fizzy stuff is one of the healthier tipples, with a 4-ounce glass of bubbly containing just 90 calories.
Like red and white wine, champagne can be good for your heart. Made from both red and white grapes, it contains the same antioxidants which prevent damage to your blood vessels, reduce bad cholesterol and prevent blood clots.
The servings are generally smaller too, so it’s the healthier choice all round – as long as you don’t drink the whole bottle.
As Winston Churchill warned: “A single glass of champagne imparts a feeling of exhilaration…. A bottle produces the opposite”.
6. Whisky – 105 calories
Country music’s favourite drink is low-carb which makes it the perfect choice for anyone who is watching their weight.
The American Society for Clinical Nutrition published a study in 1991 that suggested that moderate intake increases energy and decreases the desire for sugar intake.
It’s also historically been used as a digestif in many cultures throughout the ages so if you’ve had a heavy meal, an after dinner shot may be just what you need to finish it off properly.
Let’s be honest here – despite the low calories on the list above, alcohol has no real nutritional value at all so it’s possibly not the best thing for a serious health kick.
The calories in alcohol are essentially empty, unlike the calories in the food you consume.
Amy added: “Calories from food provide energy for you to go about your day and give you the nutrients your body needs to thrive.
“If you eat an apple, for example, you’re not only getting the calories from that apple—you’re getting cholesterol-helping fiber along with lots of vitamins and minerals.
“That’s not the case with your favourite cocktail, where the calories don’t come with nutrients that your body needs.”
Remember to drink responsibly – we take no responsibility for hangovers.