Alcohol can be difficult to resist or avoid, particularly during the festive season. But does drinking beer really make us gain weight? And what about wine – can it actually be beneficial to our health? We’ve done the research, so what’s the truth?

What about beer?

The major hidden component in alcohol that can lead to weight gain is sugar. Taking beer as an example, there are different types of beer, including light, regular and strong beer. What distinguishes them are the type of yeast used for fermentation and the fermentation method, either top or bottom fermentation. Generally, the main difference for us is their calorie content. Most regular beer has an alcohol content of about 5%; anything lower or higher than that is considered light and strong beer respectively.

Type of beer

Serving size

Total carbs (g)


Beer, light

12 fl oz



Beer, regular

12 fl oz



Beer, strong

12 fl oz




12 fl oz




12 fl oz




12 fl oz




12 fl oz



Generally, the higher the alcohol content of a beer, the higher the calories that beer contains. A strong beer contains almost twice the amount of calories as a light beer. Light beer is generally a healthier choice since it contains the same amount of alcohol as regular beer but fewer carbohydrates – so it contains less calories and thus poses less of an effect on weight.

If you’re craving something sweeter, you may want to opt for cider instead. However, its sugar content and calories are relatively high. It would be healthier to choose ale over cider, which contains one-third of the sugar as cider, with a much lower calorie content.

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Rumors about wine

There are rumours that drinking red wine can be beneficial to one’s health, particularly owing to the antioxidant component resveratrol. Some people claim that drinking a glass of red wine before bed can contribute to weight loss. While you can also get resveratrol from fruits like blueberries, why bother drinking wine at bedtime? Well, it’s been reported that the resveratrol inside red wine is more easily absorbed, accelerating the fat-burning process by turning white fat into beige fat, which is readily burnt. However, there’s another rumour that drinking a glass of wine before bed only aids in sleep quality – you fall asleep more easily, and adequate sleep is crucial in keeping off the pounds.

Meanwhile, red wine can alter the balance of microbiota (gut flora) in your digestive tract, raising the type of good bacteria. The unabsorbed polyphenol antioxidants in the wine become a food source for the microbiota, improving the quality of the flora in the digestive tract, which can boost digestion efficiency and facilitate weight loss.

What to do?

So if you really want to have a glass of wine without gaining the lbs, what should you do?

The calorie content of a glass of wine ranges between 100–200 calories, which is equivalent to a packet of crisps or a bar of chocolate. The typical daily calorie requirement for most people is around 2,000kcal. As long as you eat within your calorie requirement, together with taking moderate exercise, you will not easily gain weight. The easiest way to include wine in your diet is to replace a snack with a glass of wine that possesses a similar calorie content. But don’t be fooled that the more wine you drink, the more pounds you can lose.

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Eatology offers various healthy meal programmes and helps clients to regain their fitness post-parties. Our meals are all calorie calculated with dieticians’ approval. For further details, visit

Or if you need some nutritional advice before your festive feasting, send us an email ( and make a consultation appointment with our in-house nutritionist.

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