Can you feel it around you? It’s everywhere! There is no doubt the holiday season is here in full force. This means lots of time spent with family and friends, holiday parties, TV, movies and plenty more. For those of us old enough, many times these gatherings include drinking alcoholic beverages. One of the problems of these drinks during the holidays when trying to maintain a weight loss or weight balance diet, is that we often disregard or underestimate the calories they add to our daily intake.
Did you know???
One gram of alcohol has more calories than a gram of carbohydrate or a gram of protein. Falling shy of fat, alcohol comes in second when it comes to calories per gram. This is why I find that it’s important to have the knowledge and tools on how to save on these extra calories yet let the fun continue during this holiday season.
Before you enjoy these tips on how to save on calories from alcohol during this holiday season, let’s first view the calorie rundown:
9 oz. Pina Colada ~ 490 calories
4 oz. Margarita ~ 170 calories
12 oz. regular beer ~150 calories
6 oz. Mojito~ 145 calories
2.25 oz. Martini ~ 125 calories
5 oz. glass red wine ~ 125 calories
5 oz. glass white wine ~ 120 calories
12 oz. light beer ~110 calories
1.5 oz. Gin, rum, vodka, whiskey, tequila ~ 100 calories
4 oz. glass Champaign ~ 90 calories
Now that we have our numbers straight, here are some steps we can take to stay on our diet track:
#1: In order to cut down on calories from alcohol in general, but especially on this holiday season, first be aware of the amount of calories your drink contains. From the list above, you can see that one Pina Colada is equal to just about a light lunch, or one glass of wine equals +/- a granola bar.
#2: If you know you will be drinking during the weekend, save up on calories in advance. This will allow you to eat normally during the holidays and enjoy a few drinks on the special occasion.
#3: Dilute your drink with club soda or sparkling water, e.g. wine spritzers are a low-calorie classic.
#4 Try to alternate water or a non-alcoholic alternatives with your alcoholic drinks, or try a non-alcoholic cocktail for a refreshing change.
#5 Commence the evening with a large glass of regular or sparkling water. This will satisfy your thirst and save on using alcohol to do the jobs for you.
#6 Avoid drinking on an empty stomach. Having food in your stomach helps slow the rate that alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream. Eating can also slow your rate of drinking, but avoid eating too many salty party snack foods which can encourage you to drink more alcohol.
#7 If you know you are at a party and have some time to spend there, or are even sitting at home with friends for several hours, pace yourself when it comes to your drinks and take small sips to enjoy the atmosphere, yet not feel guilty the next day.
#8 As with other meals and snacks, have a plan in place. This helps to set a limit when watching your calorie intake.
#9 Spread your drinks. If you know you have several parties to attend, budget your drinks accordingly so that you don’t overdo it on the calories from your beverages.
Keeping these tips in mind, enjoy your holiday season but don’t forget to watch out for those calories that come in a glass or bottle. Have a happy and healthy holiday season!