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Drink up?

"The calories in alcohol"
By: James BarramedaDrink up?

Alcohol isn’t really that fattening nor does it lead to weight gain. In fact, according to medical research, alcohol appears to significantly increase a person’s metabolic rate. What makes alcoholic drinks fattening is the sugar and cream that come with each serving.

The secret to keeping the calorie-count to the minimum is to choose your drink wisely. If you like beer, choose the light variant instead of the regular one to cut down as much as 50 calories a bottle. If you’re the mixed drinks kind of person, avoid the colorful yet sugary cocktails and garnishing such as sweetened cherries or chocolate shavings. A glass of plain red wine or a shot of clear liquor on the rocks will give you the same buzz with fewer calories.

A quick list of alcoholic beverages with an approximate calorie count per serving:

distilled spirits (rum, gin, vodka, tequila, whiskey, etc.) 1 standard shot glass 97
lite beer 12-ounce bottle or can 99
regular beer 12-ounce bottle or can 146
red wine 5-ounce glass 125
white wine 5-ounce glass 120
chocolate martini 2-ounce glass 167
Cosmopolitan 2-ounce glass 124
Manhattan 3.5-ounce glass 213

Even if you choose a drink that has the lowest amount of calories per serving, if you guzzle down several glasses of it, then you will inevitably gain weight. The key is moderation: four drinks per day (and 14 per week) for men and three a day (seven a week) for women.

Holiday workout

During holiday breaks, it’s hard to find time for many things—including exercise! Because it may also be a time of partying, you really need an outlet to be able to burn all those calories. If you have at least 30 minutes to spare in the morning or after office hours, devote it to exercise or any form of physical activity.

Try exploring High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Each HIIT session only takes about 20 minutes of actual workout time. As the name suggests, this training is composed of a fast and intense set of exercises that are performed in between short rest periods. The best part about this type of training is that it is designed to burn calories even after exercise because of the level of intensity that your body had to go through in just a short period of time.

If you’re not into exercise programs, you can still get extra physical activity into the holidays by walking the few blocks to your destination instead of riding a vehicle. You can also opt to take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. If a loved one is hosting a party, offer to help him to clean up the venue, set up the decorations, or cook some of the viands that will be served.

Another way to “trick” yourself into exercising is to intentionally spend a few more hours in the shopping mall or other commercial areas searching for the best buys. For instance, during Christmas holidays, make sure that the Christmas gift you’re buying for a loved one is most useful, and at the same time, good on the pocket. Try canvassing for the same item in three different stores before deciding to buy it. This way, you’re forced to walk around more.

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