Pure alcohol contains about 7 calories per gram, which makes it nearly twice as calorie dense as carbohydrates or protein (both contain about 4 calories per gram) and just under the caloric value for fat (9 calories per gram). This means that if you want to lose weight and reduce excess body fat, alcohol is not a good choice.
Alcohol containing beverages supply calories but few nutrients and may contribute to unwanted weight gain. If you need to lose weight, looking at your drinking may be a good place to start. To lose 1 pound a week, you need to consume 500 fewer calories a day than your body burns. It's best to combine eating (and drinking) less with being more physically active. Making a goal of reducing your calorie intake by 250 calories/day and exercising to burn at least 250 calories would produce a 1 pound weight loss. If you’re male and you drink 14 beers per week then you’re taking in 2, 086 calories over a week’s time or approximately 298 calories/day from alcoholic beverages. As you can see these calories can add up even when consumed within the moderate recommendations.
Total up the number of drinks you have per week and estimate the empty calories that you’re consuming. Even a small reduction can have an impact.
- Beer (12 ounce) = 149 calories
- Light Beer (12 ounce) = 100 calories
- Dry Wine/Red or White (5 ounces) = 90 calories
- Sweet Wine (5 ounces) = 125 calories
- Margarita (8 ounces) = 336 calories