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The Common Habit That Can Lead to Weight Gain

A fruity frozen margarita, a glass of pinot, a whiskey sour—they all look so innocent, right? Thing is, these and other alcoholic beverages may be a big part of why so many people are struggling with their weight these days. A new study from the American Journal of Public Health finds a link between how often a person drinks and their likelihood of being obese.

Researchers took a look at previously compiled data about 8,000 U.K. study subjects, examining the number of calories they reported consuming via alcohol the week before the data was collected. Turns out, the average number of calories women took in from alcoholic drinks on their heaviest drinking day came out to 382—about 19 percent of their total caloric intake for that day. For dudes, the numbers soared higher: Guys consumed an average of 677 calories from alcohol on their heaviest drinking day, or 27 percent of their daily calorie intake. The researchers concluded that the likelihood of a study subject being obese was directly tied to how high his or her alcohol calorie intake was.

MORE: Exercise and Alcohol: Running on Empty Bottles 

So should you give up vino and vodka to sink the odds that you'll pack on pounds? You don't have to—it's more about knowing the calorie counts of your favorite concoctions and adjusting your intake so you don't overdo it calorie-wise (or alcohol-wise!). This list of the best and worst drinks will show you all the numbers you need to know.

MORE: The Habit That's Costing You THOUSANDS of Calories 

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