To keep your pub and bar experience from backfiring at your weight loss program, here are the facts you must know: Alcohol brings in a hefty amount of calories and constitutes a ready source of energy for the body, being used preferentially over other energy sources. As such, other nutrients need not be broken down for energy, and tend to be stored as fat deposits.
One gram of pure alcohol brings in 7 kcal (almost as much as 1 gram of fat, which provides 9 kcal). Now, add sugar to an alcoholic drink, and watch
the calories multiply. Add cream (like so many cocktails nowadays do), and you're headed for a
When ordering an alcoholic drink in a bar (if you really must have alcohol), apply the
following rules of thumb to minimize the damage to your diet:
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- Avoid mixed drinks. Calories multiply with the number of components in your drink. (For example, a serving of gin and tonic contains about 280 calories.)
- Ask for low calorie mixers whenever possible.
- Avoid sweet drinks (Pina Colada, Mai Tai, Margarita, sweet dessert wine, champagne,
etc. They may bring in anywhere from 300 to 500 calories per drink.)
- Avoid creamy drinks (Mudslide, Kaluha, cream liquor, etc). Some of these drinks bring
in over 800 calories.
- Avoid concentrated alcohol drinks (Whisky, Vodka, Gin, etc). A single shot (1.5 oz)
brings in up to 200 calories, and chances are you'll have more than 1 shot.
- Stick with the following choices:
- a glass of light beer
- a glass of wine (dry or medium)
- a glass of sparkling wine.
- Make your wine into a spritzer (a longer drink, containing fewer calories).
- And last but not least: Stop at one drink! If you feel like drinking more, order a diet sprite.
- A common misconception is that light beer is similar to diet-pop (i.e., devoid of any
calorie content). This is simply not true: Light beer still brings in about 100 calories per
can (while regular beer brings in about 140-200 calories).
- Wines (except sweet dessert wines) contain 60-160 calories per 4 oz glass.
- Carbonated alcoholic beverages ('alcopops') widely available in grocery stores contain
on average more than 200 calories per 12-oz can (unless an artificial sweetener is used).
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