Hangovers And Weight Gain – The Calories In Alcohol

Ahh yes, labor day weekend is finally here.  That means we get one more day to take advantage of having no work or school.  Typically, labor day weekend entails BBQs and mini vacations to visit family and friends.  And typically BBQs and mini vacations to visit family and friends entails quite a few cocktails.  So what, it’s liquid, and therefore contains no calories to ruin our diets…especially if it’s clear (yay vodka)! WRONG! Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t indulge in anything (unless you’re under 21 of course), however, I am saying you can be smart about your cocktail choices.  When determining the night’s drink of choice, consider this:

ALCOHOL                                           CALORIES             
Beer (regular)                                   144  –  per 12 ounces

Beer (light)                                        108 –  per 12 ounces

White Wine                                       100 –  per 5 ounces

Red Wine                                           105 –  per 5 ounces

Dessert Wine                                     141 –  per 3 ounces

80 Proof Distilled Spirits               96   –  per 1.5 ounces (1 shot)
(gin, rum, vodka, whisky)

Chart obtained by the USDA National Nutrient Database at: http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2005/document/html/chapter9.htm                   
Okay well that settles it, we should go for some distilled spirits since they are lowest in calories, right?  Well, unless you’re a rocks drinker, you have to take into account the calories that come from mixers, such as: 

MIXER                                      CALORIES PER 12 OUNCES
Soda (regular)                                                124-189

Soda (diet)                                                         0-7

Orange Juice                                                  157-168

Cranberry Juice                                                205

Red Bull                                                            160

Source: Chart obtained from the USDA National Nutrient Database

Now I’m not trying to start another prohibition, but personally, knowing that a simple captain and soda pop can cost me anywhere from 220-285 calories opens my eyes a bit.  This calls for some caution to be had on the mixer choice.  Just trading the regular soda pop for some diet can save well over 100 calories.  Captain and diet is sounding much better right about now huh? Simply being aware of the caloric intake of your cocktails (something most people don’t consider) can help you stay on track with your diet. Remember, I’m not telling you to swear off alcohol, but simply to monitor your cocktail calories just as you would your food calories and you’ll be on the way to a healthier you!

Remember, whatever your caloric intake, drink responsibly! Fewer calories doesn’t mean fewer accidents!

About Dish Out The Skinny

I am currently a certified personal trainer on the challenging and rewarding path to becoming a registered dietitian. Life is hard enough...staying healthy doesn't have to be! With the ever changing "rules" to staying healthy, my goal is to create a simple blog so that the average person, like myself, can understand the ins and outs of the world that is fitness and nutrition.
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