Q: What is the story about drinking alcohol and trying to lose weight? I’ve heard that one glass of wine or one mixed drink will wipe out a whole week’s worth of faithful dieting. Is this true?
A: Relax and have a drink if you want. One drink is not going to pack on the pounds or keep those extra ones sticking around. In fact, drinking moderate amounts of alcohol – about two drinks a day for men and one for most women — probably won’t affect your waistline, although it could lead to other health problems.
Still, you can’t ignore the calories that most of us consume while drinking, especially the high-fat ones (from peanuts or potato chips, for instance). So if you are indulging, keep it to a minimum, munch on low-fat, low-cal snacks and adjust your food intake accordingly.
Here are some average calorie counts for popular drinks:
|Beer 12 oz. can||146 calories|
|Beer, light 12 oz. can||99 calories|
|Gin & tonic 4 oz. drink||91 calories|
|Pina colada 4.5 oz. drink||262 calories|
|Wine 3.5 oz. glass||72 calories|
Aside from alcohol’s effect on the bathroom scale, keep in mind that there are adverse effects that may result from drinking alcohol, including possibly increasing a woman’s risk of breast cancer.