When counting calories, most of us are pretty good at keeping track of what we eat and drink daily. We often don’t think twice about how many calories are in our favorite alcoholic drinks.
We know that beer and wine have calories, but we often don’t realize just how many hidden calories there are in our favorite alcoholic beverages. And while a few extra calories here and there may not seem like a big deal, they can add up over time.
How alcohol contributes to weight gain
The main issue with how alcohol contributes to weight gain is that alcoholic drinks are high in calories. For example, an average-sized glass of wine can contain 160 calories, while a pint of beer can have as many as 200. And when we’re out drinking, we often end up having more than one drink, which quickly adds up.
What’s more, alcohol can also lead to poor food choices. After a few drinks, we’re often more likely to crave unhealthy comfort foods or make impulsive decisions about what we eat.
Finally, alcohol can interfere with our sleep patterns, leading to increased hunger and cravings the next day.
Alcoholic drinks that are high in calories
So, what are some alcoholic drinks that are higher in calories than you might think? Let’s take a look at a few of them:
A standard margarita contains about 300 calories, and that’s before you add any toppings like salt or sugar. If you want to cut back on calories, try ordering your margarita skinny or light syrup.
A daiquiri is another refreshing summertime drink that can be loaded with hidden calories. A strawberry daiquiri, for example, can have upwards of 500 calories. If you want to enjoy a daiquiri without all the guilt, try making your own at home with fresh fruit and low-calorie mixers.
Long Island Iced Tea
This popular cocktail is a favorite among many drinkers, but it’s also one of the most calorie-dense drinks you can order. A Long Island iced tea contains over 700 calories, so it’s best to savor it in moderation.
A mojito is a refreshing and flavorful drink, but it’s also one of the higher-calorie alcoholic beverages. A standard mojito has around 300 calories, so if you’re watching your waistline, you may want to order a smaller size or skip the mojito altogether.
This creamy and tropical drink is a favorite among many, but it’s also one of the most calorie-dense cocktails you can order. A pina colada can have upwards of 700 calories, so if you’re watching your weight, it’s best to enjoy this drink in moderation.
The hidden calories in alcohol
In addition to the calories that are found in alcoholic drinks, there are also hidden calories that can add up over time. These hidden calories come from the sugar and carbs in many alcoholic beverages.
So, if you’re trying to watch your calorie intake, check the labels on your favorite alcoholic drinks and look for ones that are lower in sugar and carbs. You may be surprised at how many hidden calories you’re consuming.
Tips for reducing the number of calories you consume from alcohol
If you’re trying to cut back on the number of calories you consume from alcohol, there are a few things you can do:
Order smaller sizes
A small drink can have a fraction of the calories of a large one.
Choose light beers or wine
These options have fewer calories than their full-calorie counterparts.
Skip the mixers
Mixers like soda and juice can add a lot of extra calories to your drink. If you’re watching your weight, stick to water or seltzer.
Watch your pour
It’s easy to pour more alcohol than you realize, so be mindful of how much you’re pouring into your glass. A standard serving is 1.5 ounces of hard liquor, 12 ounces of beer, and 5 ounces of wine.
What are the risks associated with the hidden calories in alcohol?
If you consume too many calories from alcohol, you may be at risk for weight gain. Additionally, alcohol can lead to poor food choices and disrupt sleep patterns, contributing to weight gain.
Furthermore, the hidden calories in alcohol can also add up over time and lead to long-term health problems such as obesity, heart disease, liver disease and type 2 diabetes.
The hidden calories in alcohol can add up over time and lead to long-term health problems such as obesity, heart disease, liver disease and type 2 diabetes. If you want to monitor your calorie intake, check the labels on your favorite alcoholic drinks and look for ones that are lower in sugar and carbs. You may be surprised at how many hidden calories you’re consuming. Try ordering smaller sizes, choosing light beers or wine, skipping the mixers, and being mindful of your pour. These tips can help you reduce the calories you consume from alcohol.