Alcohol and Weight Loss…or Rather Gain

Everyone knows that the trick to losing weight is to burn more calories than you eat by exercising in accordance to a healthy diet.  This may be true, but a person can exercise everyday and eat all the right foods and may never lose weight if they drink alcohol frequently (or a lot at once).

Let’s be honest, most of us go out a couple of nights a week.  Nothing wrong with that…the problem is that when we do go out, we may consume more calories than we think just by drinking alcohol.  And just how many drinks do you drink when you go out?  Well, all of those calories add up, and eventually lead to weight gain.

Alcohol is metabolized more quickly in your body than anything else.  First, it goes straight down into the small intestine.   A small portion of your intake is stored as fat.  The rest of the alcohol is converted into acetate by the liver, and is then transported into the bloodstream.

Though this may seem like a good thing that only a small portion of the alcohol is stored as fat, it really is not.  Your body uses the acetate as a source for energy instead of your stored fat.  So in effect, no fat gets burned, it just builds up.

Here is a list of the calories and carbohydrates in a variety of beer, wine, and hard liquor.

Click here to calcualte the amount of calories you consume on an average night out.

Beer  (12 oz. Serving size)

Brand                                                   Calories                                                                Carbs

Budweiser                                          145                                                                        10.6

Bud Lite                                             110                                                                         6.6

Coors                                                  149                                                                        12.2

Coors Lite                                         102                                                                         5

Miller Genuine Draft                       143                                                                         13.1

Miller Lite                                         96                                                                           3.2

Miller High Life                               156                                                                          11          

Michelob                                          155                                                                          13.3

Sierra Nevada                                  175                                                                          14.1

Sam Adams Boston Lager             160                                                                           18

Sam Adams Lite                             124                                                                           9.7

Yuengling                                        140                                                                           12

Yuengling Lite                                 98                                                                            6.6

Heineken                                         150                                                                         11.5

Corona                                             148                                                                          13          

Guinness Extra Stout                    153                                                                          17.4

I.C Lite                                             95                                                                            2.8

Keystone Ice                                   142                                                                          5.9

Keystone Lite                                 103                                                                          5.0

Busch                                               133                                                                          10.2

Busch Lite                                       95                                                                             3.2

Natural Lite                                    95                                                                             3.2

Wine            (Serving size = 4 oz.)

  • Antioxidants may help with heart disease, cancer, and stroke.
  • Wine is generally low in carbs, but high in calories
  • Dry wines have fewer calories than sweet wine because there is no sugar added after fermentation.

Brand                                            Calories                                   Carbs

Carbernet Sauvignon                    90                                            2.5

Merlot                                           95                                            2.5

Chianti                                           100                                          2.5

Chardonnay                                   90                                            1.1

Sauvignon Blanc                            80                                            1.1

Port                                               185                                          10

Hard Liquor     (Serving size = 1.5oz alcohol and 8oz mixer)

  • The amount of alcohol in liquor is the proof.
  • Calories in hard liquor are based on the proof.
  • 100 proof is 50% alcohol.

Brand                                                 Calories                                  Carbs

1 shot of Jack Daniels                         55                                            0

1 shot of Vodka                                   55                                            0

Gina and Tonic                                    200                                          4

Vodka Cranberry                                 220                                          5

Bloody Mary                                       180                                          4

Margarita                                           500                                          10

Long Island                                          550-750                                   11

Kamikaze                                             172                                          11

Sex on the Beach                                270                                          26.1

Rum and Coke                                     182                                          13

Jager bomb                                         158                                          14

Car bomb                                            237                                          16.9

Snake Bite                                           176                                          16.8

Amaretto Sour                                                295                                          56.8

Tips to watch your calories

  • Reduce your nights out a week, or how much you drink each night out.
  • Do some research!  Find the drinks with the fewest calories/carbs and stick to those.
  • Stick to light or low-carb beer and dry wine.
  • Watch out for snacking.
  • Watch out for serving sizes.  Don’t assume every drink you order is the recommended serving size.  Some restaurants serve cocktails in large glasses that can double the serving.
  • Look for low-calories mixers.
  • Use Ice!  Not only does the ice allow room for less alcohol in your drink, it dilutes the alcohol, meaning less calories.
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About tonicekada

I am a junior print journalism major at West Virginia University. I have two minors in Italian and fitness.
This entry was posted in Benefits to healthy living. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Alcohol and Weight Loss…or Rather Gain

  1. vince says:

    didn’t realize all them calories, that was a good blog

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