Monday, July 9, 2007

Take one down, pass it around. Enjoying alcohol while dieting

You've had a great summer vacation and enjoyed fabulous 4th of July celebrations. There were picnics in the park, back yard barbecues, and alcohol. Your intentions of healthy eating have gone down the tubes. But! All is not lost. Here's the scoop on alcohol.

Information about alcohol is often asked possibly by clients wondering what they can “get away with.” Ideally, abstinence from alcohol is the best solution, but it's not always a realistic solution. More often than not, when someone is told that they "can't" or "shouldn't" eat or drink something, chances are that they will anyway. So, we work with it. Balance is the key here.

If you look at the caloric profile of the macronurtients carbohydrate, protein and fat , each provides a specific amount of energy measured in calories. Basic laws of thermodynamics say that if one’s intake of calories is greater than their expenditure, the excess calories will be stored in the form of body fat.

Nutrient

cal/gram

Carb

4

Protein

4

Fat

9

Alcohol

7 cal/oz

For example, one 12-ounce beer yields 84 cal (12 x 7), depending on the type of lager. On a typical drinking binge, several alcoholic drinks can be consumed, leading to excessive calories consumed for that day. That number alone doesn’t appear too alarming, but multiply that by the number of drinks consumed in one day, one weekend, or one vacation, and you begin to see how alcohol consumption might increase the storage of body fat.

Here is a list of drinks and their caloric totals. You can use this guide to find some of your favorites to make a good choice next time you decide to indulge in a few drinks. This information may even surprise and motivate you to cut out alcohol completely.

Drink
Serving Size
Calories
Red wine
5 oz.
100
White wine
5 oz. 100
Champagne
5 oz. 130
Light beer
12 oz. 100
Regular beer
12 oz. 140
Dark beer
12 oz. 170
Cosmopolitan
3 oz. 165
Martini
3 oz. 205
Long Island iced tea
8 oz. 400
Gin & Tonic
8 oz. 175
Rum & Soda
8 oz. 180
Margarita
8 oz. 200
Whiskey Sour
4 oz. 200

Keeping moderation in mind, other ways to decrease the impact of alcohol is by keeping hydrated. Drinking a glass of water for every alcoholic drink consumed, you'll be less likely to overindulge.

While drinking and healthy nutrition do not go hand in hand, you can still practice balance and moderation. It's still possible to enjoy life, indulge occasionally and still reach your desired fitness goal.

1 comment:

Jake Silver said...

I've always been able to drink a few on the weekends and lose weight. It's simple calories. I know exactly how much rum I am drinking and I mix it with diet soda or crystal lite lemonade or punch. Even 3 drinks in a row would net me only 180 calories, and I just budget for them.