Weight a minute, to booze or not?

The issue of alcohol and weight loss has long been the unresolved subject of public speculation and debate, but does this mean we should totally abstain from booze if we are to overcome the battle against the bulge?

Not so, according to the recent research conducted by online wine shop Cybercellar, whose findings assure the weight-conscious there is room for a glass of something to wet that palate without the risk of busting their waistline.

Of course, any battle to shed those extra kilos must begin with being vigilant of one's calorie intake.

Quoting statistics from Authority Nutrition, Cybercellar says an average female should consume 2000 calories a day to maintain her weight or 1500 calories a week to lose 0.5kg during that period.

In the case of men, an average male could consume 2500 calories daily to maintain his weight or 2000 calories to lose 0.5kg in a week. Given these figures, Cybercellar asserts there is room to slot in our favourite drink during our weight-limiting routine.

Thanks to the research, there now is a guide to help tipplers check the number of calories packed in various categories of drinks. For example, Sauvignon Blanc, which is generally dry and crisp, and perfect for pairing with salad, packs around 123 calories and around 3g of carbohydrates.

A small glass of wine equals around 150ml.

While the study excluded brandy and Cognacs, Distell brandy ambassador Nick Holdcroft points out that brandy is relatively low in calories compared to other alcohol, with less than 70 calories per 25ml serving and contains no carbohydrates.

SAB's Frieda Dehrmann says a 330ml serving of beer will range between 110 and 160 calories.

Notably, beer with lower alcohol has lower calorie value. And carbohydrates vary significantly according to the style of beer, with some having only around 1.6g of carbohydrates per 100ml.

Bubbly fanatics shall be happy to know that sparkling wines can tick as little as 90 calories and 1g carbohydrates. Inevitably, the sweeter range of bubbly carries more calories - in the region of 200 calories.

Graham Beck cellarmaster Pieter Ferreira reckons that even the driest of sparkling wines contains an amount of sugar, however miniscule.

According to the research, beer lovers are also on safe ground: the malt clocks at a lower scale than generally thought. A can of beer pegs at only 153 calories with much higher carbohydrates, some at 13g, though.

The research serves as a mere guide aimed at promoting a culture of calorie awareness among tipplers. For example, a calorie count for different wine grapes might differ from the Cybercellar research figures, depending on style, especially wine and beer - so check out your drink's calories and carbohydrates.

Cybercellar calorie count for other drinks

- Chardonnay - Significantly less calories: 84 calories per glass, averaging 3.18g of carbohydrates;

- Rosé - Weighs in at only 83 calories, with carbohydrate content of 2.9g per glass;

- Cabernet Sauvignon - Easy-drinking Cabs at 126 calories, with 3.82g carbohydrates;

- Shiraz - A glass of Shiraz contains an average 122 calories and 3.79g carbohydrates;

- Merlot - Calories pencilled at 83, with 3.7g carbs;

- Gin - Although packed with calories (263), it has very little- to-zero carbs. Mixed with tonic, however, it racks up 32g carbs. Rather swap tonic for soda water with lemon and mint, or find low-sugar, low-carb options; and

- Whiskey - 250 calories in every 100g, 105 calories in a shot, and carbs count at 0.1g per serving.