FC Low Carb Challenge: Week 8 – Wine, Beer, Tequila? Definitely!

I can’t believe we are already starting month three of our low carb challenge. Our FC Low Carb Team has lost collectively hundreds of pounds and is just about to go into our final weeks of the challenge. We’ve learned so much together over these last few weeks about losing weight, eating healthy and even that a cheat day, now and then isn’t so bad. So, I thought now was a good time to talk about alcoholic beverages.

There have been times when we’ve all wanted a glass of wine or beer at the end of a long day, some days more than others. Most diets won’t allow it because of the high-calorie count. Here again, this is where low carbing being a lifestyle, not a diet comes into play. I’m pleased to tell you that there are many alcoholic beverages, which are low carb! That means, on our lifestyle plan you can partake in a few drinks now and then completely guilt free. But (I know, there’s always a but), you have to know what drinks are low carb friendly, so you don’t overdo it and ruin your 20 carbs or less rule.

Below are a few guidelines for you to keep in mind:

  • Your body burns alcohol before fat. So for some it can cause your weight loss to stall out, for others it may cause you to lose faster. So weigh in the morning before you decide to drink, then again 48 hours later to see which category you fall into.
  • After you’ve been low carbing for a while and then drink for the first time, it’s going to hit you much faster than you’re used to, so be sure to drink in moderation.
  • Not all alcohol is made the same. Check the carb counts in the brand of alcohol you are drinking. It’s easy, you can do it on Google, from your phone. You’ll be surprised at how the carb count changes from brand to brand.

So now that you know the basic rules let’s get to the fun stuff … the drinks.

As a general rule with harder alcohol, clear drinks, in particular, are usually lower in carbohydrates than darker spirits. That is just an estimate, though. As I said above also check the brand and type of alcohol before drinking to get an exact carb count.

Personally, I’m an ale lover. Give me a good dark ale, and I am a happy camper. Unfortunately, eating low carb you aren’t going to be drinking a good hoppy ale, they just have too many carbs. So I tend to stick with Michelob Ultra. Definitely not the deep ale I prefer, but the best tasting I’ve found with only 2.7 carbs per beer.

Below are some more beers to consider:

  • Bud Light: 6.6 carbs
  • Corona Light: 5 carbs
  • Killian’s Red Lager: 14.8 carbs
  • Heineken light: 6.8 carbs
  • Michelob Ultra Amber: 3.2 carbs
  • Sam Adam’s Light: 4.7 carbs
  • Budweiser: 3.2 carbs
  • Miller Genuine Draft Lite: 2.4 carbs
  • Rolling Rock Green Light: 6 carbs
  • Miller Light:  3.2 carbs
  • Coors Light: 5 carbs
  • Amstel Light: 5 carbs
  • Bud Light: 6.6 carbs

If you’re looking for wines or spirits, their carb counts run the gamut. I have a listing below of some general estimates of carbs per serving. But as with anything, check the carb count before you enjoy. For instance, plain vodka doesn’t have any carbs, but a vanilla whipped vodka is loaded with carbs. So always check the carb count before you drink anything. Better to be safe than sorry.

Carb estimates in wine:

Red Wines – Carbs per glass:

  • Merlot: 3.7 carbs
  • Pinot Noir: 3.4 carbs
  • Cabernet: 3.8 carbs

White Wines – Carbs per glass:

  • Chardonnay: 3.7 carbs
  • Pinot Grigio: 3.2 carbs
  • Riesling: 5.5 carbs
  • Champagne/Sparking whites: 1.5 carbs

Carb estimates in Spirits: Carbohydrates per shot (1.5oz):

  • Absinthe – 0g
  • Armagnac – 0g
  • Bourbon – 0g
  • Brandy – 0g
  • Cognac – 0g
  • Gin – 0g
  • Mezcal – 0g
  • Rum – 0g
  • Scotch – 0g
  • Tequila – 0g
  • Vodka – 0g
  • Whiskey – 0g

So now you’re fully informed and ready to enjoy that adult beverage. Oh, one last thing, you might want to have a few low carb snacks on hand whenever you’re partaking. Once you start drinking, your willpower may slip, and those tortilla chips may start looking a little better than they should. Have something on hand so if a snack attack happens, you won’t ruin your carb intake for the day. Remember, moderation is the key and never drink and drive.

Enjoy yourself … you’ve earned it.

Week 1 – The Rules
Week 2 – Getting Started
Week 3 – Favorite Things
Week 4 – Screwing Up
Week 5 – I Want Candy
Week 6 – Taking Care of You
Week 7 – You Can Do It!
Week 8 – Wine, Beer, Tequila? Definitely!
Week 9 – Carb Creep
Week 10 – Hollywood Eats Low Carb. You Can Too!
Week 11 – Wow! You Did it!

Photo Credit: linmtheu via Compfight cc

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