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Worst Alcoholic Beverages for Weight Loss, Say Dietitians

Experts share helpful tips on drinks you can enjoy while still sticking to your plan.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

Everyone's bodies are different, which means their health needs are, as well. For those who want to lose weight, their weight loss efforts are going to look different than the person next to them. For example, some people choose to give up alcohol completely when they're trying to lose weight, while others may keep it in their plan.

If you'd like to enjoy an alcoholic drink from time to time on your weight loss journey, there are helpful tips for healthy drinking in moderation. To learn more, we talked with a couple of dietitians about what they believe are some of the worst drinks for weight loss.

Now, we aren't saying that you need to avoid these drinks at all costs. If you want to treat yourself, go for it! These are just helpful reminders so that you can feel confident and aware going into your next happy hour.

Piña coladas

pina coladas

When it comes to alcoholic drinks that are the worst for weight loss, it's important to consider how much sugar you're consuming at a time. Especially if you think you'll be drinking more than one.

"Sure, a piña colada is a must when you are on a tropical getaway in some people's minds, but these drinks are loaded with high-calorie ingredients that don't help in the weight loss department. And if you are getting a colada made with a pre-made sugary mix, you'll be getting a boost of empty calories and a potential sugar high later on," says Eat This, Not That! medical expert board member Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, author of The First Time Mom's Pregnancy Cookbook and Fueling Male Fertility.

Long Island iced teas

long island iced tea

Long Island Iced Teas are infamous for getting you drunk quicker than any other beverage out there. But according to Manaker, this isn't a good thing when you want to stick to your weight loss goals.

"Basically made of a combo of liquor, a long island iced tea is one of the worst drinks you can order if you are watching your waistline. Not only is this boozy drink loaded with empty calories, but sipping on this can make you feel drunk quickly, which can lower your inhibitions and result in you overindulging on post-drinking snacks later in the day or evening," says Manaker.

Whiskey cokes

Whiskey coke

Your drink doesn't have to be fancy or frozen for it to interfere with your weight loss efforts. In fact, even just mixing your favorite liquor with your favorite soda can sneakily rack up your calories and added sugars.

"While clear liquor in itself only has about 70 calories an ounce, when you start mixing it with lemonade, soda, and other sugar-sweetened beverages, the calories can add up really quickly," says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook and registered dietitian on our medical expert board. "To cut back on the calories of your favorite adult beverage, try mixing it with a low-calorie or calorie-free beverage like soda water and a splash of lime."

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Frozen margaritas

margarita frozen cuervo

Similar to a piña colada, a frozen margarita may be a refreshing beachside choice, but it might come with a cost.

"Most fruity, swirly drinks served with an umbrella are loaded with sugar calories. Frozen margaritas, piña coladas, mojitos, etc., often come up with a hearty caloric cost. If it tastes sweet, that's probably your sign it's got sugar and might be adding calories to your weight loss plan," says Goodson.

Samantha Boesch
Samantha was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and now works as a writer in Brooklyn, NY. Read more about Samantha