Research is continually being conducted on the impact of alcohol calories on weight loss, as alcoholic beverages are a regular part of the lifestyles of many people – particularly at social events – and a better understanding of the way that its consumption affects the waistline can help people to make better decisions when they are trying to lose or maintain their weight.
So, the next time that you’re at a social event, or even just relaxing at the end of a long day, will that glass of wine really hurt your weight, or can you actually have it guilt-free? Continue reading to get the answer on alcohol calories so you can keep your diet on track.
Think About Calories with All Types of Alcohol
What the most recent studies are now indicating is that it is not simply specific drinks that contribute to an expanding waistline. Instead there may be multiple factors at play. For example, beer has been linked to beer bellies, but what about a glass of wine? This is often considered to be confusing, as other studies suggest that a glass of red wine with a meal every day may have some important health benefits.
When considering an alcoholic beverage in terms of its impact on weight, try not to think only about its alcohol content. Factor in other issues such as calories per ounce, and what you will typically eat when you have that drink. After all, if you enjoy wine and cheese, or beer with cheese nachos, that will certainly have a higher caloric impact than if you drank a pina colada and raw veggies, despite the fact that the latter beverage has the largest number of calories, by far.
A Look at Alcohol Calories in Various Alcoholic Beverages
Consider the following alcohol calories counts for the beverages you love the most:
- Beer – Approximately 12.5 calories per ounce. This means that the average 12 ounce glass of beer contains about 150 calories. Light beers, on the other hand, are better alternatives as they average around 100 calories per glass. Take care with the snacks you choose to enjoy alongside this drink.
- Red Wine – Approximately 25 calories per ounce. This means that the average 5 ounce glass contains about 125 calories. This is considered to be a great drink because it has anti-inflammatory properties that can promote better cardiovascular health. However, take care with the number of glasses you drink, as the drawbacks of this beverage negate the benefits after one and a half to two glasses per day.
- Margarita – Approximately 46.5 calories per ounce. This means that the average 6 ounce glass has about 280 calories. Be careful with your calorie and sodium levels with this drink. Not only is the glass rimmed with salt, but salty snacks can also be hard to resist while drinking it. Have only one and enjoy homemade guacamole with toasted tortilla wedges as an alternative to bags of nachos.
- Pina Colada – Approximately 76.5 calories per ounce. This means that the average 6 ounce glass has about 460 calories. The ingredients – such as coconut and pineapple juice – are very high in sugar and calories.
How to Enjoy Wine Without Having to Worry About Your Waistline
Sure, wine contains alcohol calories that you need to take into consideration, just as you would take other beverages into consideration if they contain calories and you are on a diet to lose weight. But even though you will be ingesting some alcohol calories with every glass of wine, there are ways to enjoy that tasty drink without having to worry so much about whether or not it will get in the way of your weight loss goals. Just follow the tips below:
- Stay active so that you won’t have to feel guilty about having a glass of wine every now and then. That way, those alcohol calories won’t be much to worry about.
- According to Wine Folly, it is best to not drink any wine before you have a meal. Doing so might cause your appetite to increase, which means you will end up eating more food, and consuming more calories. Avoid having wine 30 minutes prior to eating to avoid these consequences. Instead, have your wine with your meal.
- Consider buying wine that’s a bit more expensive than what you typically purchase, particularly if you are the type of person who consumes a bottle of wine rather quickly. Perhaps spending more money on a bottle of wine will encourage you to drink the wine more slowly, and that will make it last longer because you will be drinking smaller amounts of it less often.
- Because having alcohol calories is similar to eating carbs, avoid drinking wine too late in the evening. If you are going to bed around 11 p.m., for example, you might want to stop eating food and drinking wine by 7:30 p.m., the latest. This might help prevent weight gain.
Be Smart About Your Wine Consumption
Alcohol calories are definitely worth thinking about whenever you decide to indulge in some wine, or any other alcoholic beverage, for that matter. Different types of wine will have different amounts of calories, so take that into consideration, too. Once you get the hang of things, you’ll have a strategy in place that will allow you to enjoy your glass of wine without having to worry about it getting in the way of your weight loss goals.