When it comes to weight loss, there are many different strategies and techniques out there to help achieve your goals. The only true method of losing weight is to simply reduce the number of calories you consume on a daily basis compared to the amount you burn. This can be achieved by eating healthier foods and also reducing the amount of liquid calories you consume.
We won’t be going into the science in this article, however if you need any more help understanding how calorie intake is the only true factor in losing weight, you can read this article on how a Kansas State University Professor lost weight by only eating chocolates and crisps: http://edition.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/11/08/twinkie.diet.professor/index.html
As I’ve become more fitness conscious, a question came to mind over the last 12 months. Can I make losing weight easier by switching alcoholic drinks to non-alcoholic drinks, considering that alcohol is known for having a denser calorie rate.
If you consume an average of one pint of beer a day across the week, you could potentially be drinking 250 liquid calories worth of alcohol a day. This could make up for around 10-25% of the recommended daily caloric intake for an adult.
A pint of BrewDogs Punk Alcohol Free contains approximately 85 calories. So if we can obtain the same thirst quench from a non-alcoholic tipple, you could potentially be saving 165 calories from a normal pint of BrewDogs Punk IPA, for the same pleasure.
To make this change sustainable, we ideally need the same taste and similar feeling to what alcoholic drinks give you, without all of the negative effects.
Across the nonalcoholic.co.uk site, we recommend and review different non-alcoholic drinks that we feel give us the same pleasure, but without the alcohol.
Is It Possible To Lose Weight By Drinking Non-Alcoholic Drinks?
Yes it is, you can limit the weight you put on by drinking non-alcoholic drinks in moderation. All non-alcoholic drinks are not equal though. Some mixer drinks, such as coca cola or lemonade are high in sugar and calories, which can hinder your weight loss progress.
Instead, you should try to look for natural sweeteners if possible to limit the amount of calories you are consuming, but still finding that sweet spot of taste.
We also find that by adding some lemon or lime into non-alcoholic spirit drinks, you create a zest which increases the sweetened taste. This will add flavour and nutrients to your drink without adding any extra calories.
Some non-alcoholic spirits right now are also pushing for real herbal nutrition within the drinks, which means you can actually drink them for pleasure and for health. The Three Spirit company focus on this a lot and we have reviewed their drinks here: https://nonalcoholics.co.uk/reviews/three-spirit/
What Are The Best Alcohol Alternatives?
If you have just come in from work and you find yourself racing to the fridge or wine rack to pop open your favourite tipple, we completely get it. Everyone has their way of finding enjoyment through a drink they look forward to.
Water is, as we all know, the best drink you can choose to stay hydrated and healthy. However, if we are looking for alternatives to alcohol specifically, we want to drink things that don’t detriment our working day, make us feel tired or even wake up feeling like we don’t want to bounce out of bed and attack the next day.
When you’re looking for something more exciting than water, we recommend actually looking for drinks you get enjoyment from. Having a vodka and soda every night to try and cut calories, doesn’t give you the same quench of thirst that a flavourful gin and tonic would. So it’s important to go for things that you get enjoyment from as it makes it easier to stick to your goals and also to go without alcohol.
We like a non-alcoholic gin and tonic as you still get all of the rich tastes of the botanicals, without the headache the next morning. You can read our review of the Clean Co G and T here: https://nonalcoholics.co.uk/reviews/clean-gin/
The Calorie Intake – Alcoholic vs Non-Alcoholic
Most alcoholic beverages are high in sugar and calories, due mostly to the brewing processes where sugars are refined in order for fermentation to occur.
On the other hand, most non-alcoholic beverages are lower in calories due to fermentation not occurring in the brewing process place and the lack of build up of residual sugars.
You will tend to find that no matter what soft drink you choose, if you are drinking something that is high in refined sugar, fermented or not, you will tend to see a higher caloric content in the drink.
Lower caloric alcoholic drinks are popular nowadays, especially in the forms of hard seltzers and light beer. They tend to be closer to 100 calories per serving, whereas some highly refined spirit and mixer cans can be closer to 200 calories per serving, which can make a huge difference over a few drinks.
The average gin and tonic can contain up to 170 calories, but the Clean Co gin and a naturally sweetened tonic comes out at around 44 calories. The same great taste with all the benefits and a quarter of the calories!
We list out some of our favourite beers here that are naturally lower in calories due to the lack of fermentation, if any at all: https://nonalcoholics.co.uk/best-non-alcoholic-beers
Which Non-Alcoholic Drinks Are The Lowest In Calories?
