Alcohol and weight loss are not compatible when it comes to watching calories, but an occasional drink can have a place in a healthy lifestyle.

Alcohol has no fat in it. However, the empty calories add up quick. And like always, these calories put on the pounds when not burned off.

When alcohol is consumed, it gets special privileges and needs no digestion. The alcohol arrives at the liver for processing. The liver places all of its attention on the alcohol. Therefore, the glucose and dietary fats are just changed into body fat, waiting to be carried away for permanent fat storage in the body.

Alcohol actually stimulates your appetite. While you might be full from a comparable amount of calories from food, several drinks might not fill you up. On top of that, research shows that if you drink before or during a meal, both your inhibitions and willpower are reduced. In this state, you are more likely to overeat—especially greasy or fried foods—which can add to your waistline. To avoid this, wait to order that drink until you're done with your meal.

Many foods that accompany drinking like peanuts, pretzels and chips are salty, which can make you thirsty, encouraging you to drink even more. To avoid overdrinking, sip on a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage.

Skipping a meal to save your calories for drinks later is a bad idea. Many drinkers know they'll be having some alcohol later, whether going to a bar, party, or just taking it easy at home. Knowing that drinking brings extra calories, it may be tempting to "bank" some calories by skipping a meal or two.

This is not a smart move. If you're planning on drinking later, eat a healthy meal first. You'll feel fuller, which will stop you from overdrinking. If you are worried about a long night out with your friends, include an extra 30 minutes of exercise to balance your calories—instead of skipping a meal.

All alcohol has plenty of calories, but beer remains one of the best choices regarding caloric intake. The most common beers have between 100 –120 calories per beer.  Light beers can be as low as 65 calories per 12 ounces. A Wine has 100 calories per 5 ounces.

Martini's have 200 calories for 3 ounces, a Long island ice tea has 400 calories per 8 ounces, and a margarita has 200 calories per 8 ounces...but who stops at 8 ounces?

We'd rather you eat your calories instead of drinking them.

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