How to Keep Holiday Cocktails Off Your Waistline
It’s time to celebrate the season and eggnog, wine and cocktails are flowing everywhere you go. Survive this holiday season with these tips to keep the calories in check.
Just about every holiday party is serving wine or cocktails and the sugar in these drinks (along with holiday cookies) can really knock you off your clean eating plan and into a downward spiral. Many fancy cocktails you find on the menu have hidden sugar and it can really add up. And what about that Margarita? Well, if it’s frozen it can be as much as 30 grams of sugar for a measly 4 oz. serving while a regular margarita on the rocks will still contain a pretty good amount of sugar depending on the ingredients used. That insane amount of sugar will wreak havoc on your health and waistline.
It’s not just the calories from sugar that will pack the pounds on us but what is actually happening to your metabolism when you drink alcohol. While your liver is busy breaking down the alcohol, the rest of the calories you consumed will be stored as fat. So yes, it’s a double whammy. Sugar from the drinks spike insulin causing fat storage and body stores calories as fat while the liver is busy metabolizing the alcohol. In addition, alcohol lowers our inhibitions and often times leads us to eat foods we regularly would not be eating. So I correct myself – it’s a triple whammy! No wonder it’s so hard to lose weight if you drink alcohol.
So, if you really want to keep your waistline looking slim and the fat off your thighs this holiday season you need to understand what it is you are putting in your body and make some better choices when it comes to cocktail hour.
To reduce sugar and calories coming from alcohol here are a few of my favorite recommendations.
Try making a tasty Moscow Mule using Zevia Ginger Beer and vodka for a refreshingly light drink. This is low in calories and carbs so enjoy with no guilt.
Ice to fill a copper mug
1 1/2 oz. vodka
Zevia Ginger Beer to fill mug
Squeeze of fresh lime
Vodka with Club Soda and a Twist of Lime
Instead of a sweet syrup or fruit juice in your drink, try adding just a touch of stevia with lime or lemon. If you are gluten sensitive make sure you get a gluten free vodka like Tito’s or Ciroc. I always carry packets of stevia in my purse so I’m ready in a restaurant to order a vodka with club soda. I also sometimes use an electrolyte mix in the drink which helps me avoid a hangover the next day while adding a nice flavor to the cocktail without the sugar.
Try making a skinny margarita using the following recipe by combining all ingredients in a shaker bottle then serve with or without a salted glass. Agave Tequila is the lowest in carbs so try to stick with that type. If you are in a restaurant ask them if they have ingredients to make a skinny as listed below and carry your own packet of stevia to sweeten as desired.
1 cup ice
2 oz. Agave Tequila
2 T fresh lime juice (from a lime)
1 T fresh orange juice (from an orange)
1/2 tsp stevia
Champagne with Seltzer and Fruit
For those of use that love our champagne, you will be happy to know that its a fairly lower calorie choice especially when mixed with seltzer or club soda and a touch of fresh fruit. Enjoy this refreshing cocktail for just 90 calories for 4 oz. mixed with seltzer or club soda.
If you don’t have an issue with gluten a light beer isn’t a bad choice. Most of them come in low in carbohydrates (sugar) and calories. Check out Corona Premier or Amstel Light for a richer flavor.
I know for me its only once a year I get to indulge in a little eggnog and I love it with or without the rum. Traditional eggnog though can really pack on the pounds with over 340 calories in a cup and 22 grams of sugar – and thats before you spike it with rum. Yikes! For a tasty alternative try some Calif Nog made with Almond Milk. Calif makes delicious products and this one is only seasonal so grab some quick before its gone. A cup with a shot of rum is 164 calories but it does have 16 grams of sugar so maybe just have one of these.
Gin and Tonic (Zevia Tonic)
Gin and a diet tonic made with Zevia Tonic is a great choice. With just 73 calories and zero carbs in an ounce of gin you can drink a few of these bad boys without any issue. Find the Zevia tonic at Sprouts or a local supermarket near you. Diet tonic from a bar has artificial sweeteners so thats not the best choice if you are out at a restaurant as they won’t have the Zevia available. Another alternative, just like with vodka, is using club soda instead of tonic and adding a dash of stevia for your sweetness.
Ideally, I recommend my clients limit alcohol to once or twice a week at most and plan for it in advance. Having a wine glass of Kombucha on the other nights is a great alternative to alcohol.
Kombucha is a fermented tea and has just a smidgen of alcohol to it. You can find some Kombucha with a little extra alcohol added and those are good too. This low sugar, gut friendly beverage will help you skip the happy hour drinks.
Learning how to manage your social time with lighter drinks will save you some major hours in the gym later.
Are you looking to transform your health? Mary works with clients all over the country developing personalized nutrition and exercise plans for weight loss and health. If you’re ready to get started on your journey to health and wellness contact her today!