After a long day’s work happy hour is screaming your name. A time to sit back and relax with friends and put one back. Sounds fun…only it could be causing that extra bulge you’ve been noticing lately. Alcoholic drinks are great for winding down however they are great for adding on the pounds as they are filled with calories.

One Cosmo can easily consist of 150 calories. A margarita, 350 calories. And a Long Island, a bulging 600 calories. Simply put…you are drinking your calories.

Beer and wine are definitely no better. You’re thinking one glass of wine each night isn’t going to hurt me. Well…actually that one nightly glass of wine packs on an additional 700 calories each week, adding more than 10 pounds of flab in a year. Ouch!

When the alcoholic percentage goes up so do the calories. If you want a drink but are also watching your figure try opting for club soda, diet soda and water as mixers. Many drinks are made with sweetened mixers that just add to the calories, ounce by ounce.

Most clear liquors have less carbohydrates as well. Beer and wine may seem like great alternatives but are loaded with carbs.

Beverage Calories
White wine spritzer 80
Red wine 170
Champagne 86
Light beer 75
Bloody Mary 130
Dry martini [2.5 oz] 163
Dessert wine 174
Hot buttered rum 254
White Russian [4.5 oz] 404

Happy hour and drinks with friends is a great social outing and having a drink isn’t going to kill you or your diet efforts. What you need to be careful of is the consumption of alcohol usually tends to inhibit snacking and unnecessary eating. That with the combination of alcohol will definitely derail your weight-loss goal.

Calories from alcohol typically settle in your belly area hence the name “beer belly.” Alcohol just like soda and other sugary drinks are empty calories that just pack on the pounds. If you’re out drinking try to have a glass of water in between every drink. It will help flush your system out faster.

Drinking isn’t all bad, however. Studies have shown that a drink here and there can actually lower your risk of heart disease. Of course there are exceptions including those who are pregnant, those on specific medications and other scenarios. Definitely speak with your physician if you have any concerns.

We all deserve a nice glass of wine to unwind…so treat yourself just don’t over due it. As with anything drink in moderation.