Hello, and happy weekend! Just a friendly reminder that calories count…even in liquid form! It’s that time of the year when you’re probably more inclined to tip a few back during a holiday party. Plus, people are always coming up with new fancy shmancy holiday cocktails that can pack a serious caloric punch. I’m not saying you should avoid all alcohol, I’m just making an argument for moderating alcohol intake to help you 1. Avoid a nasty hangover, and 2. Maintain a reasonable calorie intake while still having some fun over the holidays.

Below are the calorie counts from some classic adult beverages followed by the calorie counts of some holiday favorites (infographic and from Daily Burn)

Calories in Cocktails - How Your Drink Measures Up INFOGRAPHIC

Other favorite holiday bevvies:

Eggnogg: 1 cup, 223 calories <–Best case scenario!

Peppermint martini:

-Light version 115 calories: https://stepawayfromthecarbs.com/low-carb-chocolate-peppermint-cocktail/

-Average version 210 calories: https://www.today.com/recipes/peppermint-martini-peppermint-ini-cocktail-recipe-t106232

Sangria: 4 ounce serving 115-260 calories (more calories if there is fruit juice and sugar added)

I am fully aware that knowing the calorie count of a food or drink item won’t deter most people from consuming them, and that’s okay. If you plan on indulging in some alcoholic beverages, here are some drinking tips to help you make better choices:

Alternate between alcohol and water. Now, this doesn’t mean that chugging water after a shot will negate the effects of the alcohol. Five shots in an hour is still five shots in an hour, no matter how much water you chug-a-lug. A better plan is to have 1 drink in an hour (about the amount of time it takes your body to metabolize the alcohol), then have a glass of water over the next hour, and so on. This will slow down your drinking, which will greatly decrease your chances of a hangover and also decrease your calorie intake. Win-win!

Have food and alcohol separately. If you’re going to a party, have a balanced meal or snack prior to attending if you plan on drinking. Alcohol and poor food choices often go hand and hand, so separating the two can help eliminate an excess of calories. By eating a well balanced meal or snack first, you’ll cover some nutritional bases before indulging in an adult beverage or two. If you decide to forego alcohol for the evening, it will be easier for you to make clear, rational food choices that aren’t booze-fueled (OMG those cheese fries smell AMAZIIIIINNNNGGGG…we’ve all been there before).

Plan out ahead of time how many cocktails you want to have that evening and keep yourself accountable. If you decide ahead of time “I will have up to 2 drinks tonight”, you’ve saved yourself from having to make a decision later on in the night about whether or not a 3rd cocktail is in order (and let’s be honest, after 2 drinks, the 3rd sounds like a GREAT idea!). The key here, of course, is to hold yourself accountable to your pre-determined number.

Schedule a workout for the morning after a party. Knowing that you have a scheduled workout that you’ve already paid for can increase your likelihood of cutting off the alcohol at a reasonable time so that you don’t feel terrible during your workout the next day. Bonus points if you can convince a friend at the party to go to the workout with you! It’s always easier to stick with your plan if you have someone else holding you accountable as well. No one wants to let their friend down!

Make some low-cal cocktails to enjoy without as many empty calories. Shape magazine posted an article with some great low-calorie cocktail ideas for the holiday season. If you want to enjoy some of your holiday favorite cocktails without worrying about calories, check these out for some lower-calorie alternatives! Remember, these cocktails still have alcohol (obvi), so it’s wise not to over-indulge just because you have more wiggle room in your calorie budget.

Now that you have some strategies to use, get out there and enjoy the holiday season!