It’s a painful truth, but also unavoidable: Alcohol is one of the fastest, easiest, and sneakiest ways to derail your diet.
For starters, the calories add up fast. Plus, alcohol is typically added to your diet, rather than replacing something, which means your total calorie—and probably sugar—count is way higher than healthy, points out Tori Holthaus, RDN, founder of Yes! Nutrition in Ohio.
Then there’s what alcohol does to your body. “Alcohol acts like a sugar, causing an insulin surge that leads you to store more fat, especially around your belly,” says Christy Brissette, RD, owner of 80 Twenty Nutrition. That means the higher the alcohol content—which typically correlates with higher calorie count, by the way—the more damage you’re doing to your body.
While you certainly won’t be sporting a beer belly after just a few brews with your boys, the drink you choose to down definitely matters in how much of your six pack is still showing over time.
You know to avoid the frozen sugar bombs that come with little umbrellas, like strawberry daiquiris and pina coladas. But your go-to Friday night order might not be that much better.