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Drink Smart This Silly Season: Low Calorie Alcohol Swaps


Contributor - My Muscle Chef

With your social schedule (or lack thereof for most of 2021) and the continued stress the pandemic brings, avoiding alcohol like the plague may not be possible or realistic.

For a lot of Australians alcohol may be part of your weekly routine - but it's best kept in moderation, particularly if you’re looking to lose weight. So how do you savour a wine on the couch during Netflix binge nights in, or enjoy the next (COVID-safe) party that comes up without destroying your diet? Read on for nutritionist approved ideas to help you savour a well-earned drink come Friday night AND still hit your weight loss goals!

1. Sugar free options

Sugar Free Options

With boat days in sight, a sweet Vodka Cruiser in a fruity flavour may be the perfect companion for those days out on the water. But when the sun continues to make its presence known and 1 bottle becomes 3, you may have quickly consumed an entire meal’s worth of calories. Looking at the Original Vodka Cruiser, each bottle racks up 173 calories per 275ml serve. Instead, try swapping it for seltzers which are naturally lower in calories - depending on the brand you could enjoy a fruity fizz for as few as 62 calories per can! Plus at around 4% alcohol volume they’re perfect for a cheeky day drink without getting carried away.

For the cider lovers out there, you may want to familiarise yourself with Scape Goat’s lower sugar apple cider at 139 calories versus a 355ml bottle of Strongbow Classic Original Apple Cider at 183 calories.

2. Swap your IPA craft beer for a lager

Swap your IPA craft Beer for a Lager

With IPA beers sweeping the nation as all the rage, it can be easy to get caught up in their bitter flavour force. And now that you have adapted to their taste profile, you cannot seem to get enough of them. However, when they may be topping awards for their taste, they are also topping charts for their calories. A Little Creatures IPA contains 174 calories per bottle. While your beer profile may have expanded, with it too may be your waistline. So, if you are seeking out lower calorie beer options, if you stick to a lager at the same serving size, The Great Northern Super Crisp Lager contains only 89 calories - this is nearly half the calorie count! For more added flavour, squeeze in a slice of lime or add in a splash of spicy tomato juice.

However, if you are searching for more flavour still, you can look to the Little Creatures Rogers which has a hoppy profile and is a mid-strength with 3.9% alcohol volume. It contains less calories than its IPA cousin at 122 calories per bottle.

3. Wine swaps

Wine swaps

Swap your favourite Sauvignon Blanc or Cabernet Sauvignon for bubbles. Prosecco doesn’t need to be saved for that special toast, instead it makes for a refreshing alcoholic drink all year around. Plus, with bubbles galore, it means you'll be sipping slower, so you are likely to drink less. The average flute packs 94 calories per serve of prosecco versus 120 calories for a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon or 122 calories for a glass of Pinot Grigio.

While this is unlikely to be recommended by wine connoisseurs, you can lighten up the calorie count and turn your glass of vino into a refreshing spritzer by topping up your glass with soda water. Warning this will change the taste profile; but will allow you to enjoy your wine while being mindful of your calorie intake. Other ways to still enjoy your wine while reducing the calorie count is by swapping to a glass of Rose. And who doesn’t love sipping on Rose with a group of your girlfriends while sitting beneath the patio misters at brunch? For red wine lovers out there, look to swap out your glass of Cabernet Sauvignon for a Pinot Noir or Gamay to reduce your calorie count per serve.

While it is probably easiest to cut out alcohol entirely if you are serious about getting to the next level in your fitness goals, at times it can just not be practical. Next time you look to take a sip, look at these swaps to ensure you remain on your fitness journey you have put in so much effort into already - and cheers to that!