3 Tips To Maintain Weight Without Losing Your Holiday Spirits

Posted by

Fact or Fiction? The average person will gain between 7-10 pounds over the holiday season (mid-November-January).

Fiction! Though we may begin to see this statistic in various places such the gym, CNN or even in a staff newsletter this time of year…it is more likely that the typical person will gain roughly 1 or 2 pounds. This may not seem like a lot but it's important to note that this weight is maintained throughout the year and over time it can really add up! Eat in moderation and don't let all of those fancy holiday drinks get the best of you.

  • Eat before you drink. Beverages are a source of extra calories that many people don't think about. Also, many people don't realize that alcohol itself has calories; 7 calories per gram which is more than carbohydrates at 4 calories per gram. Further, alcohol is often mixed with regular sodas, juices, cream, and syrups which add even more calories and possibly fat. Finally, alcohol can decrease your inhibition and increase hunger, making you more likely to indulge in higher calorie foods. Avoid drinking on an empty stomach.
  • Mindful libations. Not all of your favorite holiday cocktails are created equal. Alcoholic beverages supply calories but few nutrients and may contribute to unwanted weight gain. If you need to lose weight, this may be a good place to start.

Drink

Serving size (fl. oz.)

Calories

80-proof gin, rum, vodka, whiskey, tequila

1.5

97

Red wine

5

125

White wine

5

121

Champagne

4

84

Liqueurs, sweet wine

1.5, 3.5

165

Margarita

12

504

Brandy and eggnog

10

321+

  • Make wise choices if you do decide to partake in a celebratory drink. Alcohol by Volume (ABV) and the calories in beer go hand-in-hand (higher ABV=more maltose=more calories in end product). Look for beers with a lower ABV if you want a beer with fewer calories or limit your intake of beers with a higher ABV. For example, Belgian-style ale is lighter in color but it has upwards of 9% ABV which means there are over 300 calories per pint. Beers lighter in color do not always mean they are lower in calories!

Stay healthy and safe this holiday season by making mindful AND responsible choices.

**Read my post on Holiday Cocktails with a Healthy Twist for a "skinny" homemade eggnog recipe and simple yet effective recipe modifications.**

 

Sources:

National Nutrient Database

Today's post was written by Kristin Bogdonas, MPH. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist and Nutrition & Wellness Educator covering Mercer, Henry, Rock Island and Stark Counties. She specializes in mindful eating, local and seasonal foods, and food safety/preservation.