Alcohol in moderation has benefits to our health, for example 1-2 units per day are protective against heart disease.

Alcoholic drinks are very high in calories, so if you want to lose weight you should consider reducing the amount of alcohol that you are drinking. Alcohol increases your appetite; some people tend to notice that they eat more when they drink alcohol. Watch out for high calorie nibbles like nuts and crisps.

Below is a list showing the calorie content of alcoholic drinks.

Drinks Calories
1 pint strong cider 280-440
1 alcopop (275ml bottle) 160-180
½ pint sweet cider 105
1 small glass (125ml) sweet white wine 118
½ pint dry cider 105
½ pint of lager 90
1 small glass (125ml) red wine 86
1 glass vodka and tonic (25ml vodka) 85
1 small glass (125ml) dry white wine 83
1 glass (50ml) sweet sherry 68
1 glass (50ml) dry sherry 58

How much alcohol should I drink?

To help you lose weight, Weight Concern would recommend the following:

  • Women should have no more than 1 unit of alcohol each day
  • Men should have no more than 2 units of alcohol each day
1 unit =
  • 1 small glass of wine ( 125ml)
  • 300ml ( ½ pint ) ordinary strength beer, lager or cider
  • 1 single measure (25ml) spirits
  • 1 single measure (50ml) port or sherry

Non-alcoholic drinks

Choose non-alcoholic drinks carefully, alcohol free does not mean calorie free.

  • Tap water with ice and a slice of lemon
  • Mineral water (sparkling or still)
  • Sugar free squashes
  • Flavoured water with a hint of fruit (these will contain a small amount of sugar)
Beware of:
  • Low alcohol or 'lite' beers or lager - these often contain more calories than the normal beers or lagers
  • Cream liqueurs
  • Cocktails