Lowest Calorie Alcohol: How Much Can You Drink Before It Affects Your Health? - IIFYM - IIFYM

Lowest Calorie Alcohol: How Much Can You Drink Before It Affects Your Health?


Here at IIFYM, we prefer to believe we know how to turn up. Ok I need, to be honest, I had to look up exactly what that meant in the Urban dictionary—that shows my age, I’m actually typing this on my rocking chair. But regardless of your age, we all want to let loose every now and then to have a good time. Some may say including alcohol in the mix can bring out the best in people. The great news is, with the IIFYM lifestyle you can let loose and enjoy yourself on occasion. Finding the lowest calorie alcohol, however, would still be your best bet. So, let’s uncover some options you may have when you want to head out to a party or event.

If you want to know the correct macros so you can best fit alcohol in, have one of our coaches help you build a Custom Macro Blueprint

IIFYM does not include alcohol consumption in any of their programs, or even recommend a preferred lowest calorie alcohol source, yet you have the ability to work around that through manipulating your macronutrients for a given day should you decide to have a drink.

Lowest Calorie Alcohol Choices

At IIFYM, we want to give you the best experiences possible with your life and allow you to have fun. Therefore, the last task you want to deal with when you go out to a bar is to ask what the lowest calorie alcohol is to the bartender. You’re going to get an uncomfortable look and it’s going to buzzkill your experience. So, let’s generalize a little here and put stuff into perspective when you are working with your IIFYM lifestyle and finding you the lowest calorie alcohol when you’re out.

A 3.3 ounce Manhattan will get you 153 calories and 3.6g of carbohydrates and if you wanted something a little lower you can pick the Martini which at 2.2 ounces will give you 135 calories and 0.2g of carbohydrates.

In 5 ounces of red or white wine, you are looking at around 100 calories and 2g of carbohydrates. 1.5 ounces of scotch, whiskey, rum or vodka has around 104 calories and 0g of carbohydrates. 12 ounces of a light beer will land you 108 calories and 6g of carbohydrates while 12 ounces of a draft beer will yield 144 calories and 13.2g of carbohydrates.

Maybe you want to live it up a little with a cocktail, yet try and maintain the lowest calorie alcohol you can find? You can also have mixed drinks such as a diet soda (like Diet Coke or Coke Zero) with your rum or whiskey and not change the calories or carbohydrates listed above. Now that you have the list of lowest calorie alcohol, pick and choose wisely and drink responsibly.

Health Consequences with Drinking Alcohol




I think we all know the consequences of drinking too much alcohol you’re going to possibly get sick and start vomiting. Also, depending on the quantity you can get alcohol poisoning and need to get your stomach pumped in the hospital. Let’s not forget the consequences of drinking and driving. Not a good plan my fellow IIFYM friends. Please be responsible and have a designated driver or a way home that does not involve you getting behind the wheel. But let’s dig a little deeper into the health issues that can arise from bingeing on your favorite lowest calorie alcohol choices.

Find out more about your macro intake and how you can consume alcohol with your IIFYM lifestyle with a Custom Macro Blueprint

When we drink it’s normally in a social setting, right? You’re out with friends or family and you don’t count how many drinks you have. For that reason, it’s extremely wise even when following IIFYM to choose the lowest calorie alcohol so you aren’t consuming an entire day’s worth of calories in one night out. Whether you have a drink that is the highest or lowest calorie alcohol, you’re still taking in 7 calories per gram. Ultimately, what you’re consuming are empty calories and essentially a beverage with no nutritional value.

The Unfortunate Downside

Having a few drinks even when it’s the lowest calorie alcohol can still promote weight gain. All those empty calories add up and if you’re consuming these drinks on a regular basis throughout the week rather than during one night out, those calories will add up quickly. IIFYM does not recommend filling your daily carbohydrates through the consumption of alcohol. This isn’t the true reason behind the IIFYM nutrition plan and flexibility.

The immune system weakens which opens the door for illness and diseases, including certain types of cancer (mouth, throat, liver, esophagus, and breast).

Think about what is normally out at parties where alcohol is served… chips, pretzels, and other unhealthy snacks. Alcohol also has the tendency to make people reach for fatty and salty foods—generally snack foods. Even the low carbohydrate and lower calorie alcohol have this effect.

