drinking and dietingDrinking And Dieting

Most women say, [This dessert is going straight to my hips,] men should say, [This beer is going straight to my belly.] That's because it's difficult for your body to use alcohol calories for energy. Which means, watch out! -- because those calories usually get turned into fat. A gram of alcohol is worth 7 calories, compared with a gram of protein or carbohydrate, worth 4 calories each.

So what's a beer-drinking or wine-sipping weight-conscious person to do?

When it comes to alcoholic beverages, drinking and dieting never goes together as the calorie count in most drinks is fairly high.

Since almost all alcoholic beverages contain calories, even lite beers can contain as much as 100 calories per 12-ounce serving, consuming drinking and dieting may actually hinder weight loss efforts. Additionally, it is recommended that when a person drinks it not be on an empty stomach and from the influence of the alcohol their choice in food may not always be consistent with their dieting efforts.

Many believe that the calories contained in alcohol is insignificant and by mixing it with diet drinks will improve their chances of losing weight. It has been found that drinks made with artificial sweeteners can make a person drunk faster, drinking and dieting with diet mixes may unintentionally cause them to drink less. Although a single shot of most hard liquors can have as much as 100 calories, some almost twice as high.

Wine on the other hand contributes few carbs but around 160 calories per cup, with only sweet dessert wines tipping the scales in both calories and carbs. One way to make your one delicious cup of wine last longer is to make a spritzer by blending wine with an equal amount of seltzer, club soda, or diet 7 UP. Purists, of course, can simply sip theirs as is, or enjoy it with a meal.

Non-alcoholic beers have fewer calories than light beers but "light" beers have fewer carb grams and "low-carb beers" fewer still (averaging 95 calories and 2.6 grams of carbohydrates). Choose either kind of brew and you're ahead of regular beer drinkers, who imbibe 140 calories and 13 grams of carbohydrates with every bottle or can. American beer makers seem to be into the "light" beer act these days. Which one tastes best? My guess is if you like Coors you'll probably like Coors Light, and if you're a Bud imbiber, you'll probably like Bud Light best.

As with all food and drink items, the calorie count in a product is usually increased when other items are added to it, such is the case with mixed drinks. A shot, three-quarter ounce of tequila, for example contains about 115 calories. Adding in the grenadine and other ingredients, increase the calorie count for a four ounce tequila sunrise to about 200 calories, shining a new light on the effects of drinking and dieting.

Even low-carb alcoholic beverages will contain about the same number of calories, they are just attributed to different sources. Whether the calorie is from fat, from carbohydrates or from sugar, the calorie will still hinder weight loss efforts. The effects of drinking and dieting can be obvious with those who exhibit the classic signs of too much drinking with a larger, protruding stomach. Although, the same effect can be seen on someone who has been know to drink substantial amounts of water and whose body tends to retain the water.

What About Health Benefits Of Moderate Alcohol Drinking?

The research on alcohol and wine offers drinkers a mixed bag of health benefits. People who limit alcohol have a lower risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and bone loss, (women also having a lower risk of breast cancer). But moderate drinking helps lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Drinking Water And Dieting

Many diets call for drinking plenty of water to help make a person feel full while helping to cleanse the system. However, some persons may counteract their attempt to lose weight by eating foods that tend to help the body retain water, and drinking water may actually make them gain weight.

As with anything, moderation is the key and while drinking and dieting will not necessarily negate the dieting efforts, it must be in moderation if, for no other reason, than to limit the number of calories being consumed. Drinking and dieting-- always drink in moderation.

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