Sirwin
Sirwin
Beer - photo courtesy of ELEVATE

The Booze Blues – (Whatcha Drinkin?)


(Photo courtesy of ELEVATE)

 

If you do not drink alcoholic beverages, then this calorie-deficit diet post probably doesn’t apply to you.

 

In the normal course of my day, I drink coffee in the morning with one tablespoon of half and half that I make last through how many times I top off my coffee cup. During the day, I like to drink hot tea, plain with no milk or sugar. Because it is so healthy, I try to have a cup of hot, organic green tea with lunch, and then I have Earl Gray tea with dinner and after dinner. If we go out to eat, I drink unsweetened iced tea or water. Some days I drink whatever tea I have in the pantry.

 

Do I like to drink alcohol? Yes. I love a glass of Merlot with dinner. I love to drink white wine at weddings and other celebratory events. I love a great, citrus-y IPA brew when I’m having some high-calorie, non-diet meals like pizza, a burger and fries or some interesting food at a brewery. Once in a great while, I will have a margarita when we go out for Mexican food rather than a Mexican beer. However, if someone told me I could never have another alcoholic beverage for the rest of my life, it would not be a struggle for me. If someone told me the same thing about coffee or tea, well, that would be a whole other issue.

 

When I started this calorie-deficit diet, my wine and beer consumption drastically reduced. Why? Because I would rather use my calories to eat something and feel satiated than to drink a beer and be hungry later due to the blood sugar spike and drop, and then not have any calories left in my daily allowance or need to eat calories in excess of my daily allowance to feel satiated. It’s a conscious choice that is easy for me to make. The key word is CHOICE. I choose to do this. During the last seven months that I have been on this diet, I have drunk alcohol. I have drunk tasty IPAs and wit beers. I’ve consumed 55 calorie and 95 calorie domestic beer. I have drunk wine at two celebratory events.

 

The great thing about this diet is that you do not have to give up any food or drink item. You just have to choose one thing to consume versus another, understanding that your choice on how to use your allotted daily calories has consequences, some more tolerable than others, and some that may be unintended. When you choose to consume one thing, it means that you are choosing not to consume something else. It’s your calorie budget.

 

If you are a beer drinker, there are plenty of low-calorie beers available in the US. Budweiser has a beer that is 55 calories. Michelob has one that is 95 calories. Miller has a low-calorie choice as well. I’ve included a link below to a website that lists low calorie beer options in 2023. If you are a craft beer lover, I’ve also included a link that lists some low-calorie craft beer. The article is a little dated (2020) so you may want to do your own research as the choices on that list may no longer be available and there may be more choices now.

 

Finding a calorie count for draft craft beer in breweries is very challenging. The few times I’ve asked if one was available, I think the bartender thought I’d lost my mind ha ha. There were a few breweries in southwest Florida that had calorie counts for their beers, which some person had put into My Fitness Pal. It was great to visit these breweries because logging beer was easy.

 

When we go to a brewery, I always search for the beer by name and brewery first. When I can’t find it, I then look for one that is close, using the percent ABV (alcohol by volume) and the type of beer it is. For example, I might search the term 5.4% ABV IPA in my food app. Searching terms like this will yield several choices. They can range anywhere from 145 to 300+ calories for 12oz. I choose one in the middle range of calories for peace of mind. Make sure you pay attention to the serving size. Many beers in My Fitness Pal are listed as a 12oz serving and most breweries serve a pint, which is 16oz, so you will have to increase the serving size when you log your beer.

 

Regarding wine, I’m seeing a lot of advertisements on the internet about low-carb, zero sugar wines. I am thinking of researching some of these. Here is what My Fitness Pal shows for some wines when you use the term ‘generic’ before the wine type:

 

  • Cabernet – 96 calories for four ounces
  • Chablis – 96 calories for four ounces
  • Chardonnay – 96 calories for four ounces
  • Merlot – 100 calories for four ounces
  • Pinot Grigio – 80 calories for four ounces
  • Pinot Noir – 96 calories for four ounces
  • Red Wine – 100 calories for four ounces
  • Reisling – 100 calories for four ounces
  • Rose – 100 calories for four ounces
  • White Wine – 96 calories for four ounces

 

I think if you have a glass of wine, consider what the pour is. Four ounces is a half a cup. If you truly have a four ounce pour, then it’s safe to assume you are consuming 100 calories no matter what wine you are drinking. If you are interested in exploring low carb and low-calorie wines, I’ve posted a link below to a list to get you started.

