Does Consuming Gin Everyday Lead To Weight Gain
Answered by: Dr Neesha Choksy | Consultant Nutritionist and Fitness Trainer, Texas, USA
Q: I am 37 years old. I used to have 2 pegs of gin with soda and lime cordial five times a week. Recently I have noticed that I have become overweight. I weigh 79 kg now. Earlier I maintained a weight of 72-73 kg. Is taking gin harmful? Is the extra weight due to taking consuming gin? What should I do to reduce weight?
First How Many Calories Are In Different Types Of Alcohol
In general, different types of alcohol have about the same number of calories explains Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition, who also adds that a 100-calorie drink on its own isnt going to sabotage your goals. Truth is, what makes drink super filling isnt the alcohol itself, but rather what that bartender is adding into your drink, like sugary mixes, simple syrups, etc.
For reference, heres a breakdown of each type of alcohols caloric information:
- Vodka: One shot contains 97 calories
- Rum: One shot contains 97 calories
- Whiskey, bourbon, scotch: One shot contains 105 calories
- Gin: One shot contains 110 calories
- Tequila: One shot contains 105 calories
- Champagne: One 4-ounce glass contains 90 calories
- Beer: One 12-ounce bottle contains 153 calories
- Wine: One 5-ounce glass of wine contains 123 calories
- Baileys: One shot contains 147 calories
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Alcoholic Drinks: A Less Calorific Alternative
A gin & tonic is one of the UK’s favourite drinks, but due to the added sugars of tonic water, a typical 210ml serving can contain about 170 calories.
A similar 210ml serving of gin & slimline tonic contains just 115 calories, saving you an average of 55 calories per glass.
Swap a sweet white wine for a glass of Champagne .
The additional sugar in a sweet white wine means that a 175ml medium glass can average about 160 calories.
Champagne has one of the lowest calorie counts for a carbonated drink, with one 120ml serving containing only 89 calories.
Swap a vodka tonic for a vodka, soda, and lime .
As with the gin & tonic, its the soda water that gives the vodka tonic a relatively high calorie count of 175 calories for 280ml.
Vodka, soda, and lime has no extra sugar and a low calories count of just 106 calories for the same measure.
Swap a Margarita for a Moscow Mule .
Try swapping for an equally classy Moscow Mule, as these contain just 120 calories per 170ml serving.
Read the original article on Business Insider UK.
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Does Drinking Hard Alcohol Help With Weight Loss
Having to say no to your favorite cocktail because you’re on a diet may result in you ditching the diet altogether. However, drinking in moderation may leave room for an occasional drink. Plus, if you’re counting carbs, there is no sugar in whiskey and other low-carb alcoholic drinks.
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No, drinking alcohol does not help with weight loss. However, there are ways to cut back on calories and sugar when choosing a cocktail.
Best And Worst Types Of Alcohol For Weight Loss
Forgoing booze altogether is ideal if losing weight is your health goal, but if you must imbibe, registered dietitians recommend opting for certain alcoholic beverages over others.
Alcohol consumption is on the rise, even though happy hour at bars and restaurants is on hold in many parts of the world. When COVID-19 stay-at-home orders went into effect back in March, during just one week, national alcohol sales increased 54 percent compared with the same week in 2019, and three out of every four adults began consuming alcohol one more day per month year over year, according to a letter published in September 2020 in the journal JAMA Network Open.
You may not think drinking more during the pandemic sounds bad because having a glass of wine with dinner is good for your heart, right? But its not that good, according to some research. A The Lancet found that while alcohol has been shown to provide some protective factors for heart disease and diabetes among women, the positive effects were offset by the fact that alcohol can increase the risk of cancer, accidents, and communicable disease. It seems the answer to the question of whether drinking even in moderation is healthy varies depending on whom you ask.
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Here are the best and worst types of alcohol to drink if youre watching your weight.
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How Alcohol Affects Your Weight
Alcohol is higher in calories than most people realise, containing seven calories per gram, compared to protein and carbohydrate which have around four calories per gram and fat which has nine.2
The calorific nature of alcoholic drinks can be deceptive. A pint of beer can have as many calories as a Mars bar, and a large glass of white wine could be the same as an ice cream, so the calories in a few drinks can quickly add up.
Whats more, calories in alcohol are considered empty calories, as they dont provide any nutrients.
How Many Calories Are In A Gin And Diet Tonic
A gin and tonic using 50ml of gin and 100ml of Fever Tree Refreshingly Light Indian Tonic Water comes to 110kcal.
Having a gin and diet tonic, rather than a gin with regular tonic water, can help to cut down the calorie count in your drink a gin and Indian Tonic Water with the same measurements coming to 130.61kcal.
One common difference between regular and diet tonic water is that regular tonic is likely to contain sugar, while diet tonic uses alternative sweeteners. Find out more on how many calories are in a gin and tonic and other favourite drinks by following the link.
