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Guidelines for Enjoying Alcoholic Beverages

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1Guidelines for Enjoying Alcoholic Beverages Empty Guidelines for Enjoying Alcoholic Beverages on 9th December 2009, 8:01 pm

Guidelines for Enjoying Alcoholic Beverages

If you’re following a healthy eating plan, what you drink is just as important as what you eat. And on the South Beach Diet, certain high-calorie beverages (like sugary sodas and fruit juices) can be diet busters. But what about alcoholic beverages like wine and beer? Starting on Phase 2 of the South Beach Diet, you can enjoy alcohol in moderation. It’s recommended that women limit their intake to one alcoholic beverage a day, and men to one or two a day. More than that not only adds calories but can also sabotage your willpower. Before grabbing a drink, check out our brief guide:

Don’t drink too early in the evening because you may be tempted to have several drinks, and the calories start to add up.

Do alternate with seltzer and water to stay properly hydrated. You can also add seltzer to your wine for a refreshing spritzer.

Do eat a nutritious meal or snack containing lean protein before you start drinking. The protein helps to stabilize blood sugar and prevent cravings.

Do opt for red wine over white. Red wine is a better choice because it contains higher amounts of the powerful antioxidant resveratrol, which is found in grape skins.

Don’t go for regular beer; stick with light beer and drink it with meals.

Do choose extra-brut champagne, which has no added sugar or very little added sugar. Brut and extra-dry varieties of champagne have only a little more added sugar and are acceptable second choices.

Do choose sugar-free mixers for cocktails. Sugar-free sodas, flavored waters, vegetable-juice cocktail, diet tonic, club soda, or seltzer are your best bests. Be sure to avoid regular sodas, regular tonic, and fruit juices. Another tip? Use sugar-free powdered drink mixes to make punch or other fruit-flavored cocktails.

Do top your drink with garnishes like lemon and lime wedges, olives, or celery, but skip maraschino cherries, which are packed with sugar.

Here’s a rundown of alcoholic drinks to enjoy and avoid:


Red and white wine (one serving = 4 to 5 oz.)
Champagne (one serving = 4 to 5 oz.)
Vodka (one serving = 1 1/2 oz., which is a standard shot glass)
Gin (one serving = 1 1/2 oz.)
Rum (one serving = 1 1/2 oz.)
Bourbon (one serving = 1 1/2 oz.)
Light beer (one serving = 12 oz.)


Regular beer
Port wine
Liqueurs (including Kahlua, Baileys Irish Cream, Amaretto, Grand Marnier, schnapps, etc.)
Wine coolers (often contain a lot of added sugar)

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