How Not to Drink Your Calories This New Year's

The holidays bring people together, and with all that socializing, alcohol is often the icebreaker. But if you're watching your waistline, some drinks might be better for you than others.

"Beer is about 10 calories an ounce," said Patricia Collette, a dietitian at Houston Methodist Hospital Weight Management Center. "Wine's about 25 calories an ounce, and most liquors are about 65 calories an ounce."

Light beer is perhaps the best option for calorie-minded drinkers. It has 110 calories per 12-ounce serving. White wine is 100 calories per five ounces, and red wine is 105 calories per five-ounces.

For straight shots of distilled spirits like bourbon, whiskey, scotch and vodka, it's about 50 to 100 calories per ounce. Mixers like soda and juice will add more calories.

"If you use water, club soda or a diet drink, you're not adding calories," said Collette. "Most other mixers add significant calories and in some cases, more than double the calories per drink."

Among the more calorie-laden drinks are regular beer, which packs about 150 calories for a 12-ounce drink, and margaritas, with 327 calories per six ounces.

"When you're talking about alcohol, the calories come from the alcohol. And no matter what the drink is, it's the same calories per gram," Collette said.

Some other calorie amounts:

   A seven-ounce gin and tonic packs 189 calories.

   A rum and Coke (or other similar soda) contains 361 calories.

   A six-ounce amaretto sour holds 421 calories.

   Eight ounces of eggnog adds 320 calories and 18 grams of fat.

"What is in eggnog? You have at least one type of liquor, and we know that most liquors are at least 65 calories per ounce. An ounce is a very small amount. It's less than a jigger of alcohol," Collette said. "And other things that are in eggnog could possibly be ice cream or cream, and we know that most of the calories in those foods are coming from fat."

Worse yet, alcohol calories tend to end up as fat stored in the abdomen.

ABC affiliate KTRK-TV in Houston prepared this report.

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