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Which Alcohols To Avoid Drinking
- Sugary Cocktails
Most sugary cocktails are over a 100 calories and can go up to 500 calories, depending on the sugar syrup or fruit juice added. Most packaged fruit juices contain added sugar, making them taste good. However, they raise the calories significantly. For example, while champagne is low-calorie, champagne punch contains 230 calories ! So, stay away from mimosas, daiquiris, cosmopolitans, and other cocktails that contain sugar syrup.
- Regular And Craft Beer
Always on the lookout for the next best beer? Well, its time to put a temporary halt to your quest because regular and craft beers are higher in calories 355 mL regular beer contains 145 calories, and 355 mL craft beer contains 170 calories . If you want to lose weight, stick to light beer for a while.
Alright! Now, what if you are thirsty for a cocktail? How should you order your drinks so that you skip the excess sugar and calories? Find out in the following section.
Can You Drink Gin And Tonic On A Keto Diet
Yes, you can drink gin and a low-carb tonic on a keto diet. Gin is seen as a Keto-friendly drink as it doesnt have any carbs. Other pure, carb-free forms of alcohol e.g., vodka, whiskey and rum are also okay to drink on a keto diet.
Its also important to opt for low-carb mixers to use with keto-friendly drinks. These can include diet soda drinks, seltzers and sugar-free tonic waters. These types of mixers can help to minimise the carb content of your drinks.
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You May Experience Some Unpleasant Side Effects If Drink Gin Every Night With Tonic Water
It’s common to mix alcohol with seltzer water, club soda, and tonic water but they’re all very different things. According to Healthline, tonic contains quinine, which is a compound taken from cinchona bark. This is what gives the beverage a bitter taste. It’s safe to consume the compound, but only in small doses. In fact, due to side effects that can result from quinine, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates just how much can be added to tonic water.
One gin and tonic isn’t likely to lead to any adverse reactions, but it is possible. Healthline explained that stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting can occur. You may even experience nervousness, confusion, or “ringing in the ears.”
More severe reactions, including kidney damage, from quinine have also been noted when the compound is used in medication but it’s even more unlikely you’ll experience anything so severe from your nightly G and T. “You would have to drink about two liters of tonic water a day to consume a day’s dose of quinine in pill form,” the publication noted. Still, if you drink gin every night, you might want to lay off the tonic.
Reason #: Sense Of Accomplishment
If you swear off drinking and keep to it, you feel a sense of accomplishment. This can go a long way.
When you get a mental health and well-being boost from your accomplishments, you are more likely to exercise, reduce stress levels, and go out of your way to buy healthier foods all of which contribute to weight loss.
Because losing weight and giving up alcohol are both journeys, it makes sense that succeeding at one can encourage you to succeed at the other.
Sharing your sense of accomplishment can be encouraging, too just dont be annoying about it. Encouragement is the death of stress. And while sharing your success, you may find a support group who can help you on both these important journeys.
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Alcohol Is Often Empty Calories
Alcoholic drinks are often referred to as empty calories. This means that they provide your body with calories but contain very little nutrients.
There are almost 155 calories in one 12-ounce can of beer, and 125 calories in a 5-ounce glass of red wine. By comparison, a recommended afternoon snack should have between 150 and 200 calories. A night out with several drinks can lead to consuming a few hundred extra calories.
Drinks that have mixers, such as fruit juice or soda, contain even more calories.
You May Experience Fewer Hangovers If You Drink Gin Every Night Instead Of Other Drinks
How would you like to never have a hangover ever again? That may not be entirely possible unless you avoid alcohol, of course but you can lessen your chances. However, you will have to trade in certain drinks. As Healthline highlighted, studies have found an association between congeners and hangovers. As it happens, dark drinks like brandy and whiskey are high in congeners whereas clear drinks, such as vodka and gin, have much lower levels.
“While lighter colored drinks may slightly help to prevent a hangover, drinking too many alcoholic beverages of any color will still make you feel bad the morning after,” Daniel Hall-Flavin, a board-certified psychiatrist who specializes in addiction, explained to the Mayo Clinic. “Drinking large amounts of alcohol can cause dehydration, low blood sugar, digestive irritation and disturbed sleep all factors that lead to hangover symptoms.”
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A Moderate Caloric Content
Weight gain is a result of the body taking in more calories than it can burn, and most spirits are known to pack on the pounds with their caloric content. Gin has about 95 calories per 45 ml serving, which is not a small amount but much less than most digestifs. To counteract gins caloric content, all you need to do is limit the amount of unhealthy snacks you eat while you drink. Common tabletop snacks like peanuts and desserts are very rich in fat and salt.
Amazing Health Benefits Of Gin: Not All Alcohols Are Bad
Gin is an alcoholic spirit that gets its primary flavor from juniper berries. It has been a popular beverage in Europe and some other countries for over 1000 years.
