A nutritionist explains why you should order beer at a bar if you're trying to lose weight

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The INSIDER Summary:

  • Nutritionist Karen Ansel recommends avoiding cocktails if you’re watching your weight.
  • Instead, order a light beer in a bottle or can.
  • This provides instant portion control and likely has fewer calories than a cocktail.

Like most people, you probably consider a vodka soda a safe drink to order if you’re watching your weight.

But nutritionist Karen Ansel, (MS, RDN) says you’re better off avoiding cocktails completely.

“Cocktails to me, they’re like the mystery meat of alcoholic beverages. You don’t know what’s in them, and they can be hiding a lot of calories,” Ansel explains.

Instead, Ansel suggests ordering a light beer in a bottle or can. The container gives you instant portion and calorie control, so you know exactly how much alcohol — and in turn calories — you’re getting. There’s also no bartender refilling your glass or over pouring.

Ansel also warns against sugary cocktails, which can really pack on the calories.

While a light beer has around 100 calories per bottle or can, just one cocktail can contain hundreds of calories. So you can enjoy two light beers and still not consume as many calories as you would have drinking one cocktail.

Another pro tip: order something you know you can drink in moderation. A beer generally leaves you feeling fuller than a cocktail, so if you know you’re likely to knock back at least a few vodka sodas, you might want to stick with beer instead.

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