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Weight Loss: Will Beverages and Alcohol be Your Downfall?

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How Much Weight Will You Gain From Beverages This Year?

Ahh. Cool and refreshing. A nice way to kick back on a Friday night. Happy hours, get-togethers, parties. What better way to celebrate with your friends and family, right?

Well, if you’re trying to lose weight, it can be the worst thing for you. Something that quenches your thirst can pack on pounds quickly. Quicker than you think. After one drink, all good judgement goes out the door, and if there’s food around, forget it. Stick with a single-drink policy, or non at all. Here’s a list of drinks and their calories, and also a list of better alternatives.

Non-Alcoholic Beverages


Water: 0 calories

Coffee/Tea, with 3 sugar packets, 2 TBSP half & half: 85 calories

1% Milk, 8 oz: 105 calories

Orange juice, 8 oz: 120 calories

Cranberry juice, 8 oz: 140 calories

Cola, 1 can: 140 calories

Starbucks Cafe Mocha, 16oz: 260 calories

Dunkin Donuts, Frozen Caramel Cafe Coolata, Medium, Skim Milk: 450 calories

(Don’t forget my ‘sip-of-milk’ trick)



Alcoholic Beverages

Beer, 12 oz: 155 calories

Lite Beer, 12 oz: 102 calories

Champagne flute: 100 calories 

Wine Cooler, 12 oz: 230 calories

Wine, 5 oz: 125 calories

Wine Spritzer: (3 oz wine & 3 0z club soda) 50 calories

1 oz of liquor: 65 calories

Add in 6 oz soda or juice: 135 calories

LI Iced Tea, 12 0z: 500 calories

Strawberry Daiquiri, 12 oz: 900 calories

Pina Colada, 12 oz: 600 calories

Mimosa, 1/2 o.j. & half champagne, 12 oz: 130 calories

Classic Margarita, 12 0z: 660 calories

MudSlide, 12 0z: 1,100 calories!

Cosmopolitan, 12 0z: 540 calories

Martinis, 6 oz of liquor: 600 calories

EggNog with alcohol, 8 oz: 400 calories & 14 gms of fat!

Kahlua, Amaretto, Schnapps, 1 oz: 120 calories

Baileys, 1 oz: 150 calories and 7 gms of fat! 

chrisspag Photo Courtesy of Chris Spagnuolo

I Could Go On Forever!

Look, the bottom line is: do you want to eat or drink your calories? Drink less of these and you can eat more, OR you can lose weight without really trying. I had a woman once that drank a gallon of cranberry juice a week! That equals an extra 880 calories and week, which can equate to a 1 pound weight gain every month, and an extra 12 pounds on that butt of yours at the end of the year.

I had another client that had 16 (SIXTEEN) cups of tea a day. Tea is harmless, right? Not when you put in 3 packets of sugar in each cup. 3 packets is equivalent to one slice of bread, so she was basically eating 16 slices of bread a day!

2 glasses of wine at night with dinner? An extra 1,750 calories a week and a 2 pound weight gain a month. (or loss if you stop drinking it!)

What about those bingeing weekends? 12 beers over the weekend? 1,860 calories. Finish off a bottle of wine yourself? 600 calories.

How about 4 beers and 2 shots of tequila? 750 calories. Throw in an order of wings and some potato skins? That brings your total to 1,550 calories for the evening, not including what you ate the rest of the day.


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High Calorie Cocktails vs. Fast Food

  • 10 oz Margarita – 550 Calories (4 oz. tequila, 4 oz. margarita/sour mix, 2 oz. triple sec, lime juice, 1 tsp. sugar)
  • 9 oz. Mai Tai – 620 Calories (3 oz. Light Rum, 2 oz. Dark Rum, 1 oz. Crème de Almond, 1 oz. Triple Sec, 1 oz. Sweet and Sour Mix, 1 oz. Pineapple Juice)
  • 12 oz. Piña Colada – 586 Calories (3 oz. Rum, 3 oz. Coconut Cream, 6 oz. Pineapple Juice)
  • 6 oz. Mud Slide – 556 Calories (1.5 oz. Vodka, 1.5 oz. Kahlua, 1.5 oz. Bailey’s Irish Cream, 1.5 oz. Half-and-Half)
  • 10 oz. Long Island Ice Tea – 543 Calories (1.5 oz Vodka, 1.5 oz Rum, 1.5 oz Tequila, 1.5 oz Gin, 1.5 oz Triple Sec, 2 oz Sweet and Sour, 0.5 oz Cola)


  • McDonald’s Big Mac®- 540 Calories
  • McDonald’s Large French Fries- 500 Calories
  • Pizza Hut 12 Inch Medium Pan Pepperoni Pizza (2 Slices)- 560 Calories
  • Wendy’s Double Cheeseburger- 620 Calories
  • Burger King’s Whopper® Sandwich- 670 Calories
  • Burger King’s King Sized Onion Rings- 500 Calories
  • Taco Bell Chicken Quesadilla- 520 Calories

Puts things in perspective, eh? Not much different.

chrisspagnuoloPhoto courtesy of Chris Spagnuolo

For those of you that don’t know me, I don’t drink alcohol. When I got heavily into weight training and changed my diet drastically, I didn’t want to waste my calories. I showed up to my cousin’s house one Easter, where Pina Coladas and strawberry daiquiris were making there way around the kitchen, as well as beers and straight liquor, and I just said no. It wasn’t hard to say no, I knew what my goals were, but the looks and comments everyone gave me: you’d think I told them I started eating flamingos for breakfast every morning. It took a good couple of rounds of questioning, but then it was over. I made it through the night and never turned back. Once a year I’ll have 1 beer or 1 wine cooler type-beverage, but then I always feel tired and sluggish later on, not to mention like crap the next morning. My next day is usually ruined, It’s not worth it for me anymore.

So, what do you think? What’s your drink of choice? What was the biggest shocker here? What changes will you be making?

I love hearing from you!

CHRISTINE ARDIGO – Author of Cheating to Survive & Every Five Years

The greatest compliment you can give me is when you share this with others.
I sincerely appreciate it:

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2 Thoughts on “Weight Loss: Will Beverages and Alcohol be Your Downfall?

  1. Great article! I was especially surprised by egg nog, and though I never add any liquor to it, I have long bought the low-fat and thought I was being “good.” I drink only four ounces of wine a day. When I started doing that (vs. two glasses) I dropped several pounds in 10 days. In the evening, in between my ounces of wine, I drink filtered tap water with a great new Stevia flavored liquid sweetener. Just add a few drops to my water, and I’m feeling like I’m drinking something besides just water. Berry, tangerine, lemon flavors. Zero calories. Tiny carbon footprint. Thanks Christine, for these excellent articles!

    • Christine on July 28, 2015 at 7:31 pm said:

      You are very welcome. 7 yrs ago, when i took body building seriously, i gave up all alcohol. Weird thing is, i dont miss it at all. The Stevia drinks sound yummy!

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