Drink This. Not That.
We all know the key to living a healthy lifestyle is diet and exercise, but when it comes to your diet, the most important keyword and mindset is “moderation.” The hardest part of starting a new diet or workout plan is being committed and staying consistent. And if you’re living a sociable lifestyle, the inability to take control of your diet and drinking can take a toll on your fitness goals.
When it comes to alcoholic drinks, it’s not a good mix in your efforts of weight management. When your body possesses alcohol first, carbs (carbohydrates) and calories are left to get stored as fat instead of getting used as fuel. Consider that all drinks are not equal to dieting and some choices are better than others. It’s best to stay away from a majority of beers and “liquored-up” cocktails with the artificial cherry and fancy paper umbrellas. A good rule of thumb when browsing the drink menu is the higher the alcohol content, the higher the calories. Consider ordering the following alcoholic beverages next time you’re at your after five event or night on the town:
Drink This Wine (per 5 oz.):
- Chardonnay 100 calories, 2 g carbs
- Pinot Grigio 100 calories, 2 g carbs
- Zinfandel White Wine 100 calories, 2 g carbs
- Cabernet Sauvignon 100 calories, 4 g carbs
- Merlot Red Wine 100 calories, 4 g carbs
Don’t Drink: No listing, but never drink a bottle of wine that has a picture of an animal on the label and remember this rule on wine versus beer. From David Luiz, white wine is less fattening than red wine, sweet wine is more fattening than dry wine, and overall a majority of wines are more fattening than beer.
Drink This Liquor (single shot):
- Gin on the rocks 56 calories
- Gin & Tonic 120 calories
Liquor brands: Beef Eater, Bombay Sapphire, Hendrick’s, and Tanqueray
- Martini Bianco 72 calories
- Martini Extra Dry 48 calories
- Whiskey & Diet Coke 64 calories
- Choice liquor: Jack Daniels, Southern Comfort
- Vodka, Lime & Soda (40% alcohol; most common) 76 calories per 1 oz.
- Choice liquor: Absolut, Belvedere, Ciroc, Grey Goose, and Skyy
My regular choice has always been vodka, lime and soda, but if you are craving a bit more, especially whiskey, the above are fine choices. Tequila fan? Order a tequila and lime on the rocks, 100 calories, but you can cancel that with eight minutes of swimming.
Don’t drink: Long Island Ice Tea, Margarita, White Russian, and Mai Tai.
You won’t regret this, but maybe you will depending on how you take it. Stay away from “crazy” cocktails like the Long Island Ice Tea, with a whopping 780 calories and 44 g of carbs, you might as well order the Number 12 dinner special at your local Mexican restaurant. Speaking of Mexican, one margarita has 740 calories and 56 g of carbs. And believe it or not, the frozen version has even more! How to burn it off? Plan on getting sick or run seven miles if you can the next morning.
Drink this beer:
- Budweiser Select 55 55 calories, 1.9 g carbs
- Miller Geuine Draft 64 64 calories, 2.4 g carbs
- Beck’s Premier Light 64 calories, 3.9 g carbs
- Michelob Ultra 95 calories, 2.6 g carbs
- Amstel Light 95 calories, 5 g carbs
On average, regular beers have 145 calories and 11 grams of carbs per 12 ounce serving, but they can vary. Another good rule of thumb is the darker the beer, typically the more sugars are involved and equate to more calories.
Don’t drink: Leinenkugel, New belgium, Sierra Nevada Stout, and Sam Adams
Yes, as long as you drink in moderation, beer is essential, especially after a long run. However, if you want to avoid the beer gut, stay away from brands like Sam Adams that have 180 calories per 12 oz. bottle and dark lager’s like Leinenkugel and Sierra Nevada, and craft beers like New Belgium which average a whopping 156 calories.
Hopefully, you’ll make wise decisions next time you’re at the bar and remember to toast to great health and moderation. Cheers!
Sources: AskMen.com, FitSugar.com and SparkPeople.com
Jason Yu is Partner and Director of Marketing for The Hardwicke Group in Richmond, VA. His company specializes in new media, PR and influence with an emphasis on digital marketing strategy and reputation management. Jason enjoys keeping active by biking, running and working out on a daily basis. Jason has ran in over twenty running races including the Marine Corps Marathon, Tough Mudder, Richmond Marathon, and Xterra races. Interesting facts about Jason is that he is a music fanatic, in search fro the best macaroni and cheese, and aspiring “mixologist.”
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