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How Much Damage Can Drinking Alcohol Do to Your Diet?

In a recent “Speak Out” message, ETR reader NPR expressed concern over the fact that MMF continues to drink beer and wine, even while seriously dieting. “If you’re trying to have less than 2,000 or 1,500 calories per day, “NPR wrote, “a single beer (150 calories?) could ruin the diet for that day.”

Actually, the amount of calories and carbs in alcoholic beverages varies quite a bit. But, in general, it is lower than that of much of the food — especially processed foods — that so many people eat at every meal.

My friend TG enjoys a bottle of Rolling Rock beer once in a while. This has 13 grams of carbs and about 120 calories. If he simply switched to something like the new Michelob Ultra (a low-carb beer that I’ve been drinking lately) — which has only 2.6 grams of carbs and 95 calories — he could have five Michs and end up with exactly the same carbs as a single Rolling Rock. (Of course, he might end up with some other problems if he starts drinking five beers at a time.)

As for wine, to calculate the number of calories, multiply the number of ounces in your glass by the percent of alcohol in the wine by 1.6. So, for example, if you have six ounces of wine that has a 12% alcohol content in your glass, you would have: 6 x 12 x 1.6 = 115 calories

And wine has a very low carb content — only about 1 gram per glass. Now, if, as Dr. Sears points out, you were to stop for a quick Big Mac, Coke, and large fries instead of having a drink or two, you’d be talking about a belt-busting 1,280 calories and 158 grams of carbohydrates.

It’s enough to make me check out “The  Drink Beer, Get Thin Diet” book I saw on Amazon the other day It might not be as crazy as it sounds!