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The Downside of a Drink a Day


We've been told drinking in moderation—one drink daily for us ladies—is good for our health, but, just in time to but a damper in your holidays, a new study shows it may not be so great for our waistlines.

Researchers at the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) found that the average American adult takes in about 100 calories a day from alcoholic drinks, which translates to about a 10-pound weight gain per year. That doesn't sound "moderate" to us!

While you don't have to give up alcohol entirely, if you're watching your weight, stick to one caloric beverage of any type a day, whether you decide to have a soda, energy drink, smoothie, latte, or vodka cranberry. Often people don't realize how many calories they're taking in from liquids, and if you don't adjust your daily caloric intake to account for the calories you're drinking, the weight gain can add up quickly.

Watch how much you (or the bartender) pour too. For example, one serving of wine is 5 ounces, but most glasses can hold 12 to 14 ounces.

Lastly minimize the mixers. Most of the calories in drinking aren't from the alcohol itself, but the margarita mixes, soda, and sugary syrups in cocktails. Use real lime juice, diet tonic water, or club soda to cut down on the calories and sugar in your drinks.

Need a drink after reading all that? Try these veggie-infused cocktails—they pack a powerful antioxidant punch. Then check out this list of the best and worst holiday cocktails so you know which to avoid at the next party and which are worth the calories.


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