Are you interested in minimizing weight gain, but still enjoying an occasional drink? You’ll definitely want to stick with low-carb alcohol.
It can get a little confusing, especially because labels aren’t required on many alcoholic drinks.
We’ve listed out the best low-carb alcohol choices, including beers, wines, and mixed drinks to help you stay slim and healthy…
First: What’s Up with Alcohol Labels?
Most spirit companies don’t list the nutrition information for their products on the bottle, or even on their website. They won’t even list calories and sugar.
The reason? The industry says that they are protecting their proprietary recipe, like Coca-Cola would.
But Coca-Cola, with it’s highly guarded formula has a Nutrition Information panel!
They also make this silly argument:
Putting a “nutrition” label on alcohol would deceive customers into believing alcohol is part of a nutritious diet.”
Mmmmkay… got that, kids?
How Can they Get Away with That?!
Most alcoholic beverages are overseen by the prohibition-era Tax and Trade Bureau, not the FDA.
Unlike the FDA, the TTB only requires voluntary labeling.
You might find a few alcoholic beverages with labels, especially if they are advertising themselves as low-carb alcohol. Some of those are the good guys, getting ahead of the day when in the not-so-distant future, labels will be required.
The rest are wines with less than 7% alcohol or beers that aren’t made with malted barley– the FDA is in charge of their labels.
Confusing, huh? That’s okay!
We Have the Facts
Without labels, how do we know which drinks are full of sugars and carbs and which are indeed low-carb alcohol? You don’t.
So we put together a handy little guide to help you navigate…
Low Carb Beer
Beer tastes great because of carbs, removing them can take away from the flavor and enjoyment.
With that in mind, here’s a sample of what some consider better-tasting choices:
- 2.4 g Miller Genuine Draft Light 64
- 3.1 g Budweiser Select
- 3.9 g Shock Top Honey Bourbon Cask Wheat
- 5.0 g Corona Light
- 6.8 g Heineken Premium Light Lager Beer
TIP: Drink lighter-hued brews for fewer carbs. Darker beers can pack a ton of heavy carbs.
Low Carb Wines
A simple rule is to drink drier wines. They are less sweet because there is less sugar left over in their fermentation process.
The following are some of the lowest carb wines (per 5 ounce serving):
- 3.4 g Pinot Noir
- 3.7 g Merlot
- 3. 8 g Cabernet
- 1.5 g Champagne
- 3.2 g Pinot Gris or Grigio
- 3. 7 g Chardonnay
- 5.5 g Riesling
TIP: One of my favorite things to do (especially on a warm evening) is to mix my wine with flavored sparkling waters and even a few ice cubes. This cuts down on the total amount of wine you consume, and prolongs the pleasure of savoring a glass.
Low-Carb Alcohol Spirits
Distilled spirits such as these have nothing in them but alcohol.
For the calorie counters, one 1.5-ounce shot is about 69 calories and zero carbs.
Chasers and Mixers You Can Use
- Diet soda
- Soda water
- Diet tonic water
- Seltzer water
- Sparkling water
- Crystal Light
- Diet margarita mix
Here are 7 terrific recipes you can use as low-carb, low-calorie mixers; just add your choice of spirits from above.
The Most Fattening Drinks
It’s pretty safe to say that you should avoid the following if you want to maintain your goal weight…
- Flavored alcohols
- Sweet cocktails
Why? Here’s how much sugar they pack…
- 13 g One can of beer
- 6 g One shot of Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey (14% of the shot is pure sugar!)
- 11 g One shot of Fireball (25% of the shot is pure sugar!)
- 16 g One shot of Jagermeister (39% of the shot is pure sugar!)
- 14 g Gin or Vodka and tonic
- 26 g White Russian
- 30 g Mai Tai
- 44 g Long Island Iced Tea
- 56 g Margarita
- 90 g Pina Colada
Straight From Our Coaches
For those of you who are not at your goal weight, our Weight Loss Coaches wanted to chime in to say that if you want to lose weight it’s best to avoid alcohol altogether.
This is what they look like if you call, email, or chat about how little weight you have lost (but you have been drinking):
And then you say that it is no-carb, or low-carb…
…but it was “only juuuust a little!”
If you want to lose weight, ALL alcoholic beverages will stall weight loss.
CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED.
Now, for those of you who have reached your weight loss goals, and who would like to enjoy an occasional drink…Cheers!
Do you know a few secrets for enjoying an occasional drink while in maintenance? Share them with us in the comments below!
P.S. Did you know that even if you have not purchased a program from us that you can call in and talk with our Weight Loss Coaches? It’s true, they are always willing to help with your questions.
Call one today: 1-800-273-1686
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About the Writer
Jan is a 13-year veteran in the fitness industry and has personally coached and trained thousands of people to live fit and healthy lives around the world. 100 pounds ago, she knew exactly what it is like to be obese, sick and unhappy, feeling like there was nothing that could be done about the excess fat she had gained. That is why she couldn’t be happier to be a part of the Personal Trainer Food team today. She has successfully and permanently lost the fat using the principles of this program.