Sensible Holiday Sipping

Posted On Dec 24, 2014 By Erin Kuh, MBA, RD

Sensible Holiday Sipping

"Eat, drink and be merry" summarizes three of the most popular activities of the holiday season. While the season wouldn't be complete without plenty of good food, good company and a frothy glass of homemade egg nog, over-indulging doesn't have to be part of your festivities this year.

Calories from alcohol add up quickly and can lead to eating more, which contributes to the average holiday weight gain of seven pounds between Halloween and New Year's. One serving of egg nog with rum or a white Russian both have a whopping 350 calories! A brandy Alexander has 250 calories, and hot-buttered rum, although delicious, has 340 calories.

Try these tips to eat and drink in moderation and still enjoy the fruits (or drinks) of the season:

  • Focus on a key word in the above title: sipping!
  • Stay hydrated by drinking a glass of water, unsweetened hot or iced tea, or sparkling water before and after events and in between each alcoholic beverage, if you opt to indulge in more than one drink.
  • Avoid hard alcohol with sweet mixers, including diet soda, and drinking through a straw. It's easy to drink quickly, and the combination of alcohol and sugar takes a toll on the waistline.
  • Best choices: 4 oz. of red or white wine, 12 oz. of lower alcohol beer, or my favorite recipe below.
  • If you want to indulge in a rich drink, skip dessert, and keep it to a single serving.

Holiday Wine Spritzer

  • 4 oz. White Wine (I prefer dry wines)
  • 4 oz. sparkling water
  • Juice of ½ small lime
  • 3-4 fresh raspberries

Makes one serving; 120-140 calories per serving

Finally, make a pre-New Year's resolution to enjoy your favorite holiday foods and drinks in smaller amounts and find other ways to celebrate holiday cheer.