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Alternative Beverage Choices for The Holiday Season

Stay on track with your health goals by switching up your beverages

By Missi Balison

Healthy Drink Options

We’re heading into a busy time of the year, filled with parties and hectic schedules, and it can be challenging to stay on track with your health and wellness goals.

Today, I want to help give you a few alternative beverage options to replace those that tend to pack in the calories this time of year.

Did you know that on Thanksgiving Day, Americans eat three times the number of calories they need in a single day. Put another way, we eat enough extra calories to add an extra 1 to 2 pounds of fat in less than 24 hours. And don’t forget the post-holiday leftover binges!

And now you also know why the average American puts on 8 to 13 pounds of fat during the holidays.

Typically, people will drink more alcohol during the holiday season. As a general rule, drinking alcohol isn’t always the best thing you can do for your health. It affects your body in so many different ways—not to mention the empty calories, which can add up fast! But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a drink from time-to-time. And when you do decide to have an adult beverage, some decisions are definitely better for you than others. My son just opened an amazing cocktail bar, and we’ve got to support our kids, right?

I’ve got some tips for choosing adult beverages that won’t overload you with calories and will still taste great! Check them out:

Best mixer choices. The basic rule of thumb is to avoid sugary, creamy or blended drinks whenever possible, since the ingredients used to make them can add lots of sugar and unnecessary calories.

For instance, did you know that a can of tonic water contains 130 calories and 32 grams of sugar?! Meanwhile, seltzer water contains zero calories and zero sugar. Good mixer options: Lemon or lime juice, kombucha, fruit (add watermelon or muddled berries for a tasty treat!).

Hard seltzers. This year will go down in history as the year of hard seltzers, as they became super trendy!

These are (slightly) sweetened seltzer waters that have been fermented, which means nearly all of these drinks are gluten-free. Most contain 2 grams or less of sugar, and come in at around 100 calories a can. But they still contain about as much alcohol as a bottle of beer, at 4% to 5%. Seltzer tip: If you want to jazz up your seltzer, add some fresh fruit for extra flavor!

Sparkling beverages. These include champagne, Prosecco, or Cava, and these clock in at about 85 calories per 4-ounce serving. If you don’t like the “bite” of hard seltzer, these might be a good choice for you. Sparkling upgrade: These can be delicious with some fruit or a splash of kombucha.

Wine. A standard 4- to 5 ounce glass of wine comes in at 100 to 125 calories. Wine tip: Save your calories by turning these into a spritzer by adding seltzer or sparkling water.

Beer. Light beer contains around 100 calories per 12-ounce serving, while “regular” beer can go upward of 200 calories, depending on the brand and how it is brewed.

Liquor. This includes beverages like vodka, gin, rum, whisky, etc. A 1-ounce serving contains around 65 calories. Add your favorite low- or no-cal mixers to these spirits.

BONUS TIP: Make sure you drink water before and after any alcoholic drink. This will help you feel energized and great the next day, since alcohol is a diuretic. Plus you are less apt to overeat!

I hope this list gives you ideas for your own healthy drink concoctions.

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