The holidays are officially upon us once again.  And we know ‘tis the season to eat and drink.  Whether you will be drinking to celebrate or beat the shopping and family stress, here are some tips to decrease the amount of calories that go into your body this winter.

  1. Eat before you drink. Drinking alcohol decreases inhibitions.  If you drink on an empty stomach, you will be more likely to indulge in the bread basket or high-calorie snacks and foods that you see at a holiday party.  Enjoy a healthy snack or small meal before you go out OR wait to drink with your meal.
  2. Decrease your serving size. Here are the facts:

-1.5 ounces of hard alcohol has about 100 calories

-12 ounces of beer has about 100-150 calories (light vs. regular)

-5 ounces of dry wine or champagne has about 100 calories

Calories increase with sweeter wines and higher alcoholic content (higher proof).   An evening (or season) of celebrating can easily add up to hundreds of extra calories.  Many restaurants are strict with their pours and measure the amount of alcohol they serve you.  When you or a friend is pouring, it may be more generous.  Try using a smaller glass or supervising your servings.

  1. Select the correct mixers. Did you know that tonic has as many calories as regular soda?  Stick with plain wine, beer, or alcohol instead of adding mixers (tonic, soda, juice, sugary syrups).  You can try your liquor on ice with added lemon, lime, or mint.   Mix in zero-calorie additions, including club soda, diet soda, ice, or even water.  If you want juice for flavor, try adding a tiny splash.
  2. Pace yourself. Try putting down your drink to slow down the rate at which you finish.  OR if you want to have something in your hands at all times, drink a glass of water or club soda between each alcoholic beverage.  This will help keep you hydrated AND decrease the risk of a hangover.
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