Tips to Raise Your Glass Without Raising the Scale

With all of the social gatherings around the holiday, there is often an increase in alcohol consumption.  These extra drinks can add a lot of unwanted calories and can make weight management more difficult.  However, there are some simple strategies that can help keep your calories in check.

First, know the calorie content of the various types of drinks.  The following is a breakdown of the typical calorie levels of alcoholic beverages:

Type of Alcohol Calories
Wine (4 ounces) 90-100 calories
Light Beer (12 ounces) 90-110 calories
Regular Beer (12 ounces) 150-160 calories
Hard Alcohol, 80 proof (1.5 ounces) 100 calories
Hard Alcohol, 100 proof (1.5 ounces) 120 calories
Mixed Drinks (4 ounces) 200 calories


If you’re going to have a drink, think about the following tips:

  • Start the party with a calorie free beverage before reaching for the alcohol.  Sometimes just having a beverage in your hand can make people feel more comfortable.  By starting off with diet soda, water or club soda you can save some calories and can often make better food choices because alcohol acts as an appetite stimulant and lowers inhibitions. 
  • Alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.  Often when we have a drink in our hand we will finish it.  By switching between alcoholic and calorie-free beverages you will be cutting the calories in half!
  • Try diluting your drink to cut the calories in half.  Turn your glass of wine into a wine spritzer by mixing it with sparkling water.  If you’re going to have a mixed drink, mix it with club soda or a diet soda.
  • Beware of sugary drinks.  The combination of sugar and alcohol makes mixed drinks very high in calories.  They can range from 200-500 calories!  A glass of wine or a light beer would be a much better choice with around 100 calories.    
  • Moderation is the key.  No matter what beverage you choose, just try to limit the quantity.  You will keep your calories under control and you’ll feel better the next day so you can keep up with your exercise program:)