by Lisa Frederiksen
You likely understand that alcohol has calories — on average, 100 calories per drink, with some drinks, like Cosmopolitans or Martinis, having closer to 200, and others, like Long Island Iced Teas, having a whopping 400 calories. It’s quite possible to add an additional 700 calories/week – even if you are a moderate drinker [defined as 7 standard drinks/week for woman and 2 standard drinks/week for men].
Over 52 weeks, that’s 36,400 calories (52 weeks x 700 calories/week = 36,400). Assuming you’re eating a healthy diet that has not counted the calories from alcohol and regularly exercise to burn the calories consumed in that healthy diet, you’ll gain about 10 pounds a year. Yes, 10 pounds! (10 pounds, 4 ounces to be exact.)
One pound = 3500 calories. Thus, if you eat or drink 3500 more calories than your body burns, you’ll gain a pound. By the same token, cut out 3500 calories (or exercise more in order to burn more calories), you’ll lose a pound.
But there is so much more to this idea of diet, alcohol, health and calories than gaining weight. So I’d like to direct you to an excellent article, Thinner You: Alcohol and Weight Loss by Liz Noelcke. [Two of the subtitles are: "Alcohol is Metabolized Differently" and "Alcohol Lowers Your Inhibitions Which is Detrimental to Your Diet Plans."]