Sip Smartly this Holiday Season

Sorry to be the Grinch but the truth is there are no healthy alcoholic beverages. Sure, there’s some evidence that red wine in small portions can be healthy for your heart. But by and large, alcohol contains no nutritive value. All alcohol breaks down into sugar which is why it doesn’t really fit into a healthy diet. But, around the holidays especially alcohol seems to be a part of every celebration. If you’ve read any of my posts in the past, you know I’m not one to say that any food or drink is “forbidden” and I’m all for enjoying everything in moderation. So, here’s some guidance to help if you want to raise a glass this season.


  • Don’t show up to any holiday party hungry and certainly don’t consume alcohol on an empty stomach. If you haven’t eaten all day, any alcohol you drink will hit you fast and hard.
  • Know what constitutes “a drink.”
    • A glass of wine is 5 ounces.
    • One beer is 12 ounces.
    • A serving of hard alcohol is 1.5 ounces.
  • Each of these has about 100 – 150 calories. Keep in mind, most people pour more than a serving and the more you drink, the weaker your judgement gets so you’re more likely to over indulge.
  • Steer clear of drinks that are pre-mixed. Guaranteed they will be full of sugar and artificial colors and flavors.
  • Avoid creamy and syrupy drinks.
    • One 3 ounce Kahlua and Cream is about 350 calories!
    • One cup of eggnog has about 225 calories. Add a shot of alcohol and that number climbs to about 375.
    • If you warm up with a cup of hot chocolate and Bailey’s, you’ll drink about 400 calories.
  • If you like mixed drinks, opt for low calories mixers like club soda or light cranberry or orange juice. Even better if you can substitute fruit juice with actual fruit or berries.
  • Drinking alcohol can dehydrate you very quickly. So, it’s a great idea to alternate between water and alcohol. This will also help your body metabolize the alcohol you drink.

Here are a bunch of drinks with fewer than 200 calories:

  • Tequila and soda – 100 calories
  • Pomegranate martini – 110 calories
  • Mint mojito (without syrup) – 150 calories
  • Champagne – 95 calories
  • Vodka and soda – 100 calories
  • Gin and tonic – 120 calories
  • Chardonnay or merlot – 125 calories

Check out this great roundup of healthier holiday drinks you can make on your own.

Cheers to a happy and healthy holiday season.


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