For people trying to watch their weight, year-end office parties and other engagements are unwelcome events. Many people faced with this dilemma often opt to drink rather than eat, but in fact that is counterproductive.
Liquor is packed with calories. If an adult male drinks two bottles of soju, he is consuming a third of the daily recommended calorie intake of 2,400 kcal.
Although calorie levels differ by type of liquor, most are fattening, and the slimmest-looking often have the most calories.
According to the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, a bottle of soju has 403 kcal, which is more than a bowl of rice (300 kcal). A bottle of makgeolli or rice wine has 420 kcal and a 500 ml glass of beer is packed with 185 kcal.
Only wine is relatively slimming, with white wine at 74 kcal a glass and red wine at 70 kcal.
As a rule of thumb, says Jang Jae-young at Soonchunhyang University, the higher the alcohol content, the more calories. Four shot glasses of Chinese kaoliang wine contain 276 kcal, vodka 295 kcal and whiskey and brandy 237 kcal.
Also, drinking alcohol without food increases the risk of stomach inflammation and throat irritation. Food also protects the liver from alcohol by containing beneficial vitamins and minerals.