“Adult Beverage” Calories Add Up Fast

“But I really do not eat that much”. Did you forget about the martini followed by the bottle of wine you shared last night? What about the margaritas (multiple) you had out with the girls the past weekend? Does this sound familiar?

Do you have a “cosmo” belly?
When estimating calorie intake many people completely disregard or greatly underestimate the amount of energy provided in each beverage especially alcoholic beverages.  Meeting friends for drinks after work or late at night can significantly increase calorie intake and weight gain if you don’t know which drinks or how many drinks to order.  Most people have heard of getting a “beer belly” from excessive intake of beer, however cocktails and wine can also lead to weight gain… perhaps a “wine belly” or a “cosmo belly” if those are your drinks of choice.   Alcohol provides 7 calories per gram which is significant compared to protein and carbohydrates that only provide 4 calories per gram.  As with all foods and beverages, moderation is key. You don’t have to miss out on happy hour or a night out; just making better choices at the bar can keep your calorie intake balanced and prevent extra weight gain.

The calories from alcohol add up quickly
Also think about which beverages you tend to drink in large quantities.  While chatting and catching up with friends it’s easy to order 3 to 4 drinks without even thinking about it.  I myself have found that there are certain drinks that I will finish in no time, and other drinks I tend to drink slowly throughout the night.  Another trick I use is drinking from the skinny cocktail straws; this greatly slows down how fast I drink and reduces the amount of drinks I order.  More tips on how to fit alcohol into your diet will be posted in a few weeks.

The calories from alcohol can lead to weight gain
Below is a list of many beers, wines, cocktails, and shots.  Look for your favorites and determine how many calories you tend to drink in a night.  Remember all calorie when consumed in excess of your needs will lead to weight gain. It does not matter whether the calories are from food or alcohol.  So if you are looking for the culprit of your weight gain, or your inability to lose weight, it may just be that night out or happy hour with your friends.  Try lower calorie drinks and maybe change some of your behaviors while drinking so you are mindful of how many drinks and calories you are actually taking in.

Here are the calories of some common alcoholic beverages. Keep in mind that drink sizes (as well as prices as we all know too well!)  will vary depending upon where you go. This will obviously affect the calories. Most restaurants and bars use anywhere from 1-2 shots of alcohol for most drinks (plus the mixer). Our calculations are estimations.

Type of alcoholic beverageCalories
(based on 12 fl. oz)
Amstel Light100
Bud Light110
Coors Original140
Coors Light105
Corona Extra150
Corona Light105
Guiness Extra Stout175
Heineken Premium Light100
Rolling Rock120
Sam Adams Light130
Sierra Nevada200
(based on 4 fl. oz or 1/2 large glass)
Red wine80
White wine
- Dry75
- Zinfandel sweet85
(averge sized cocktail. Nutritional info accumulated from several sources)
Bloody Mary150
Frozen Daiquiri336
Gin and Tonic200
Irish Coffee175
Kahlua Mudslide270
Long Island Ice Tea290
Mai Tai220
Margarita on the rocks265
Margarita frozen340
Pina colada330
Whiskey Sour280
Rum and Coke200
Vodka and Cranberry200
Vodka and Soda130

Article was contributed by Liz Dias, dietetic intern at


New York Presbyterian Hospital in NYC



I especially love problem-solving, whether it’s helping women defeat issues plaguing them for years, helping a busy executive find practical ways to get heart healthy, or providing tips to help you reverse diabetes. That’s why I’m on a constant quest to expand my knowledge by staying on top of the latest research.

  • Martha's Nutrition Page

    Looking for up to date information on nutrition?  Follow my nutrition page!

  • PCOS Nutrition

    Interested in the latest PCOS nutrition news?  Follow my PCOS page!

  • Twitter

  • Instagram

  • Pinterest

Leave a Comment


20 Ways To Eat Out 550 Calories or Less!

No time to cook? We’ve got you covered. Here are 20 healthy meals from a variety of cuisines that won’t pack on the pounds. Most of them also have less than 30 grams of carbs.

Subscribe to my newsletter and get this free download.

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.