holiday-eatingHoliday gatherings often come with drinks—often alcoholic and other high calorie drinks. These are a major source of holiday weight gain and can totally derail your attempts to manage your weight.

What is the “cost” of your festive drinks in calories?

  • 5 ounces dry table wine: 110 calories,
  • 12 ounce beer: 150-200 calories (darker beers are higher in calories),
  • 12 ounce “lite beer”: 100 calories.
  • 1 shot or 1 ½ ounce hard liquor: 105 calories
  • 1 shot or 1 ½ ounce liqueur: 150 to 190 calories.
  • One shot gin + 8 ounces of tonic water: 200 calories
  • 6 to 8 ounce sweet cocktails (e.g. pina-colada): 500-600 calories
  • 12 ounce regular soda: 150 calories
  • 12 oz of 100% fruit juice: 165 calories (orange juice) to 250 calories (Cranberry grape juice).

How can you enjoy a holiday gathering without breaking the calorie bank with your beverages?

Give yourself a limit of 1 or 2 alcoholic or sugared drinks during your function and intersperse low or no calorie drinks in between. If you have a mixed drink, think about using a sugar free mixer to keep the calories from skyrocketing.

Here are a few ideas:

Seltzer water with lemon, lime and/or apple cider vinegar

  • Start with a 12 oz glass of seltzer water over ice; add slice of lemon and/or lime; try adding 2 Tbsp Apple Cider vinegar for a great cocktail.

Cranberry Sparkle

  • Start with a 12 oz glass of ice, add 2 to 4 tablespoons unsweetened cranberry juice (Knudsen is a good brand), stir and enjoy. For some added pizazz add a splash of apple cider vinegar or lemon or lime.

Water with….

  • Fill a pitcher with ice water and add lemons, limes and/or oranges plus some mint or basil leaves, or apples and cinnamon sticks, or cucumber slices; get creative with how you flavor plain water!

Sometimes, you just need to have a drink in your hand while you are socializing; it does not necessarily have to be an alcoholic beverage.