 

Disclaimer: while I enjoy beer and wine, I am not in the habit of drinking spirits or hard liquor. The taste doesn’t appeal to me, and I only drink it if it is covered up with something sweet or fruity. Below are a few generic calorie counts of popular spirits just to give you an idea. One shot of liquor is going to be about 100 calories. I was surprised that the calorie count was pretty much the same across the board.

 

  • Gin – 97 calories in a shot (1.5 fl oz)
  • Rum – 97 calories in a shot (1.5 fl oz)
  • Scotch – 100 calories in a shot (1.5 fl oz)
  • Tequila – 97 calories in a shot (1.5 fl oz)
  • Vodka – 97 calories in a shot (1.5 fl oz)
  • Whiskey – 100 calories in a shot (1.5 fl oz)

 

What about diet soda? I was a Tab drinker in my youth and a Diet Coke and Coke Zero drinker for a number of years after that. After reading about artificial sweeteners, I finally gave up diet soda for unsweetened iced tea. I’ve intentionally tried to move away from artificial sweeteners and food additives, so soda was a natural drink to eliminate from my diet. I’m not going to discuss the pros and cons of diet soda because I think they can certainly help people consume less calories when following a calorie deficit weight loss plan. I just don’t use them as part of my plan.

 

I respect the fact that many of you believe that artificial sweeteners are horrible chemicals and feel we should all avoid them. I choose to avoid them myself. That works for me, but that choice may not work for someone else.

 

Because I am consuming less alcohol during our camping months this year, I wanted to find something to replace it. My socializing beverage of choice these days is zero calorie flavored seltzer water. I choose the type with just water and flavoring and no other additives. This works for me. If it is cool outside, I sometimes have a plain hot tea in a travel mug. Yes, the beer drinkers in our crowd have said “Are you drinking TEA???” I replied, that yes, it’s chilly and I felt like having tea. If I had refrigerator space, I would drink more iced tea in the summer.

 

Some people will not like it if you suddenly reduce your alcohol intake. I’ve witnessed this over the last few months. You may get some teasing, eye-rolling, and the “I could never give up ….” comments. Be prepared. I found it fascinating that my lack of alcohol consumption impacted other people enough that they felt compelled to comment.

 

The other night our travel trailer holding tank (the nasty one) became clogged. We could not unclog it from the inside. I will spare you the details other than to say that my husband is a great guy and I love him! He got it unclogged but the aftermath wasn’t pretty and required some clean up on the ground outside and his clothing and shoes. After that debacle, which was definitely beer-worthy, I brought a beer with me to the afternoon social hour and everyone there was so happy to “see me drinking a beer and relaxing.” Funny thing is, I can relax with a seltzer water or cup of tea just fine. To the group, it was like I had gone on an alcohol hiatus and had now returned. People will react in ways you don’t expect when you change your behavior and it’s noticeable. Do not let them distract you from your weight loss goals or make you feel guilty. They will adapt to your new normal.

 

I think the important thing to remember is that you control how you are going to do this calorie deficit diet. I decided to not drink as much beer or wine on this diet. That works for me. My sister chooses to opt for a lower calorie beer option rather than reduce her beer consumption. That works for her. In order to be successful, we have to be able to live with the food and drink choices we are making, else we will give up the weight loss plan when it becomes too intolerable. The goal is to be able to sustain this diet long enough to lose the weight we want to lose. How we each do that is a personal decision.

 

Other posts in my blog with food-related tips, tricks and dietary information:

I’m Having a Crisis (An Eggxistential One) (publish0x.com)

I Just Wanna Veg…. (It’s Not Easy Eating Green) (publish0x.com)

Fruit – OMG!!! SUGAR!!! (publish0x.com)

Meaty Subjects….(Moo, Peep, Oink) (publish0x.com)

 

The post that explains the calorie deficit diet:

https://www.publish0x.com/60-pounds-by-60-years/this-is-how-we-do-it-xgvdqvg

 

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7th Decade Redhead
7th Decade Redhead

I'm 60+ years old female retiree who is finally figuring out why she's been struggling with losing weight her whole life. I want to share the lessons I learned so others can help themselves with their own weight loss struggles earlier in their lives.


60 Pounds by 60 Years
60 Pounds by 60 Years

My final weight loss attempt after 40 years of different diet failures. No shakes, no supplements, no surgery, no crazy food, no purchased meal plans, no fasting. Creating a healthier relationship with food and facing the painful truth about my relationship surrounding food. No BS, just common sense. And it worked.

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