The sounds of holiday songs, the smell of fresh cut evergreens, and the sights of festive lights all add to that nostalic feeling that is unique to this season alone. ‘Tis the season to be jolly! If you’re like most, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to be jolly at the numerous holiday parties scheduled between now and New Year’s Day. In my business, the number one question on everyone’s mind is ‘how to curb caloric intake, without curbing the fun?’ I am a firm believer that any food and/or drink can be part of a healthy diet. This post is intended to give you some smart ideas how to include some spirits in your holiday merrymaking, without burdening you with any more weight to lose in 2013.
Before I give you my 5 holiday celebrating tips, I want to share some interesting facts that relate to today’s topic. By now you know that sodas are under the radar because they contribute to 16% of our children’s caloric intake as added sugar. It turns out, adults are also consuming 16% of their calories from an empty calorie source, and it’s not your son’s Mountian Dew! A key finding in the latest The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted by the Centers for Disease Control is that alcohol is contributing to 16% of adults’ caloric intake. So both children and adults are exceeding the U.S. Dietary Guidelines of no more than 5-15% of total calories from discretionary calories (solid fat, added sugar, alcohol).
Both sugar sweetened beverages and alcohol are not only empty calories, they also fail to fill you up. Alcohol has one more strike against it; alcohol lowers your inhibitions making you more likely to overeat! Double whammy!
So with that in mind, here are my tips to celebrate the season without making it necessary to commit to any more New Year’s resolutions:
1. Dilute the calories in wine, with a wine spritzer.
2. Choose light beer over regular and save 50 calories per 12 oz. beer
3. Avoid mixed drinks , “fruity little combos” and other calorie bombs. A 32 oz margarita packs in 733 calories and 8 teaspoons of sugar. One cup of eggnog, 396 calories, 9 teaspoons of sugar.
4. Heed the guidelines for drinking in moderation: Men this is 2 drinks daily. Women it’s one.
5. Don’t drink everyday. Limit alcohol to social occassions and drink a glass of water for every alcoholic beverage.
For many, weight management may simply equate to smart choices, moderate drinking, and a little pre-planning. Enjoy the holidays, reminisce about the past and look forward to the possibilties a New Year brings. Cheers!
What’s your favorite holiday memory?