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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Beer Belly Blues?

Personally, the only beer I like is of the girly variety (raspberry lambic) but I do enjoy the vino. Actually, my newest favorite is a very dry local wine made from blueberries fermented on the skins – yum! The new Dietary Guidelines recommend exercising “moderation” if you choose to drink. What does that mean? In short, a maximum of one drink per day for women or two for men (nope, you can’t save up and spend ‘em all on the weekend). One drink equals:

5 ounces of wine (a little less than a 6 ounce yogurt container)
12 ounces of beer (standard bottle or can) or
1.5 oz of distilled spirits (shot glass)

So, can drinking in moderation give you a beer belly? Maybe. Alcohol is an appetite stimulant, and it lowers your inhibitions; a dangerous combo when a bowl of pretzels or chips is within reach (did you know that if consumed on an empty stomach alcohol hits your brain within 5 minutes?). So, if you’re going to drink, foolproof your surroundings.

At parties, stand and mingle far from the buffet table, or bring a low cal veggie tray as a “safety” dish. If you’re going out with friends, chose restaurants that offer plenty of light menu selections (a get-together at a Tex Mex place, pizza parlor, or steak house could be a heck of a lot more challenging than a sushi restaurant). And finally, rethink your mixers. Adding a half cup of regular cola, fruit juice, sour or daiquiri mix, or cream to a shot can at least double the calories. Light beer, wine, and spirits mixed with tonic are the lowest calorie options.

For more info, check out this link:
http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2005/document/html/chapter9.htm
P.S. Be safe! Don’t forget your designated driver!
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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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