Apart from being just a refreshing drink, gin possesses some incredible health benefits, considering what it is made from.
While it may sound surprising for alcoholic drinks, gin was used as herbal medicine as early as the middle ages.
With juniper berries as its main ingredients, gin is the most natural spirit available on the market. These super berries are rich in nutrients and can fight infections, improve blood circulation, prevent heart disease, and many more.
If you are interested to know how drinking gin can benefit you, keep reading.
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Pick A Healthier Drink Option
Sure, that white chocolate espresso martini sounds delicious but its jam-packed with sugar and youre going to drink a lot of unnecessary calories. One way to have a few alcoholic drinks and still lose weight is to choose your drinks wisely. You can reduce how many liquid calories you consume by ordering a clear spirit with soda water, or swap out your cocktail for a glass of wine. Read on to learn: the best alcohol to drink if youre trying to lose weight
A standard 142ml/5oz glass of wine is usually around 120 calories, whereas an espresso martini cocktail could be around 300 calories per drink!
Alcohol Can Contribute To Excess Belly Fat
The beer gut isnt just a myth.
Foods high in simple sugars, such as those found in candy, soda, and even beer, are also high in calories. Extra calories end up stored as fat in the body.
Consuming foods and drinks high in sugar can quickly lead to weight gain.
We cant choose where all that extra weight ends up. But the body tends to accumulate fat in the abdominal area.
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It May Aid In Weight Loss
With 97 calories per shot, gin is considered one of the lowest calorific alcohol.
Besides, juniper berry can help break down your food by increasing the number of enzymes. Drinking a small amount of gin can actually boost your metabolism.
However, dont mix it with tonic water as it will add more calories. Keep it neat if you want to lose some weight.
Why Do Some Alcohols Have More Calories Than Others
Just like fat, protein, and carbohydrates contain a specified amount of calories per gram, so does alcohol. One gram of fat is nine calories protein and carbs are both four calories per gram. Pure alcohol contains seven calories per gram. But when you drink a shot of vodka, a beer, or a glass of wine, youre not drinking pure alcohol.
Rather, these alcoholic beverages have alcohol, plus other substances that add to the calorie count. For instance, wine is made from grapes, which means there will be sugar left over after the grapes ferment. Beer is made from grain, and often, sugar is left that couldnt be broken down by yeast during the brewing process.
Regarding liquor, there are usually no carbohydrates or other additives that add calories to straight spirits. However, some spirits may come with flavoring that adds sugar. Sticky, sweet, and highly flavored liquors will contain more calories. Additionally, some producers may add sugar to reduce the bite of the liquor.
Similarly, other cocktails, like , may have many mixers and additives that add sugar and calories. Thus, the best way to drink alcohol while wanting to lose weight is to drink spirits and drink them with few mixers or additives.
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Alcohol Can Negatively Affect Your Sleep
A nightcap before bed may sound like a ticket to a good nights rest but you may want to reconsider.
Research suggests that alcohol can lead to increased periods of wakefulness during sleep cycles.
Is A Gin And Tonic A Good Choice If I Want To Get Fit
Compared with other alcoholic drinks, the calories in gin and tonic make it a sensible choice. Ultimately, no alcoholic drink is going to help you get fitter .
But you dont have to be perfect to make great progress. And sometimes, allowing yourself a bit of the stuff you enjoy can help your long-term adherence. Youre much better off having a single gin and tonic once a week than you are going teetotal for a few weeks and then going on a bender. So, if you are opting for a gin and slim, well raise a glass to that!
Find your perfect fat-loss plan!
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It’s The ‘best’ Drink For Diabetics
Research published in the Journal of Diabetes Nursing in 2008 looked into the safest drinks for people with type 1 diabetes to consume, and guess what? They found that gin and tonic came out on top.
Of course, you should always consult with a medical professional if you are diabetic and concerned about your alcohol consumption, but it might be handy to bring that little nugget along to your appointment, no?
Reason #: Improved Digestion
Your digestive system treats alcohol as a toxin, which makes sense alcohol is a known human carcinogen and neurotoxin. Your digestive system works very hard to remove alcohol.
When you dont drink, your digestive system has an easier time doing its other important jobs, which may contribute to weight loss.
After alcohol intake, the alcohol is burned as a fuel source before anything else. That means alcohol is used for energy before glucose from carbohydrates, leaving that glucose to be stored as fat. Giving up drinking prevents those excess fat stores.
Alcohol screws with your digestive function. It may trigger stress on the stomach and intestines, decreasing digestive secretions. This reduces how many nutrients your body breaks down and absorbs.
If you quit drinking, you can improve the metabolism of these organs .
Removing alcohol from your diet can also reduce your risk of developing acid reflux or stomach inflammation.
Note: Heavy binge drinking can lead to weight loss due to malnutrition, which is obviously bad. Lets try to be healthy about losing weight.
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