Calories in Beer, Wine, Vodka and Whiskey

If you're wondering "What's the best alcohol for a diet?" the answer might surprise you. In fact, you don't have to give up alcoholic beverages like beer, wine, vodka and whiskey to have a healthy, balanced diet.

You don't have to give up alcoholic beverages like beer, wine, vodka and whiskey to have a healthy, balanced diet. Credit: AlexPro9500/iStock/GettyImages

According to UCLA, every gram of alcohol contains 7 calories. Be mindful of what you're drinking to avoid gaining weight. The key is to use moderation and to make low-calorie choices whenever possible.

According to the American Heart Association, a man should limit himself to two drinks daily, while a woman should have no more than one. One drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 4 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits. If you have a history of alcoholism, avoid any amount of alcohol.

Read more: Alcohol and Fat Burning

Do you want a convenient way to track your calories? Join MyPlate Calorie Counter and get access to free meal plans, healthy recipes and at-home workouts. You'll also get daily calorie and macro goals for your fitness journey.

Calories in Beer

The calories in a serving of beer vary depending on the type you're drinking. The lowest-calorie beers are light beers, which contain, on average, around 100 calories (varying slightly by brand) in every 12 ounces, according to the USDA.

As expected, regular beer has more calories in a 12-ounce serving, with the average beverage containing close to 200 calories.

What's in the Wine

Choose white or rose wine over red wine if you're looking for fewer calories per glass. On average, a 4-ounce glass of red table wine contains 100 calories. By contrast, a glass of white wine typically contains around 90 calories or less. The drier the wine, the better: Avoid sweetened wines, which have significantly more calories in every serving.

Vodka per Jigger

A 1.5-ounce serving of 80-proof vodka calories clock in at 97, according to the USDA. Vodka that is 90-proof contains 110 calories in every serving; 100-proof vodka has the highest calorie concentration with 124 calories in a 1.5-ounce jigger. If you prefer to drink your vodka with a mixer, choose sugar- and calorie-free club soda over high-sugar carbonated beverages, juice, tonic or bottled drink mixes to keep your calorie intake as low as possible. To add flavor, stir in freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice.

Read more: How Bad Is Alcohol for Weight Loss?

Moderate the Hard Stuff

On average, 80-, 90- and 100-proof calories in whiskey (or any hard liquor) are the same as in a 1.5-ounce jigger as the amount supplied by vodka. Drink whiskey straight on the rocks or try stirring it into coffee or with a low-calorie mixer.

If you prefer your whiskey with cola, be careful when using diet soda to cut your calorie intake — this combination can actually speed up the rate at which you become intoxicated. According to a small study published in April 2014 by Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, breath alcohol concentrations increased more quickly when individuals consumed artificially sweetened alcoholic drinks versus those made with sugar.

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