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Weight Loss & Holiday Drinking

Cheers to Health: Smart Alcohol Choices for the Holiday Season

The holiday season is a time of joy, gatherings, and indulgent treats and drinks. Navigating the festive season can be challenging for those watching their weight, especially when enjoying a festive drink. Here are some top tips for enjoying alcohol during the holidays without derailing your weight management goals.

    • Opt for Low-Calorie Drinks

    Not all alcoholic drinks are created equal in terms of calories. Light beers, dry wines, and spirits with calorie-free mixers like club soda can be good choices. A glass of champagne or prosecco is a lower-calorie option that adds a festive touch. Stay away from traditional diet sodas. This one is okay if you see Zevia (or bring your own). You can even use it as a mixer as it comes in many flavors and in tonic.

    • Mind the Portion Sizes

    It’s easy to lose track of how much you’re drinking, especially in social settings. Opt for smaller glasses and try to keep track of your consumption. Remember, moderation is key. We all know that 5 ounces of wine differs from what we pour into a nice big red wine glass. Pay attention to this, and if you are using a big glass, add a little bit of wine and return once for a little more. It’ll feel like you are drinking two glasses of wine.

    • Hydrate Between Drinks

    Alternate your alcoholic beverages with glasses of water. This not only helps you stay hydrated but also slows down your alcohol consumption, which can be helpful for weight control.

    • Avoid Sugary Mixers

    Cocktails mixed with sodas, juices, or syrups can be high in sugar and calories. Choose tonic water, lemon or lime juice, or plain ice mixers. Several tonics on the market now are significantly lower in sugar or use natural stevia as a sweetener.

    • Watch Out for Holiday Specials

    Seasonal drinks like eggnog, mulled wine, and creamy liqueurs are holiday favorites but are often calorie-dense. You can enjoy them in moderation, or you can just look for lighter versions. Moderation, yes, but truthfully, it’s hard to moderate these awesome-tasting holiday classics – you might just opt out of these. There are lower-calorie eggnogs out there, if you must indulge, go with one of those

    • Savor Each Sip

    Instead of drinking mindlessly, savor each sip and enjoy the flavors. This mindful approach can help you consume less and appreciate your drink more. Be sure to drink a big glass of water before you go to your event, have dinner, have your company over, etc. In other words, BEFORE your first alcoholic drink. Being thirsty and attempting to “sip slowly” usually doesn’t work.

    • Stay Active

    You can balance your alcohol intake with physical activity. A brisk walk in the crisp winter air or a fun dance session at a party can help offset some of the extra calories. Dancing is fantastic for working off some of those calories and feeling great. Move your body. If possible, get outside for a walk, even if it’s just for 10 minutes in between courses.

    • Plan Ahead

    If you know you’ll be drinking, you can just plan your meals accordingly. Focus on lean proteins, vegetables, and whole grains earlier in the day to balance your overall calorie intake. My girlfriend, when we were 19 and on a weight loss program in Brooklyn, would save up all her bread for the week so she could drink vodka over the weekend. Yes, the drinking age was 18 then. This is a silly example but think about whether you want to have a couple of alcoholic drinks or your favorite dessert or bread and butter. Make the choice that works best for you at that time. You can choose something different next time.

    Holidays are about fun, friends, family, food, and often alcohol. Remember that you are in control, not your friends, and certainly not that self-saboteur sitting on one of your shoulders. Make the best choices possible, be prepared, keep drinking water, and enjoy all the festivities. Stressing and feeling guilty will only tarnish all the fun and allow that self-saboteur to score points and control.

    Thanksgiving on Maynestreet.

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