How Many Calories are in Your Favorite Alcoholic Drinks?

When you’re throwing back shots late-night at a sports bar or indulging in a glass of wine with a home-cooked meal, do you wonder how many calories you’ve just imbibed? If you’re looking to slim down and tone up, you should aim to actively ask yourself that question. After all, forgetting to factor in liquid calories is one of the reasons you can’t lose weight.

Thankfully, beginning in May, the Food and Drug Administration will require restaurant chains to disclose calorie counts for all their menu items—including alcoholic beverages. The new federal rule will apply to restaurants with 20 or more chains and will be implemented in hopes of increasing caloric transparency, raising awareness, and encouraging drinkers to cut back.

And many research attests that this theory works well in practice: According to the Cochrane Library, printing caloric content on menus can reduce the calories in diners’ orders by 7.8 percent per 600-calorie meal. And another study published in the journal Preventive Medicine discovered that implementation of menu labeling laws led to a 1.2 percent decrease in ordering alcoholic beverages.

In the coming months, make sure to take a look at that frozen margarita’s caloric damage (we wager it’s not worth it), and then check out which beverages you should opt for instead by consulting our exclusive report below. And if you’re wondering if you can still drink while on a diet, you’re going to want to check out The Secret To Drinking Booze Without Getting Fat next!

1. Michelob Ultra

This light beer woos summer BBQ and bar crawl attendees alike with its malty, rich flavor and low calorie count. Plus, its lowly four-percent ABV level will keep a pesky hangover at bay.

2. Blue Moon Belgian White

Sip this Belgian-style wheat ale that boasts a palate-pleasing subtle sweetness and a hint of coriander. The added wheat and oats provide a hearty texture and creamy finish for a respectable 170 calories per bottle.

3. Guinness Draught

The strategic pairing of nitrogen gas and carbon dioxide lends the brew a velvety finish; and contrary to popular belief, Guinness’ classic Irish draught isn’t too high in alcohol or cals. It boasts a 4.2 percent ABV and 125 calories per 12-ounce bottle—deeming it a solid choice for weekday happy hours that may pop up.

4. Sierra Nevada Sidecar Orange IPA

This hoppy, orange-infused IPA (or India Pale Ale) is higher in calories and alcohol by volume but delivers some serious flavor you’ll have to enjoy in moderation.

5. Budweiser

This medium-bodied American-style lager is brewed with U.S.-grown barley malt and fresh rice for a crisp and smooth finish. With just 145 calories and a modest 5 percent ABV, it’s no wonder the iconic bottle is deemed “The King of Beers.”

6. Merlot

Guilty of pouring with a heavy hand? You’ll appreciate this enlightening factoid: The ruby-hued fermented drink has been linked to reducing your risk of heart disease, promoting longevity, and even protecting against tooth decay.

7. Pinot Grigio

Your gateway glass into the wine world, pinot grigio remains one of the most popular white wines on the planet. Thanks to its refreshing taste that’s easy on the palate and pairs well with many of our Best-Ever Proteins for Weight Loss, we’re giving this beverage a hard green light.

8. Rosé

From boozy brunches to swanky rooftop lounges, you likely associate rosé with all things summer. While a five-ounce glass contains a humble 126 calories, note that the blush-hued wine doesn’t contain as many free-radical-fighting antioxidants as red wine due to the grape skins being macerated for a shorter period of time.

9. Applebee’s Perfect Margarita

With 310 calories and about 7 Oreos’ worth of sugar, this margarita is nowhere near perfect for your slim-down plan.

10. Chili’s Tito’s Punch

Mixed with Malibu rum, vodka, pineapple juice, and grenadine, this fruity vice is like a spiked version of the calorie-laden punch you sipped as a kid. Skip the caloric cocktail and opt for a refreshing light beer instead.


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