Does Whiskey Make you Fat or Does It Help to Lose Weight


It is not uncommon for people to think that whiskey, wine or other alcoholic drinks can either make you fat or help you loose weight. But is this really they case? I did my best to find the answer and to check whether whiskey really can make you fat or help you lose weight.

Whiskey is one of the best alcoholic beverages you can drink when you are losing weight. Whiskey contains around 100 calories per serving of 1.5 ounces and therefore does not make you fat. Make sure to skip the mixers and fight the urge to eat more food when intoxicated.

If you are really looking into whether whiskey has any effects on maintaining a healthy weight, make sure to read the rest of the page where I briefly go over the calorie count of whiskey and whether or not it helps to lose weight.

How many calories does whiskey have

Whiskey in itself has around 100 calories for every serving of 1.5 ounces or 45 ml. If you have a bottle of whiskey at hand you will be able to see that distilleries are reluctant to add this information to their bottles. This is a bummer, especially if you are looking for this information. From different sources I was able to create this table. The table below will show the exact values for a couple of popular whiskeys to give you an indication.

One serving of whiskey is around 1.5 oz / 45 ml.

Laphroaig 10yo 1.5 oz / 45 ml 128 calories
Talisker (46% ABV) 1.5 oz / 45 ml 113 calories
Maker’s Mark 1.5 oz / 45 ml 104 calories
Elijah Craig 12yo 1.5 oz / 45 ml 155 calories
The Singleton of Dufftown 12yo 1.5 oz / 45 ml 99 calories
Jack Daniel’s No. 7 1.5 oz / 45 ml 97 calories

Let’s give some credit to Jack Daniel’s as the data in the table above came straight from their own website. The rest of the numbers I found on sites like MyFitnessPal. When analysing I think it is safe to say that 1.5 oz of whiskey stays between 90 and 160 calories. It does differ per whiskey, so you can always look up the specific amount of calories for your whiskey.

Man pouring whiskey in glasses of whisky drink alcoholic beverage with friends at bar counter in the pub.

Does whiskey help you lose weight?

You have heard it all before: if you do not want to get fat, it is best to remove all alcohol from your diet. If you still want to drink some alcohol it is best to drink straight liquor like vodka or whiskey. These drinks have a low sugar content and therefore do not contain a lot of calories.

Make sure you skip the chasers and mixers!

This is especially important because these mixers and chasers often contain loads of sugar. This is a mistake that people often make. The whiskey itself is not that devastating to your diet, but mixing it with soda or chasing it with another drink is what really adds up.

For the rest, the whiskey sadly does not help you lose weight. It could help when you change from drinking beer, wine or cocktails to just drinking whiskey. If you want, you can even add some ice to create whiskey on the rocks. This is a common way to drink cheaper blended whiskeys.

If you compare one beer to one whiskey, you will find that one beer contains between 150 and 250 calories. This is way more than a serving of whiskey. And from experience, you will probably drink more beers on a night compared to whiskey.

Wine as a little less calories at around 120 calories per glass.

Both wine and beer are worse than whiskey, because you will not drink as many glasses of whiskey on one evening. If you like to go out for the night, you will probably consume around 5 glasses of wine or beer. When you drink whiskey, you will be able to enjoy one glass for longer and therefore will drink less glasses on one night.

Next to this, every time you get tipsy or even drunk, it becomes difficult to not start eating whatever you can get your hands on. And sadly it does not happen often that we get our hands on a salad. Most of the times it is a hamburger or pizza.

Selection of whiskey bottles on the bar shelf. Selective focus on the Johnnie Walker Black Label bottle.

The best alcohol to drink when trying to lose weight

1. Vodka

Now I have yet to encounter someone who likes to drink vodka neat, without adding any mixers. However, those mixers can really add up. A shot of vodka only contains 97 calories. If you are looking to mix it with something, try zero calorie seltzer. Although basic, it really helps to keep your calorie count low.

Beware of mixing your vodka with other juice mixers. You do not want to mix 100 calories of vodka with 300 calories of soda and start all over again.

2. Rum

One shot of rum only contains 97 calories. Feel free to drink neat or mix with diet coke. Do not drink this in a pi?a colada as the average cocktail contains around 250 calories.

3. Other hard liquors like whiskey

As long as you are really staying away of sugar-rich mixers and calorie containing cocktails you are good to go really. Stay away from unhealthy snacks when you drink and maybe try and reduce the number of drinks you drink on an evening. If you drink 5 shots of whiskey you have still just consumed over 500 calories.

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