Should You Drink Wine When You're Dieting?

Rose, white and red wines in glasses
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If you're a dieter who drinks, you may want to be careful. Wine calories add up quickly. While some dieters spend time analyzing their food intake, dieters who enjoy happy hour should calculate the calories in white wine or red wine, instead.  So should you skip the wine when you're on a diet? Not necessarily. 

Calories in Red Wine and White Wine

The number of calories in wine depends on the type of wine you choose and the serving size.

According to, white wine calories are lowest in dry varieties and higher as the sweetness increases. A single serving of dry white wine (120 grams or 5 ounces) contains 79 calories. There are 113 calories in a glass of sweet white wine and a glass of medium white wine contains about 89 calories.

Red wine calories are often higher. A single serving of red wine is six ounces and contains approximately 150 calories. It’s also important to remember that red wine is often served in a larger glass than white wine and it’s easy to drink a portion that contains more calories.

Each bottle of wine provides roughly five to six servings. So you'll consume about 500 calories in a bottle of wine. But, of course, drinking an entire bottle is not recommended.

Low-Calorie Wine Choices

If you're looking for a low calorie alternative, you’ll have a hard time finding one. There are only a few low diet-friendly wine choices on store shelves.

The popular Skinnygirl brand (famous for the Skinnygirl Margarita) sells several different wine varieties, including a Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Prosecco, California White and others. But the calorie count is not necessarily lower than other wines. A 5-ounce serving of Skinnygirl wine provides 100 calories and 5 grams of carbohydrate.

 Another brand called Bon Affair is sold in some stores across the country and offers low calorie red and white wine spritzers.  The Sauvignon Blanc Spritz, for example, provides just 62 calories per 5-ounce pour. And there are only 300 calories in a full bottle of wine.

Of course, you can also make your own wine spritzer by mixing sparkling water with your favorite wine. Some drinkers also add ice to their white wine to reduce calories, slow the drinking process and keep their drink cold.

If you can't find a low-calorie wine in your area.  your best bet is to drink the wine you like, but less often and only in moderation. Measure your wine in a measuring cup once or twice to make sure that you are only drinking a single serving.

The Effects of Alcohol on Your Diet

Regardless of the calories, drinking wine when you're on a diet can be tricky for other reasons.  Alcohol can have an effect on your daily nutrition and your eating habits might change when you drink. You're probably going to be more likely to snack on high calorie, high fat or high salt foods when you consume alcohol.

And if you drink too much, it could derail your workout plans for the next morning.

For all of these reasons, many dieters cut back on booze to lose weight. Some eliminate wine, beer and cocktails altogether. The right decision for you is a personal one. Just be sure to consider all the facts before you belly up to the bar.

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