“Alcohol Has Calories?!”

Just because someone is the father of a dietitian does not necessarily mean they know much about calories.  Case in point:  My dad and I were having dinner together many years ago, and the discussion came around to alcohol and weight loss.He was interested in losing a few pounds, and we were examining his habits.  “I know beer has calories, but I don’t drink that.  I just have vodka with some seltzer, which I know doesn’t have any.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa . . . wait a minute.  What did you just say?”  I couldn’t believe it.  The memory of that discussion  prompts me to cover this important topic.  My recent video post (9/5/10) addresses the portion sizes of alcohol, but calories were not mentioned.

Any alcoholic beverage has calories.  Regular beer is about 150 calories per 12 ounce serving.  Wine is, on average, 100 calories per 5 ounce portion.  Hard liquor (gin, rum, vodka, whiskey, etc.) is 100 calories per 1 – 1/2 ounce – the amount in a standard shot.  Don’t forget the mixers – they have calories unless they are diet drinks.  In general, they add about 150 calories for every 12 ounces.

And then there are the fancy schmansy drinks:  margaritas, specialty martinis, and drinks with ice cream and syrupy liqueurs.  Be especially cautious when you start drinking these.  Moderate drinking can fit into a healthy lifestyle, but it’s best to stick with the simpler options.  Beer, wine, and mixed drinks with calorie-free mixers are still the best bets.  Be careful out there!

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2 responses to ““Alcohol Has Calories?!”

  1. I always try to have a healthy meal before drinking as well as drinking enough water, so I don’t get dehydrated. Keeping something in my stomach helps keep me from over doing it. I’m now starting to learn more of what goes on inside the body when alchohol is involved in my anatomy class.

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