Although it’s great to be drinking the lowest liquid calories, you really want to enjoy the experience rather than drinking it purely for the lower intake. Below we have listed together a few ideas on alternative drinks we enjoy and also have a lower caloric content:
Beer – We love the Heineken 0.0 and the Bavaria 0.0 as easy going drinks that go well with lunch, dinner or for that thirst quench when you get in from work. The Bavaria 0.0 per 330ml totals in at just under 80 calories, while the Heineken 0.0 totals in at just under 70 calories. A normal pint of Heineken as a comparison totals in at 230 calories, so a big difference even if you consider that an imperial pint totals in at 568 ml.
We find the Bavaria mimics a Fosters style lager with a sweetened aftertaste, whereas the Heineken comes as close to the real thing as any mainstream non-alcoholic beer we have tried, with a great taste of beer and a feeling of satisfaction after a bottle or two.
Gin – If you are looking for lower calorie gins, it tends to be easier to find them as a lot of the caloric content for gin comes from the processing of wheat in the distilling process. Non-alcoholic gins mainly come from vegetable glycerins, water and natural flavourings which are all naturally lower in calories.
We prefer the Clean Co gin as it feels like they have spent a lot of time trying to get the gin flavour correct and it only has 14 calories per serving compared to a shot of standard gin, which comes out at around 100 calories: https://nonalcoholics.co.uk/reviews/clean-gin/
Rum – We absolutely love the Clean Co Rum with a diet coke. They have put a lot of thought into getting this one right and we would actually says it’s probably the easiest non-alcoholic spirit to get right, as a lot of the flavours in Rum come from sugar cane which of course contains no alcohol to begin with.
Although not the healthiest non-alcoholic drink that you can get your hands on, a Clean Co Rum and diet coke comes out at just 15 calories. Slip a lime and some ice on top of this drink and you have what we consider to be the closest thing to an alcoholic spirited drink.
Why Should I Drink Non-Alcoholic Drinks On A Diet?
There are several reasons for why non-alcoholic drinks should be consumed on a diet.
First and foremost, non-alcoholic drinks are less calorie dense because of the reasons explained above.
Second of all, if you are drinking alcohol whilst trying to eat less, you will feel the effect of the alcohol on your ability to function a lot faster than if you were eating normally. This is because the alcohol is absorbed by the liver aggressively as there is less food to break it down: https://nonalcoholics.co.uk/5-ways-alcohol-affects-your-body/#how-does-alcohol-affect-the-liver
Additionally, non-alcoholic drinks can be high in things such as vitamins, antioxidants and herbal infusions which can improve your overall health and wellbeing.
Drinking non-alcoholic drinks can also help you stay hydrated throughout the day. A lot of the drinks are made with mineral water which is lost during alcohol intake but crucial for normal bodily function. If you’re trying to lose weight, hydration is crucial, as dehydration can lead to fatigue and according to Health Shots, it actually shows that it can slow weight loss: https://www.healthshots.com/preventive-care/self-care/did-you-know-not-drinking-enough-water-can-make-you-gain-weight/
Bonus Tip – Taking A Complete Detox
We tend to try and stick to detoxing in every part of our life that becomes too habitual. Not only do we look at what we are eating and drinking, but we also look at how we can take time out of our technological lives.
Technology at the moment is the ruler of humans and we rely on it so heavily. So much so that we often can’t leave the house or enter our house without going straight for our phones or reaching for the tv remote respectively.
It’s worth noting that to do this, the same as taking time off of drinking alcohol, it needs to be sustained for a period of at least 24 hours to be effective. A really good case study that goes through how to structure a digital detox was done by the writers at BuyGuides, to see how tough a digital detox would be here, the results however are quite staggering: https://buyguides.co.uk/how-a-digital-detox-can-transform-your-life-a-case-study/
As we have said above, nothing beats a glass of water if you are looking to lose weight. It’s free from calories and is the one thing that keeps our bodies functioning properly.
However we are all human and we all want pleasure from life and just drinking water throughout the day doesn’t satisfy that. Drinking alcoholic alternatives can be fun, interesting and makes getting through the day a lot easier.
Focusing on drinking lower calorie non-alcoholic drinks is also guilt free if you are picking the right options. There are lots of different options to choose from and we hope to educate you more on the best alternatives out there.