To lose weight we know that your calories in have to be less than your calories burned. So you may have to cut out certain foods that you really enjoy in order to keep that calorie count down. This can be very difficult to do over the long run without feeling deprived. One thing that people may not think about at first but end up missing later is their occasional adult beverage. The good news is that you may be able to enjoy your adult beverage of choice, in moderation, without completely derailing your weight loss efforts. Moderate drinking is defined as 1 drink for women and 2 drinks for men a day. A drink is considered 12 oz. of beer, 5 oz. of wine or 1.5 oz. of spirits.
Our bodies process alcohol first, leaving any other carbs and fats to be stored instead of burned as fuel. If you are going to have an adult beverage, pay attention to what you’re eating with it. Appetizers and beer nuts will wreck your plans quickly. Studies have shown that alcohol stimulates appetite while decreased inhibitions make you more likely to follow your impulses. As a result, you may not make the best food choices when you drink. You can combat this by drinking water in addition to your adult beverage. The water will help to keep your tummy feeling ful, which will help you avoid over indulging on food and alcohol.
Even if you are careful about how much you are drinking and eating, your drink choice can have a huge impact on your diet. Wine is the most calorie friendly choice you can make, with an average of 20 calories per ounce, white or red. Dessert wines and sweet wines, however, have more calories even when served in smaller portions (3.5 oz.).
Beer can be a good choice too, depending on what you choose. Typical beers will range from 108 calories per bottle (12 oz.) to 144 calories. Obviously light beers will have fewer calories while lagers and ales will have as many as 200 calories per bottle. So if you want to have a beer, just know what you are getting yourself into. Also, your beer intake can be hard to judge when it is poured from a pitcher or large tap glass.
Hard liquor is higher in calories per ounce than wine and when mixed with soda or juice that calorie count can sneak up on you. Use no-calorie mixers like soda water or diet sodas to lower the caloric value. But also be aware that studies show that artificial sweeteners make alcohol enter your bloodstream more quickly.
It is difficult to stick to a diet when you feel deprived. When done smartly, enjoying your adult beverage of choice can be a reward without ruining your healthy lifestyle. Enjoying that beverage with informed choices doesn’t have to set you back in your weight loss goal. You can lose weight without losing fun.