Sunday, March 27, 2011

Your Body and the Booze

So I had a wild side. Didn’t you? All those young, care-free, college days when living it up with your best friends meant getting plastered at the local bar or night club. Back then, having an all night party, waking up with a hangover and still making class and work the next day was easy.

Now, well past my college years, I have learned that those habits are harder to recoup from. Hangover aside, there is the fact that in a few hours of “social drinking” it is possible to consume a whole days worth of empty calories. It’s those excessive calories that add to my waist and subtract from my health.


So, to better understand what drinks are best left in the bartender's hand, I’ve created the following list:


Beer

A light weight when it comes to calories vs. liquid volume, beer can add about 150 calories to your day per 12-ounce can. And while 150 calories doesn't seem like much, they are detrimental when it comes to maintaining your waist. It’s called a “beer belly!” Instead, try light beer. You'll shave off 40 or so calories per serving.

Champagne

While it may seem light and tingly, champagne can be a bit heavy on the hips. With a whopping 84 calories in only four ounce, champagne is best saved for special occasions because it sure doesn't help you maintain your impressive physique either.

Wine

Red, white, and sweet wine are viewed as lesser evils when it comes to alcohol-based calories. Although about the same amount of calories as champagne, wines contain nutrients and antioxidants. So, while more common varieties of wine are relatively tame when it comes to pushing your calorie count, the benefit comes when you consider the various health perks that are associated with drinking a little wine each day.

Cocktails

Which ever cocktail you pick, you'll usually be drinking more calories than you would with three beers. Loaded with refined sugars, daiquiris, cooler-cocktails, and margaritas average 500 calories per serving. Pick up a martini and you're looking at a 280 calorie average. Go with a Manhattan and get 328 calories.

Now I don’t want to be party pooper, the calorie count of a single drink isn't the most important thing to consider. Drinking too much is. Add to the obvious problems that arise with intoxication, alcoholic beverages have the tendency to make you hungry. So after filling up on booze calories, you're ready for some greasy, fried calories, too!


So when you’re out and about having a great time, remember that returning to the bar time and again means hundreds of extra calories hitting you right where it hurts - whether that's your hips, your stomach, your under arms, or your thighs. So, keep the drinking under control. Your good judgment and good health are counting on it.


Until next time - Live Life Well,

John Aaron Villarreal

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