Go Light on Holiday Cheer: How to Choose Low-Calorie Drinks

Tis the season to tipple. Here's how to keep the liquid calories in check

Credit: Flickr /The Vault DFW

Flickr /The Vault DFW

Do you know how many calories are in that holiday-hued martini?

Alcoholic beverages are typically high in calories. Avoid packing on the holiday pounds by choosing your libations wisely

Holiday cheer is a staple of the festive season. While many people enjoy sipping a drink or two at seasonal gatherings, what most fail to remember is that many alcoholic beverages are quite high in calories – calories that can make a significant contribution to packing on extra, unwanted pounds.

Healthy Holiday Drink Alternatives

This holiday season keep those extra calories in check by knowing the caloric values of your favourite drinks and making smart, low-calorie choices. Here’s a quick look at a few popular beverages and some smart alternatives:

: 150 mL (5 oz.) red or white wine – 100 calories  
Smart Alternative:
300 mL (10 oz.) red or white wine spritzer – 100 calories

Beer: 350 mL (12 oz.) regular beer – 150 calories  
Smart Alternative:
350 mL (12 oz.) light beer – 100 calories

Rum and Eggnog: 180 mL (6 oz.) rum and eggnog regular  – 400 calories (mixer, not diet) 
Smart Alternative:
180 mL (6 oz.) Bloody Mary, Mai Tai, Pina Colada, rum cola, or gin and tonic – 150 calories

Lighten the Calorie Count in Your Glass

There are many ways to lighten the calorie content of your favourite libations. For instance, you can double your enjoyment of a glass of wine without adding any calories by turning it into a refreshing spritzer. To do this, mix even parts of wine and sparkling water.

To dramatically reduce the calories in highball drinks, simply replace regular mixers (like cola, ginger ale or tonic water) with diet versions of each. This can cut close to 100 calories.

Rich, creamy drinks like eggnog are very high in calories. For a lighter version use light eggnog or try a half-and-half mixture of traditional eggnog and 1% or skim milk.

Health tip: Enjoy a glass of still or sparkling water between alcoholic beverages. This will help keep you hydrated.

Originally published in Wellness Matters, Canada Wide Media’s quarterly newsletter on health and wellness.