Low Carb Drinks – What to Drink When You’re Counting Carbs
Every once in a while, you need to let loose with some friends and have a cocktail. Or two. But…you’ve been working SO hard to lose weight and stay on the straight-and-narrow. Can the two things ever be friends?
But, of course!
I love my wine and my vodka tonics, and there is more to life than counting carbs and calories, right? Right!
Still, you don’t want to ruin all your hard work just to go over the deep end a night or two a week. Here’s some tips and tricks to low carb drinking.
What to Remember:
First of all, remember that when you are low-carbing it your body is in ketosis. Ketosis can lower your alcohol tolerance, so sip – don’t gulp. Alcohol can also act as a diuretic, which can screw up your electrolytes, so drink water often! A lot of drinks – especially the fruity ones – have a ton of carbs and calories, which can screw up the fat burning furnace you’ve worked hard to create.
…But Don’t Forget:
Alcohol is not all bad. It can actually lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and red wine contains cancer preventing antioxidants. I mean, hello! Those are some pretty good benefits. It also can improve insulin sensitivity and don’t forget…it’s a great way to connect with friends and unwind. You want to be healthy, but not a social outcast. It’s okay to have a drink every once in a while!
On a strict low-carb diet, which is below 20 to 30 grams per day, you can have a glass of wine pretty often without breaking the carb bank. If you are just “watching carbs”, wine shouldn’t be a problem at all.
All dry wines go well with low carb. White wines have slightly less carbs than red wines. Sweet wines, like a Moscato, have much more sugar. A pinot grigio, for example, has only 123 calories and 3g of carbs (5 oz pours, remember!) and a pinot noir will have 122 calories and 3.4g of carbs. See? Not much difference and very little carbs.
Most beers have a ton of carbs and calories. There’s a reason it’s called “liquid bread”…ha! You can drink some light beers, like Michelob Ultra (95 cal, 2.6g carbs) and Miller Lite (96 cal, 3.2 carbs), if you have the urge for a brewski. For a list of the carb counts in beers, go here.
Spirits like whiskey, brandy, cognac, vodka, tequila contains zero carbs! Are you smiling now? That’s right! They are all fine on a low carb diet.
The thing that screws this up is what you mix them with fruit juice, colas, and syrups. To fix this, switch to diet colas, diet tonic water, fresh lemon and lime juice, club soda, sparkling water, plain water (now there’s an idea!), and low calorie liquid sweeteners. Most of them time, you can make better tasting and very low carb drinks by skipping the pre-made mixers and making them yourself with fresh ingredients. Here’s how to make your own sugar-free sweet and sour mixer.
Gin (or Vodka) & Tonic Lovers
Use diet tonic or club soda and a squeeze of lemon or lime, and serve over ice. Only around 150 calories and no carbs.
Diet Jack & Coke
Duh. Use DIET coke with your whiskey for a 100 calorie drink with no carbs.
For a great list of all your favorites made over the low carb way, visit here.