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You already know that "adult beverages" are loaded with empty sugar-and-carb calories. To keep the dreaded "party paunch" at bay, avoid sweet mixed drinks and stick to wine or light beer. Just remember: Low-calorie cocktails are by no means a free pass to overindulge. Alcohol is known to lower inhibitions; and while this is probably the primary reason we enjoy our cocktails, this fact also makes you much more likely to venture into Late-Night Nacholand after a few drinks.
And here’s one final buzzkill: Alcohol provides seven calories per gram of instant energy, almost double the calories you get from eating carbohydrates. Some of the calories from your cocktails get turned into fat, and the rest are used as a quick source of energy. So why is this important? Not only does alcohol add to your existing fat stores—when you drink alcohol, you’ll be less likely to burn your stored fat because your body is getting instant energy from the booze. And that’s a lose-lose.
DIMINISHING RETURNS. Will sticking to one or two drinks in any given evening put a damper on your social life? Probably not. In fact, that warm, happy buzz you feel after your first drink diminishes rapidly as you continue to indulge. If you know that your first drink is likely to be the best of the night, why not quit while you’re ahead? You won’t have any less fun… and you may even find yourself lightening up a bit.