There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the occasional drink. However, did you know, some types of alcohol contain far more calories than others? Discover which alcohol contains the most and least calories with this handy guide…
Alcohol contains seven calories per gram, which is almost the same amount of calories as there is in a gram of fat. What’s more, the body likes to get rid of alcohol calories first – meaning it will burn these off before burning body fat. All in all, this means that your alcohol consumption could affect your weight and body composition, alongside the health risks already associated with booze.
Here at Women’s Fitness, we like to preach balance. While, we don’t encourage excessive drinking, due to the aforementioned health risks, we do believe that everything can be enjoyed in moderation. If you like to treat yourself to the odd beverage here and there, but you’re looking to keep your alcohol consumption as healthy and mindful as possible, we’ve rounded up some top tips, alongside a helpful chart which shows exactly how many calories there are in the different types of alcohol…
5 ways to create healthy and mindful alcohol habits
- Alternate alcoholic drinks with water or diet drinks. This will help limit the calories and ensure you stay hydrated and avoid a sore head in the morning.
- When you’re out, always opt for the smallest measure. A small glass of wine (125ml) contains around 93 calories, whereas a large one, often 250ml (a third of a bottle!) is 185 calories.
- When pouring your own drinks, make long drinks by mixing alcohol with low-calorie soft drinks. For example, a white wine spritzer with lots of ice.
- Always choose low-calorie or diet mixers – a can of regular cola contains 138 more calories than a can of Diet Coke.
- If you’re a beer drinker, choose bottles over pints, you’ll consume fewer calories.
Note: The government’s recommended guidelines for alcohol are now the same for men and women. Both are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week. These should be spread across the week, not ‘saved up’ for one night, with some days completely free of alcohol.
What alcohol has the least calories?
In general, spirits contain the least amount of calories. This is especially true when you drink them on their own or with a low-calorie mixer – sugary cocktails are a whole other story. Why not harness your inner James Bond and try a vodka martini? Alternatively, you could opt for a gin and slimline tonic or a rum and diet coke. These refreshing drinks are sure to hit the spot, without containing large amounts of fat, sugar or calories.
Try these healthier, low-calorie alcohol options on your next night out:
- Vodka and Diet Coke (single measure) – 54 kcal
- Bacardi and Diet Coke (single measure) – 56 kcal
- Gin and Slimline Tonic (single measure) – 59 kcal
- Glass of Blossom Hill Vie low alcohol white wine (175ml) – 79 kcal
- Glass of prosecco (125 ml) – 80 kcal
- Can of Pimm’s and Diet Lemonade (250ml) – 81 kcal
- Glass of First Cape Light Rosé(175ml) – 84 kcal
- White wine spritzer with soda water – 90 kcal
- Bacardi Breezer Diet (275ml bottle) – 96 kcal
- Carling Zest Citrus lager (330ml bottle) – 99 kcal
- Smirnoff Ice Light – 110 kcal
What alcohol has the most calories?
Pints of beer, large glasses of wine and sugary cocktails usually contain far more calories than lighter mixers and spirits. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them, but you should be mindful of exactly how much you’re consuming (like with any alcohol!). To make these drinks slightly healthier, try opting for bottled beer rather than large pints and smaller glasses of wine or a white wine spritzer.
With cocktails, the biggest issue is the sugar content, which tends to be pretty hefty due to the large volumes of fruit juices, sugar syrups and creams – not to mention the alcohol! They may be delicious, but you might want to just enjoy the one before switching to a lighter option, or avoid them altogether if you’re trying to create healthier alcohol habits.
Avoid the following high-calorie drinks if you’re trying to create healthier alcohol habits:
- Bailey’s (50ml) – 162 kcal
- WKD Blue – 228 kcal
- Smirnoff Ice – 228 kcal
- Pina Colada – 230 kcal
- Pint of Stella Artois – 244 kcal
- Cosmopolitan – 250 kcal
- Small glass of mulled wine (125ml) – 227 kcal
- Large glass of white wine (250ml, 13% ABV) – 228 kcal
- Large glass of red wine (250ml, 13% ABV) – 228 kcal
Calories in alcohol chart:
Check out this handy chart to get an idea of how many calories you can expect to find in these 18 different types of alcohol…
How to cut down on your alcohol consumption:
These days, many people are opting for ‘teetotalism’ – the practice of complete abstinence from alcohol – in a bid to live a healthier lifestyle. However, you don’t necessarily need to cut out alcohol completely to reap the health benefits. Why not try making some simple adjustments to your alcohol consumption by ensuring you have some alcohol free days every week? You could also swap a large glass of wine for a small; a double measure for a single; a pint of lager for a smaller size bottle, and so on. Over time, these small changes will significantly lower your consumption of alcohol.
The no- and low-alcohol drink market is also flourishing, with a huge range of alcohol-free beers, wines and spirits now available to enjoy. The lower alcohol content in these drinks means you’ll be consuming less calories and, of course, less alcohol. They are also significantly cheaper than their stronger alternatives. Win-win-win!