Alcohol amps daily calories

By Shayna Brouker • Published: March 1st, 2013
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

So you’re still struggling to lose those five pounds from the holidays despite how strongly you strive to stick to your New Year’s resolutions. Swimsuit season is just around the corner and you’ve sworn off sweets, cut back on carbs and amped up your exercise routine. But something else could be sneaking in calories — at an average of 100 a day. Your daily dose of alcohol accounts for about 16 percent of your total calories, a tad over the recommended 15 percent limit.

The sneaky culprit behind the calories is alcohol’s high sugar content. The F-D-A considers alcohol a source of added sugar, and federal guidelines recommend that no more than 5 to 15 percent of calories come from sugar or fat. That comes to one drink a day for women and two for men — but the National Health and Nutrition Examination study revealed that women and men exceed these limits by 12 and 19 percent, respectively. The study also found that men’s main source of alcohol is beer while women sip mostly on wine and spirits.

One serving of alcohol equates to 100 to 150 calories. For example, one 12-ounce beer is about 150 calories, while a five-ounce glass of wine will set you back 120 calories. And that’s without all the added sugar of syrups loaded into mixed drinks.

But if you just can’t give up your daily dose of booze, try sipping smartly with these tips to lower liquid calories. Choose light beer and pour wine only to the half-glass to keep it within a serving. For a lighter liquor libation, choose vodka or tequila with club soda and a squeeze of lime. Try light fruit and vegetable juices as a mixer, or better yet, go straight up with flavor-infused liquor on the rocks.

Keep your liquid calories in line and you’ll be dropping pounds in no time.