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How To Keep Your Calories From Alcohol in Check

May 1st, 2013

calories from alcoholWhen counting our calorie consumption, we often overlook the ones we get from alcoholic beverages. According to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, alcohol is one of the biggest contributors of empty calories in the American diet. An average adult gets about 100 calories a day from alcohol. That may sound small, but it can add up to a pound of weight gain over a one month period.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans advises alcohol consumers to keep everything in moderation. That’s up to one standard drink for women and up to two drinks for men each day. However, that doesn’t mean you can skip drinks on weekdays and go on a drinking spree on the weekend. Following this simple rule is a great way to keep your alcohol consumption in check. A “standard” drink is any drink that contains 0.6 fluid ounces or 14 grams of pure alcohol.

A few tricks to keep your Calories from alcohol calories in check:

Choose low calorie drinks. Different drinks have different calories. For example, light beer can contain as low as 70 calories but the high-alcohol version can have as much as 300 calories. As a rule, you need to stay away from high alcohol content if you want lower calories.

The calorie content of mixed drinks can vary a lot. A glass of Long Island Iced Tea can have as much as 780 calories while a serving of Mai Tai packs in about 600 calories from alcohol. Opt for low calorie drinks such as Mimosa and Wine Spritzer.

Make each drink last longer. Doing shots is one of the worst things you can do if you want to limit your calories from alcohol. A shot not only hastens delivery of alcohol, it also leaves you with empty hands which makes you reach for another drink. Choose a mixed drink served in a tall glass and make it last a long time.

Plan for alternative low-calorie “mocktails.” Serving cocktails can give your parties a festive atmosphere, so you can keep the mood up by adding “mocktails” to your rotation. You can trade them for higher-calorie beverages, or even make them the only option for the night. Club soda is a popular choice because it adds bubbles but not calories. Try adding it to a few ounces of pineapple or cranberry juice, mint, and syrup. That’s a grand total of 50 calories for one drink.

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