Can you drink alcohol and lose weight?

If you are trying to lose weight, drinking alcohol is the number one enemy as it is calorie and sugar laden.

With that being said, there are some healthier choices out there – here are a few clues to drinking while watching calories.

Whether it’s cocktails on ladies’ night out, a beer at the bar, or a glass of wine with dinner, most of us enjoy a drink (or two!) every now and again. But remember that in addition to being aware of the foods that are good for you, you need to know which ones are not so great. And let’s face it — alcohol is in the later camp.

Simply, alcohol can sabotage your weight-loss efforts. It releases estrogen into your bloodstream, promotes fat storage, and decreases muscle growth. As soon as you have a drink, your body eats up all the glycogen (stored glucose) in your liver, makes you hungry, and reduces your inhibitions, so you’re more likely to grab that chicken wing or stuffed potato skin at happy hour.

Plus, alcoholic drinks contain many more calories than most people think — for example, a 20-ounce serving of beer can pack 250 calories, a 6-ounce glass of wine contains 120, and a 1.5-ounce shot of liquor contains about 100 … and that’s without any sugary mixers like Coke or Lemonade.

If you’re serious about losing weight, it’s best to put alcohol aside until you’re in maintenance mode.

If you are going to have a drink, choose wine, which may protect the heart and help lower inflammation. Or, opt for a drink with clear alcohol and no sugary mixers, such as a vodka and soda. One drink a day probably maxes out the benefits, though, so keep a cork in your alcohol consumption.

Below is a list of the calorie count of most drinks — look over your usual favourites and remember their calorie count. Remember, when in doubt, go with a glass of wine or vodka and soda.

Beer — 250 calories
Red or white wine — 120 calories
Daiquiri — 259 calories
Vodka and club soda — 64 calories
Champagne — 84 calories
Rum and Coke — 91 calories
Cosmopolitan — 230 calories
Bloody Mary — 140 calories
Margarita — 270 calories