Calories & Holiday Beverages
December 28, 2006
We often hear about how to decrease calories in holiday eating, but holiday drinking can be an even greater problem. Dr. Mom talks about why and has some ideas on how to avoid over doing it.
Happy New Year! A time for parties and family gatherings, reminiscing, and singing Auld Lang Syne. Eating, drinking, making merry; and making new year resolutions to eat healthier, exercise, and lose those extra pounds. While toasting in the holidays and a new year, do we stop and think about how many calories we add while drinking holiday beverages?
Moderate drinking is defined as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. Knowing what a standard drink is will help you moderate your alcohol intake.
The following portions count as a drink:
Let's take a quick look at the calorie count of a few of the popular drinks:
- 12 fluid ounces (an average can) of beer
- 5 fluid ounces of wine
- 1.5 fluid ounces (an average shot glass) of 80 proof distilled spirits
Alcoholic beverages are not the only culprits of diet busters
- Beer contains 150 calories per 12 ounces
- Light Beer contains 110 calories per 12 ounces
- Eggnog with rum - 600 to 700 calories per 8 ounces
- Margarita contains a whopping 327 calories per 6.3 ounces
- Pina colada has 312 calories per 8 ounces
- Rum and Coke, 361 calories per 12 ounces
- Daiquiri contains 137 calories per 2.7 ounces
- Champagne contains 100 calories per 4 ounces
Tips for keeping the calories from beverages in check:
- Hot chocolate (3 heaping teaspoons or 1 envelope contains 111 calories
- Eggnog (no alcohol added) contains 400 calories per 8 ounces
- Soft drinks contain 150 calories per serving (12 ounces).
- Make a game plan. Eat a light snack before going out, this slows the absorption of alcohol and should help reduce the temptation to dive into the food. Choose drinks such as coffee, tea, juice, wine, light beer, sparkling water, or drinks mixed with low-calorie mixers.
- Pace yourself. Try cutting back to ¼ or ½ sized drinks. Sip slowly and make each drink last by adding ice.
- Mix and Match. After having an alcoholic drink, switch to a non-alcoholic beverage.
- Say "NO." When you have had enough, learn to say no.
- Step away from the bar. Hanging by the bar makes it easier to indulge.
Following are some light recipes you might find tasty.
No-sugar added minty hot cocoa
- 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1-2 packets of Splenda sweetener (as desired)
- dash of salt
- 1 cup 1% milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- Mix cocoa, Splenda, and salt in a large mug. Heat milk in microwave for 1 ½ minutes, until hot. Gradually add hot milk to cocoa mixture in mug, stirring until well blended. Stir in vanilla and peppermint extracts. Yields 1 service.
Hot Apple Cider
- 4 cups skim milk
- 6 eggs, beaten
- ¾ cups of Splenda
- 2-3 tablespoons ob brandy, bourbon, or amaretto
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ cup light whipping cream
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Beat the eggs, Splenda, and salt in a bowl. Stir in skim milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture coats a metal spoon. Remove from heat.
- Stir in alcohol of choice, vanilla, and ground nutmeg. Before serving, beat light whipping cream with a mixer on medium speed until soft peak forms. To serve, put the eggnog into a punch bowl and fold in whipping cream. Serve immediately. Sprinkle each cupful with additional ground nutmeg.
- 3 cups water
- 3 cinnamon apple spice tea bags
- 2 cups apple juice
- 2-3 teaspoons sugar substitute as desired
- Bring water and teabags to boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer 4 minutes. Remove tea bags. Add apple juice and sugar substitute. Simmer 5 minutes more. Serve immediately. Serves four. (58 calories)
- 1 ounce sparkling water
- 2 ounces reduced-calorie cranberry juice
- 1 ounce champagne
- Twist of lime
- Pour the sparkling water into a champagne flute. Add cranberry juice and champagne. Garnish with lime twist. Serve immediately. Serves one. (37 calories)