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The Truth About the Calories in Alcohol

When coming to college, my parents warned me about putting on the freshman fifteen that comes along with the unlimited cafeteria plan and the party scene.  As bathing suit season nears, that consciousness comes racing back to me.  You don’t have to give up alcohol to flaunt the perfect body; it must all come with informed decisions and moderation.
Some drinks contain more calories than others.  This may not come as news to you, but some of the lower calorie drinks may surprise you. 

Alcohol Type Serving Calories
Beer (Regular) 12 oz 149
Beer (Light) 12 oz 110
Vodka, Gin
Rum, Whiskey
1 oz 65
White Wine 4 oz 105
Red Wine 4 oz 80

While these are approximate values, the most shocking part is the serving size; a regular shot glass measures 1.5 ounces, not 1 ounce!  Next time you may think twice about finishing that bottle of wine by yourself, especially if it is white.  These values are also prior to adding a mixer or chaser to the drink, which are usually high in both calories and processed sugar.  Maragarita mix alone adds 168 calories, on average, to your drink.
One of the old adages in drinking is to eat a lighter dinner so you can drink more.   DO NOT DO THIS!  When you take away the food, you are cutting back on the valuable nutrients your body needs to recover after a workout and your mind needs to process during a test. While it is true you will be taking in fewer calories, you will not be getting the right calories.
According to Dr. Atkins, creator of the Atkins diet for weight loss, the calories you intake while drinking are the first ones that your body burns. For example, the dancing while you are drinking will burn the alcohol calories, as will an early morning workout or sauna session.  If you are trying to loose or maintain a certain weight, the other calories will not be burned.  The real culprit then lies in the trips to Hot Diggity Dogs and Market Street Deli.  They will not be the things burned off by your next workout.
Long story short, drinking in moderation will help you maintain a healthy weight.  At the same time, it is important to consider the foods you eat before and after drinking.  If you are eating high calorie foods, fatty foods before and after, they will stick to your hips. 
Sources: http://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov/collegestudents/calculator/alcoholcalc.aspx

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