Updated 12 October 2015

Low-carb alcohol for Banters

Trying to lose weight doesn't have to mean cutting out alcohol, dieters just need to be more careful about what it is they're drinking.

For some, losing weight can be a pretty sad experience. All of the nachos, pies and chocolate get tossed out in favour of green leaves, berries and an ever-changing array of seeds. Plus you’ll probably have to take up exercising, which for many translates directly to “cruel and unusual punishment.”

With all of these traumatic changes going on, it’s only natural to want to reach for a drink. Unfortunately, many diets frown upon your evening tipple, leaving you more miserable than ever.

This, however, doesn’t have to be the case. It’s perfectly possible to enjoy a drink or two as part of your weight-loss regime, and it might just give you the treat you need to fight through those dark hours when all you can dream of is pizza.

Read: What Tim Noakes eats

The key lies in precisely what you are drinking. Not all alcohol is created even vaguely equal and there are massive differences between a glass of scotch and a two litre plastic bottle of cider.

One of the most popular diet books of all time was published in 1964 under the snappy title The Drinking Man’s Diet and was dedicated to helping people diet without sacrificing the finer things in life. Centred around the same principles as the Banting craze which is currently taking the world by storm, The Drinking Man’s Diet opined meals that were low in carbohydrates and high in fat and protein. The book has sold over 2 500 000 copies to date and closes with these fantastic lines.

“So, drinkers of the world, throw away your defatted cottage cheese and your cabbage juice; and sit down with us to roast duck and Burgundy. You have nothing to lose but your waistlines.”

What the drinking dieter needs to understand is that while all alcohol contains calories (around 7 per gram) some of it also contains a notable amount of carbs. This is especially true of alcohol that is sweet or, even worse, mixed with soft drinks.

Read: The Golden Rules of Banting

Instead, you want to stock your drinks cabinet with good, strong spirits. These are essentially free of carbohydrates, and high in alcohol meaning you get excellent bang for your buck. It does mean you’ll have to stick away from the beer, at least most of the time, but for a refreshing drink you can always plump for a totally carb-free whiskey-soda.

Grams of carbohydrate in common alcoholic drinks

Data sources: Greatist/Livestrong/Low-carb diets

So, as you can see, spirits are good, beer is bad and alcopops are downright terrible. The surprise shocker might be gin and tonic, it might not taste that sweet but tonic water is LOADED with carbs.

Read more:
Beer belly blues 
Booze not bad later in life 
"Half-a-glass" rule may curb overdrinking


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