HOLIDAY CHEER WITHOUT THE FEAR! A GUIDE TO CHOOSING BOOZE
We all want to have a little cheer around the holidays. And whether you’re in tip-top shape or not, a little alcohol can make your celebrations a little bit cheerier. However, when you’ve worked hard to get into (or maintain your) shape all year, you don’t want to throw that all away over a few mind-erasers. Is it any wonder that when the holiday season approacheth, many of us feel like this…
The trouble isn’t whether to drink or not, but rather, when you imbibe responsibly, what to drink so that you’re not throwing your waistline away on happy hour. But what if you could have a drink or two without worrying that you were going to blow your nutritional plan? Well, you’re in luck! The following is a great guide to choosing your celebratory booze so you can have your holiday cheer without the fear.
THE BOOZE TO CHOOSE
To start off with, there are several drinks you can enjoy without fear of adding too many cocktail calories.
- Vodka– Gizmodo refers to vodka and soda as one of the most low calorie drinks, but also calls out the caveat that you may die from boredom if you’re blazing this single-mixer solamente all night long! A step up from there as far as taste is always the ubiquitous (and sometimes much maligned) Bloody Mary. Some people think of this vodka-based tomato-colored concoction as heavy in carbs, but while this drink is actually low in overall calories, it is also packed with great nutrients to ride shotgun alongside the rest of your (probably) deleterious night out at the company holiday carousal. Along with your vodka buzz you also get tomato, celery, and (if prepared authentically) horseradish, tempers your intake with some health benefits.
- Whiskey and Gin– Packing a lot of flavor into only a few more calories than vodka, you’ll want to go this route neat or on the rocks. A warning here though! Don’t add sugary mixes (such as Whiskey Sour or Sweet and Sour mix) or you’ve defeated the entire purpose of taking this path. An added psychological life-hack benefit is when you order these drinks neat, you’re much more likely to sip and make it last.
- Wine– Especially red has some awesome health benefits on top of making you look sophisticated. Food and Wine reports that wine not only reduces your risk of heart attack, but reduces overall mortality, stroke, type 2 diabetes. cataracts, and colon cancer. It is also said to slow brain decline. Go wine! We hardly knew yee!
According to Medical Daily, the clearer the alcohol, the lower the calories. Keep that rule of thumb in mind next time you’re pouring two finger’s worth!
DRINKS TO RETHINK
The most important issue is to remember that even if you take something more healthy, like vodka,… and mix it with sugary syrups, you’ve blown the ‘healthy’ part. According to LiveStrong.com, a White Russian, which is made with vodka, Kahlua and cream, contains 500 calories. That’s about the same as a Big Mac. Tack on a few of these and your body won’t be ‘lovin’ it’. What else should you avoid? Have a look below:
- Most Mixed Drinks are similar– so they should be shunned or generally minimized to perhaps only one hour’s intake at that one big bash everyone has over the holidays (don’t act surprised! We know how it goes!). They generally contain sugary syrups with high fructose com syrup and other baddies that you really don’t want to drink. Brandy Alexanders, Mai Tais, Margaritas, Daquiris & Anything Sours, …Pretty much every mixed drink comes with its own brand of badness for your glycemic index and the corresponding caloric contribution. Stick to the straight and neat and you’ll do much better tomorrow, and also in January when you’re looking in the mirror bemoaning your beer belly.
- Beer– Sorry to say, but most beer contains a lot of calories, and as taste increases (along with alcohol-by volume, or ABV), so do the calories. So, if an MGD 64 will do you, go for it, but if you prefer an India pale ale or other brew, you may be out of luck. Aim for as low an ABV as you can find, but ultimately the carbs may do you in anyway. Oops. They don’t call it a beer gut for nothing!
Per the CDC (in the vaunted Dietary Guidelines for Americans), it’s wise to limit the number of alcoholic drinks you have on any given day. For women, that means one drink, and for men, 2. The CDC refers to these limits as a ‘moderate’ amount. So this holiday season, enjoy yourself and partake of alcoholic drinks in a responsible way. You can have a drink or two and still keep yourself in shape, especially if you’re able to keep up a holiday exercise mantra in the midst of the Mistletoe Melee this season (hit those morning burpees hard the day after)! You don’t have to wake up the next morning with festive regret, remember – straight and neat! Follow this neato guide we created below, and you’ll still be in tip top shape, and (hopefully) a good dose of cheer, headed into the new year!
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