There is no reason you cannot enjoy a holiday beverage, even if you are trying to control your weight … just plan it into you “diet”. One caveat; if you do not already drink, it may not be wise to start.
Adding an alcoholic holiday beverage to your food/beverage intake will result in more calories that are metabolized differently that “food” calories and can lead to additional food and alcohol cravings. The collateral damage may not be worth the effort. This collateral damage includes but is not limited to:
• an alcoholic holiday beverage can reduce our inhibitions and willpower “making it more likely we forget about healthier eating and portion control”
• it stimulates the appetite to eat even more
• when consuming as little as just 2 drinks, it can reduce the body’s ability to burn fat by 73%
• even if the calories consumed in an alcoholic holiday beverage do not exceed the body’s needs, approximately 5% of the alcohol consumed is converted to fat
• it alters the normal digestive processes
• it slows metabolism
• as a toxin that is metabolized first, this will delay the metabolism of macro nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats
• the body’s processing of vitamins and minerals, essential for healthy functions, including a healthy metabolism, is also delayed
• it can fragment your sleep
Here are the first 5 of 10 strategies on how to still enjoy a holiday beverage on a diet.
1. Dial down the calories by selecting the non-fat and low sugar or sugar free versions of Eggnog, and other dairy or nut milks (like almond and Coconut) based beverages. If alcohol is being added, cut the alcohol in half (ounce for ounce the alcohol is more calorically dense.
2. It dairy or nut milk beverages are already premixed you can add additional non fat and low sugar or sugar free versions of the non alcohol base.
3. Be mindful of your triggers for drinking:
a. empty stomach – eat something before you drink
b. help yourself alcohol laden punch bowl – consider something pre-portioned
c. tempted to taste every bottle of wine you open – delegate to others
d. an opened bottle of white or red wine not consumed – let guests finish it, give it to a guess, or ADD a bit of SALT to it and use it FOR COOKING (cooking wine).
i. If you just can’t give up that expensive premium wine, put a discouraging note on the label and put way in the back of the frig – out of site out of mind. Place the date on the bottle and mark the level of wine remaining – see how long you can make it last.
If you just can’t give up that expensive premium wine, put a discouraging note on the label and put way in the back of the frig – out of site out of mind. Place the date on the bottle and mark the level of wine remaining – see how long you can make it last.
4. If your- self talk is telling you “I might as well have another drink for the road”, or “I can start my diet next week or after the holidays”, change your story!
5. Limit your- self to one drink … choose wisely … then stick with a no calorie beverage.
a. Alternate an alcoholic beverage with a non alcoholic beverage like soda or water which also helps hydration.
b. If you must have that additional glass of white wine, consider extending it by turning it into a spritzer by adding sparkling soda/seltzer and ice. Do the same with 12 ounces of hard cider. Adding 12 ounces of seltzer and you could reduce the calories by as much as 70 to 105 calories depending upon the brand.
c. If you have a mixed drink made to order ask for a half portion of alcohol.
d. A glass of Campaign comes in at under 100 calories.
e. Adding 2 parts seltzer water to 1 part Margarita cuts the calories by 66% (that’s about 400 calories less for a 600 calorie Margareta – providing you have the same portion size). Having 2 of the same portion is still 200 calories less than 1 Margareta not extended.
f. Adding ice to beverage delivers less caloric punch than having a “frozen” version.
g. If your beverage of choice or mixer (gin and tonic) of choice is Tonic Water, substituting seltzer water and a twist of lemon or wedge of lime or use a sugar free version. Tonic water has approximately 124-126 calories and 8 tsp sugar in 12ounces.
This information is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical/nutritional/fitness advice. Information presented is subject to change as additional discoveries are made or additional research is published. Links to various sites within blogs are provided for your convenience only and we are not responsible or liable for the content, accuracy of information provided or privacy practices of linked sites or for products or services described on these sites.
Click here for the remaining 5 ideas.
Sources: “Mindless Eating: The 200 Daily Decisions We Unknowingly Make,” Brian Wansink and Jeffrey Sobal, Environment and Behavior (2007) “Bottomless Bowls: Why Visual Cues of Portion Size May Influence Intake,” Brian Wansink, James E. Painter, and Jill North, Obesity Research (2005), http://www.kegworks.com/blog/dandy-shandy-stout-cocktail-recipe/, http://www.yummly.com/recipes/ginger-ale-and-beer-drink, http://allrecipes.com/Recipes/Drinks/Beer/, http://caloriecount.about.com/calories-tonic-water-i14155, http://www.sparkpeople.com/calories-in.asp?food=tonic+water, http://caloriecount.about.com/calories-tonic-water-i14155, http://www.livestrong.com/article/323898-how-many-calories-are-in-hard-apple-cider/, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/20/ginger-ale-vs-ginger-beer_n_1438420.html