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Sunday, May 16, 2021

Western Wellness: Skip the alcohol

It’s all fun and games until you realize you’ve gained 10 pounds in only a few short months. Sure, some of the food choices you made recently weren’t the best, and maybe you haven’t been able to hit the gym in a few weeks. But 10 pounds, that’s significant.

The key is to not just think about the food you consume or your lack of exercise, what about all the calories you consume from alcohol?

It’s great to come home from a long day at school or work and have a cold beer or glass of wine with your dinner. But here’s my advice: don’t.

It still looks like a balanced meal, doesn’t it? Well, don’t let it fool you. While it may look harmless sitting next to your fruits and veggies, those calories can really add up.

If you have even a five ounce glass of wine every night with your dinner, that’s about 106 calories per glass, or 742 calories per week. And that’s not including weekend consumption.

When you’re a college student, what do you do on the weekends? Probably party. If you’re having problems with weight gain and you consume alcohol every weekend, that’s the problem.

The amount of calories you consume from alcohol obviously depends on what you drink and how much. Just to give you an idea of just how many calories you can throw back at a party, let’s look at vodka.

According to the nutrition facts for Absolut Vodka, there are 64 calories per 1 ounce. Depending on how much you drink, that can really add up. And in all honesty, if you’re at a party, you’re most likely drinking to get drunk.

Now when you add up the alcohol consumed during the week and the weekend, it can get pretty scary.

Standard drink size varies depending on the kind of alcohol. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, five fluid ounces of wine and one and a half fluid ounces of vodka is a standard drink.

Looking at the infographic above, a female college student drinks an average of four drinks per week. Great, but what does that look like in calories?

Say two of those drinks are wine, and the other two are vodka. That’s 212 calories from wine, and 192 calories from vodka with a total of 404 calories.

At an average of nine drinks a week for males, you’re looking at potentially 1,000 calories just from alcohol.

So a little piece of advice for weekly alcohol drinkers and party goers, cut back on your alcohol consumption if you’re looking to shed a few pounds.

It may not seem like a lot, but those calories add up, especially in addition to all the other food and drinks you consume during the week.

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