Sure, with IIFYM, you can indulge in these types of foods to some degree, but again, if the habit repeats itself multiple times during the week, those added calories can cause havoc on your waistline.

How Much Can You Drink Before It Affects Your Health?




One notion that everyone should know up front is that when you drink—even just one serving of your favorite lowest calorie alcohol—your body makes metabolizing that alcohol its first priority above everything else. Through the process of getting rid of alcohol from your blood, the liver needs to detoxify it. With just a single drink, you are already putting some stress on your body.

When you think about what takes place over the course of a night of drinking, your brain goes through some changes where it disrupts communication pathways and your behaviors and cognition may be impaired. Drinking too much of your favorite lowest calorie alcohol source can even damage your heart. Issues such as high blood pressure, stroke, and even arrhythmias are possible.

IIFYM blueprint

Please know that the IIFYM crew does not condone the abuse of alcohol and does not want you to damage your body. When looking at the long-term effects that drinking causes on the body we need to look at the liver, pancreas, and the immune system. When alcohol is abused, no matter if it’s the lowest calorie alcohol sources or a high-calorie source, you put your liver in danger of cirrhosis, fibrosis, and steatosis.

What Else It Affects

The pancreas can also become inflamed causing pancreatitis due to the toxic substances the pancreas produces when alcohol is present in the body. Your immune system also takes a toll when you abuse alcohol.

As you can see from the above, while drinking in moderation can have some health benefits, the long-term effects definitely have some negative consequences. Even with as little as one drink from your lowest calorie alcohol source can start the downward spiral if you don’t keep yourself in check.

If you are trying to figure out if IIFYM is for you, check out the many articles and FAQ page available on the website. IIFYM also has several amazing programs available to help you reach your health and fitness goals. IIFYM is a lifestyle, not a fad. Check out the site to learn more!




about the author

Matt Weik

Matt Weik is the Founder/Owner of Weik Fitness, LLC and is a well-respected fitness expert/author with a global following. He’s a certified strength and conditioning specialist, personal trainer, and sports nutritionist. His work has been featured in over 85 fitness magazines and over 1,500 websites. Check out weikfitness.com

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  • missesDESTINY

    As a Bartender, I’ll tell you now… We don’t know the nutritional values to the alcoholic beverages behind the bar. BUT as a Bartender that is doing the IIFYM and have my own home work so I don’t piss off a bartender, I have found Tito’s vodka and Banyan Vodka (Tampa, FL) to be my go tos. Both are gluten free, no carbs, and less than 100 Cal’s. A cocktail with a normal 1.25 oz pour, the Tito’s has 75 Cal, and Banyan has 86. Drink with soda and squeeze a lime and your all set! No changes to those numbers.

    • Phil Sheo

      All vodka is gluten-free, but for additives. In general, distilled spirits, especially those made without glutenous grains, should be gluten-free.

      • Anon7

        The jury is still out on the gluten thing, unfortunately. There are many, many conflicting studies with various positions; it’s incorrect of you to say that with complete confidence, even leading scientists have their beliefs, but there is absolutely no certainty at this point. No scientist will tell you they’re 100% right and the other side is composed of idiots – at least not on this issue.

        I’m saying this as someone with an auto-immune gut disease, and most doctors I have encountered have recommended avoiding gluten, eggs, and dairy at varying stages. Not because they’re certain that avoiding these things will “cure” my condition (which is impossible at the moment), but because they’re pragmatic and have seen improvements in past patients with cutting certain groups out. The only way you can know you have an issue with any of the above is by avoiding it for a while, and seeing how you feel. Gluten is included in that; it’s more rare than, say, dairy, but it still indeed is a real one. I was dubious when I spoke to my Gastroenterologist about it the first time, but he was pretty adamant that you need to at least try and see, because that approach has garnered positive results for patients in the past.

        Point is: nobody knows for certain, and for some people it’s truly not as simple as they’re “throwing money away”. You’re reading too much science from similar sources and schools of thought, to be making such a blanket judgment.

  • Set a limit before you go out and know what you’re going to be ordering. Find activities to do outside of the bar scene that lead to a healthier lifestyle. But this might require you to change your circle of friends…

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