The Worst Type Of Alcoholic Beverage For Weight Loss, According To Dietitians

Group cheering with margaritas
Group cheering with margaritas

If you’re trying to shed a few pounds, you might have been told to cut alcoholic beverages out of your diet—and for good reason. While alcoholic beverages like beers, wines, cocktails, and more can be hard to forgo, they can cause detrimental health consequences. Not only can excessive drinking lead to addiction, liver damage, and even cancer, but, on a much smaller scale, alcoholic beverages can cause weight gain, trouble sleeping, and even age your skin.

To discover some of the worst alcoholic beverages that could be stalling your weight loss goals, we spoke to health experts Barbara Kovalenko, a doctor and nutritional consultant at Lasta, and Scott Keatley, a registered dietitian. They said that margaritas are the worst alcoholic beverage because they are loaded with sugar and the margarita mix alone contains double the amount of calories than the rum or tequila used in the drink. Find out more about the side effects of this alcoholic beverage below!

Margaritas Are The Worst Type Of Alcoholic Beverage For Weight Loss

Kovalenko says to think twice about that next bottle of beer or glass of wine. "Consuming alcohol in excess can lead to a wide range of negative health consequences, including liver disease, cancer, and addiction. Alcohol can also disrupt the balance of chemicals in the brain, leading to mood swings, depression, and anxiety," she notes. "Furthermore, excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to addiction and have a negative

And when it comes to the worst of the worst, Keatley, who has his own practice, says that margaritas are the worst for weight loss. "Margaritas can be particularly detrimental to weight loss efforts for several reasons," he says. First off, Keatley describes the high-calorie content of these drinks.

"Margaritas are typically made with tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and sometimes sugar or simple syrup. The combination of these ingredients can result in a high-calorie cocktail. The addition of sweeteners and mixers further increases the calorie count (300+). The sugar content in margaritas is quite high, especially when pre-made mixes are used (35-50g of sugar per 4oz serving)." Much like sodas and energy drinks, margaritas are a high-sugar beverage. Drinking excess sugar can lead to weight gain and spikes in blood sugar, as your body converts the excess sugar into fat.

And, he says, the large serving sizes for margaritas can reduce fat burn and lead to weight gain. "Margaritas are often served in oversized glasses, which means you might be consuming more calories than you realize. A single large margarita can contain as many calories as an entire meal," Keatley notes. "Alcohol consumption slows down the body's ability to burn fat. When you consume alcohol, your liver prioritizes processing it over metabolizing other nutrients, including fat." For all of these reasons, excessively drinking margaritas can slow down your weight loss efforts.

Healthy Alternatives

While there is no sole alcoholic drink that we would recommend for weight loss, we suggest cutting down to at most one drink a day and opting for low-calorie options. "Limit your alcohol intake to one or two drinks per occasion, and avoid binge drinking. Opt for soda water, diet sodas, or freshly squeezed juices to keep the calorie count low. Drink water before and during alcohol consumption to stay hydrated and help prevent overindulging," Keatley says. And, be sure to eat a balanced meal before drinking to help prevent overeating and poor food choices later on. He says "a vodka soda or a glass of red wine" tend to have fewer calories and sugar than a margarita. And, Kovalenko advises against alcoholic options and instead says that non-alcoholic beer and Kombucha are healthier options that can still be enjoyed at parties or dinners. Plus, kombucha has digestive health benefits!

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, treating yourself to a margarita every now and then won't kill you. But, it's important to be aware of the risks when you indulge in high-sugar alcoholic drinks that can lead to weight gain. Just remember that moderation is always key. It's also crucial to note that there are healthier alternatives available—like kombucha or a glass of red wine every now and then.