If someone were to ask you if there are any areas of your diet that you are not willing to change, what would you say?
The majority of Americans would probably say something related to drinking alcohol, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. Having a drink or two (or maybe some more) seems to be a staple at holiday parties.
However, it can also be the culprit of weight gain as well because it adds up in calories very quickly! This happens because you can’t store alcohol in the body, so it has to be metabolized first, so the food you eat along with it takes a backseat and can easily be stored as fat.
This doesn’t mean you have to forgo all drinking through the holiday season. Hooray! Follow this drinking guide to enjoy your parties this month by planning ahead for success.
First and foremost, it’s important to know serving sizes of your favorite alcohol.
A serving size for beer is 12 ounces (8 ounces for malt beer), 5 ounces for wine, and 1.5 ounces for hard alcohol. As a reference, women should limit to one drink per night and men should limit to two drinks per night.
Just like traditional holiday dishes, traditional holiday drinks are loaded with fat and calories. Take eggnog for example. One cup (8 ounces) will cost you 344 calories and 19 grams of fat! That could be an entire meal for some people. In fact, it would take you 90 minutes of walking to burn that off alone.
Rules to Drink By
- Avoid added sugars from mixers, like orange juice, grenadine, cranberry juice, simple sugars or sodas.
- Alternate alcohol with water during the night.
- Use discretion if ordering from the cocktail list at a restaurant. Most of those fun drinks have added ingredients that aren’t necessary in your diet.
Safest “Go-To” drinks (keeping serving size in mind)
- Wine, and it has heart healthy benefits in moderation!
- Light beer, can have about half the calories of regular beer and tends to bloat you.
- Flavored vodka with club soda. For example, order orange vodka with club soda instead of vodka with orange juice.
One other aspect to keep in mind is that the more you drink, the less likely you are to say no to “not so healthy” foods. In other words, the more you drink, the more you’ll eat! Drink responsibly, and health consciously this holiday season!