The best low-calorie drink swaps
Get rid of your beer belly or avoid getting one with the best low-calorie drink swaps
Some of us don’t need our arms twisting much when offered a glass of something. It’s fine to have some drinks now and then – life is about balance, after all. But too much alcohol too often will have a hugely negative impact on how you look and feel.
Alcohol is high in calories and low in nutrients. Just 1g of alcohol contains seven calories. That’s almost double the four calories found in 1g of protein or carbohydrates. And only slightly less than the nine found in a 1g of fat. For context, one UK unit is 8g of pure alcohol, so a pint of beer will have around 24g.
The best low-calorie drink swaps
Worse it that downing too many drinks also tempts you to make less healthy food choices – “I can’t be bothered to cook; shall we get a takeaway?” And hangovers make us crave fatty and salty foods, like a huge fry-up. Suddenly a few too many drinks has turned into 24 hours of high-calorie eating and drinking!
The good news is you don’t need to abstain from alcohol. Read on for our best low-calorie drink swaps to keep your beer belly at bay!
Swap pints of beer for bottles of beer
Swapping pints for bottles is one of the easiest ways to avoid a beer belly. A pint of 5% lager, like Peroni, has 227 calories. That’s the same as a large slice of pepperoni pizza. It also contains 2.8 units (the NHS advises a limit of 14 per week).
A 330ml bottle has just 139 calories and 1.7 units. Bottles are also cheaper and guarantee a fizzy and fresh drink. After all, there’s nothing worse than shelling out your hard-earned cash for a flat pint!
On a night out drinking five bottles instead of five pints will save you over 500 calories, or more if you drink a lighter lager (a 4% beer has only 99 calories). Even better, alternate rounds with a Heineken 0% or another zero-alcohol option. These days they taste almost identical but contain only a fraction of calories!
Swap champagne for red wine
A flute of champagne contains 95 calories, about the same as a chocolate digestive biscuit. A large glass of white wine has 215 calories, the same as a large glass of red.
So, if they have the same calories, why should you favour red wine over all others? It’s a healthier option thanks to polyphenols. They are a powerful antioxidant compounds found in grape skins. The skin is used in the production of red wine but not other types. And research links red wine consumption to improved heart health, better gut function and lower cholesterol.
But too much win outweighs these and other health benefits. So do your brain, liver and waistline a big favour by sticking to small glasses. A 125ml glass of red wine contains just 100 calories.
Swap sugary mixers for zero versions
Spirits are the smart choice as one of the best low-calorie drink swaps. But only if you choose the right combos. A single gin with slimline tonic is only one unit of alcohol and just 60 calories. But a double whisky with cola has a whopping 180 calories, as well as 25g of sugar.
On a night out four G&Ts equals 240 calories and no sugar. But four whiskies and coke is 720 calories and a whopping 100g of sugar. That’s more than three times the 30g daily limit suggested by the NHS.
But the big danger is happy hour cocktails. A Long Island Ice Tea has around 450 calories. That’s more than in a large portion of McDonald’s French Fries! Opt for diet mixers to slash the calorie and sugar count. And avoid cocktails made with juices, milk or cream, or added sugar.
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