Alcohol and Weight Gain: Alcohol Calories Add Up Fast

In the last few weeks, I have had several new patients who came in complaining of weight gain despite not eating excessively. Over the years I have seen many similar patients. When I take a history, I often find that these patients are consuming excessive amounts of alcohol every night. These patients do not realize the calorie contribution of alcohol.

This is explained in my book, Diabetes For Dummies, but it is worth emphasizing. Alcohol has calories and you have to account for it in your diet.

The proof of the alcohol is the percent of alcohol in an ounce of the drink times 2. Wine usually contains 12.5% alcohol so it is 25 proof. Beer is usually 12 proof. Liquor is often 80 proof.

You can determine the calories you are drinking by the following formula:

Calories= 0.8 times proof of the drink times ounces consumed

One of my patients was drinking three glasses of wine every night. That meant she was drinking 0.8 X 25 X 12 or 240 calories every day. Every 2 weeks she was drinking enough calories to make up a pound of fat. If she continued to eat normally, she would gain 26 pounds a year from the wine alone.

Are you still wondering why you can’t seem to lose weight?

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