You may be surprised by the number of empty calories you consume through alcoholic beverages. You get the same number of calories with a beer as you do with a glass of orange juice or 1% milk, with none of the nutrition. Did you know that the difference between a Budweiser and Bud Light is only 35 calories? As consider that pint glasses hold 16 ounces of beer, which means that you’re looking at 1.33 servings in each drink from the bar.
It looks even worse for mixed drinks. A 1.5oz shot of 100-proof alcohol has the same caloric value as a beer. Add in mixers, and your margarita or Long Island Iced Tea could be the equivalent of 2 beers. In addition, studies have shown that alcohol stimulates the appetite during dinner, resulting in increased caloric intake, which is on top of the amount of calories in the alcohol itself. Just think about how often you indulge in unhealthy fried foods, takeout, and pizza under the influence of alcohol. Furthermore, diet quality has been shown to be poorest among the highest quantity, least frequent drinkers. The Freshman Fifteen is due in no small part to the increased consumption of alcohol. Go the Booze Calculatorto convert your drinks to their food equivalents.
To avoid the calories associated with heavy alcohol use, you can begin by counting the number of drinks you have in a typical evening and how many calories that translates into. From here, you may know to avoid certain types of beverages that are high in calories (hint: it’s the sugary ones). You can also set limits on the number of drinks you will have before going out. Finally, if you don’t have a hangover the next day, you’ll have the time and energy to make the most of the fall weather and get some exercise!