Can I Drink Alcohol and Still Lose Weight?

For the majority of us, the most obvious correlation between our weight and alcohol consumption, is that too many drinks leads to poor food choices and hangovers that offer very real excuses not to exercise. But is it possible to enjoy a glass of wine and still lose weight?

Learning to make sensible menu choices and stopping at one or two alcoholic drinks, is critical in not only losing weight, but also keeping it off. This can take some willpower and you may find that for a period it is best to go cold turkey with respect to alcohol. But key to finding success in any weight loss endeavour is ensuring it is sustainable as there will always be friends to catch up with, birthdays to celebrate and of course you should enjoy these moments!

The National Health and Medical Research Council has released new alcohol guidelines advising that healthy men and women should drink no more than 4 standard* alcoholic drinks on any one day and no more than 10 standard drinks over a week to reduce their risk of short-term and long-term harms, including obesity, from alcohol. However it is important to recognise the role that alcohol is going to play in your health and wellbeing journey, is very individual. While your consumption may fit within guidelines and the ability to maintain an active lifestyle with ease, you may not be achieving weight loss goals.

Given calories must be controlled to lose or maintain weight, choices can be made that support, or hinder, your weight loss goals on both the beverage and meals menus. Whilst alcohol itself comes from the fermentation process of natural sugars, it’s more often than not the sweeteners that come from the mixers that are that real villains in the calorie count of your drink.

So when the occasion is right and you would like a drink, here are the six lowest calorie alcoholic drink choices:

  • Vodka soda with lemon (96 calories)
  • Dry Champagne (90-96 calories)
  • Gin soda and lime (97 calories)
  • Light beer (103 calories)
  • Dry white wines - pinot blanc, chardonnay, pinot grigio, and sauvignon blanc (121 calories)
  • Dry red wines - pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon (125 calories)

While you may still be able to make a considered choice of a glass or two of alcohol in one sitting and continue to see success, if even one standard drink derails your progress or focus, then look for non alcoholic alternatives and continue kicking weight loss goals. Winning in the long term will smash any frustrations you may have in the short term!

* A standard drink is 100 ml of wine, one mid-strength stubby or one nip of spirits. Cancer Council Victoria has developed a helpful tool to help people estimate standard drinks at