Michael Mosley weight loss: Alcoholic drink that cuts down on calories – ‘health benefits’

Liz Earle Wellbeing: Fasting discussion with Michael Mosley

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Summer is here and whilst people are out and about with friends, they don’t want to be worrying about their diets and what they’re drinking. Alcoholic drinks do contain many hidden calories but Dr Michael Mosley has suggested one variation that can decrease a person’s calorie intake and alcohol consumption.

Dr Michael Mosley is the founder of the popular Fast 800 diet plan, a low-carb Mediterranean-style diet which is low in sugar and starchy carbohydrates but packed full of disease-fighting nutrients.

And it also includes a splash of alcohol.

Dr Mosley explained: “If you’re meeting up with friends or family in an outdoor setting, take drinks with you as it can be tempting to succumb into the high in sugar, alcoholic options that may be offered.

“Following a Mediterranean-style diet doesn’t deprive you of alcohol completely; red wine is our preferred drink of choice as it does have some health benefits, and may contribute a reduced risk of health conditions, if consumed in moderation.”

He explained that people don’t need to “completely abstain from alcohol”.

“Alcohol also counters natural clotting factors in the blood, offering some protection against thrombosis and strokes caused by blood clots,” he said.

“Increasing alcohol consumption beyond one drink per day, on the other hand, increases the risk of strokes caused by bleeds.

“When drinking alcohol, it’s important to do so mindfully.”

He suggested red wine as a go-to option if people don’t want to remove it completely from their diets.

“When consumed in moderation, red wine does have some health benefits,” he continued.

“Red wine is rich in resveratrol, an antioxidant which has been recognised to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.”

The expert also offered a handy tip for a lower calorie drink.

He said: “By combining wine with sparkling water you’ll get more to drink with less alcohol and sugar and enjoy a lovely refreshing red wine spritzer.”

His recipe for a red wine spritzer includes:

Serves: 1

Calories per serving: 93

Prep time: 2 minutes


120ml dry red wine, chilled

120ml soda water, chilled

Orange slices

Ice (optional)


Pour chilled red into a glass filled with ice, top with soda water and garnish with an orange slice.

But Dr Mosley warned that drinking can also bring on cravings for unhealthy food.

He said: “Disinhibition removes your willpower however, there’s more to it than that.

“It’s likely that you’ve experienced the common desire for more food after a night of drinking and there’s a good reason for this.

“Two hormones that play a large role are leptin and ghrelin; leptin reduces hunger while ghrelin increases it.

“When you drink alcohol, your leptin levels are obstructed, while ghrelin levels are elevated, increasing your appetite as a result.”

He continued: “This is part of the reason people reach for the chocolate, crisps or the takeaway shop after a few drinks – these levels remain imbalanced the following day too.”

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