Holiday Spirits – Add the Joy, Not the Pounds!


What are Holiday Spirits?

Any Non-alcoholic and Alcoholic beverage. If its not water – it’s a beverage with calories!


Non-Alcoholic Drinks

Many people ‘drink‘  and  ‘eat‘ their calories. Regardless of the modality, its still more calories going in than the body needs. Non-Alcoholic drinks contain added sugar and usually leads to a false sense of fullness. If you hang around the party long enough – you will want to eat. Packing on more calories.

Alcoholic Drinks

Most people who drink alcohol tend to either drink or eat, but not both (at least initially). Alcoholic beverages tend to interfere with hungry cues – temporarily.  In this case, we are taking in double the calories from the alcohol itself PLUS the chaser (if added). Again, if you hang around the party long enough – you will want to eat. Packing on more calories.


What to do Instead…

Here are some tips for limiting alcohol calories during holiday festivities:

  • Stretch your drinks. Add sparkling water or ice cubes, and nurse a drink all night.
  • For mixed drinks, use diet soda, low-calorie fruit juice, or seltzer.
  • Choose lower-calorie drinks, such as dry wine, instead of eggnog.
  • Have the bartender mix a skinny version of a favorite, like the White Russian. Mix 1.5 ounces each of Kahlua and vodka with 2 ounces of soymilk for a total of ~298 calories compared with ~508 calories when made with cream. Make it with nonfat milk for a total of ~251 calories.

Give yourself permission to enjoy! Don’t make the event more than what it is. Recognize that overeating is normal in these situation. The goal is to not get stuffed!

Have your “holiday spirit” and eat too – unless you truly prefer just to drink water. Doing it sensibly is key. Limit to 1-2 drinks and eat without feeling stuffed.  I encourage my clients to maintain current weight going into the holiday season as this affords many liberties without feeling deprived.

PS: Never attend a holiday event or meal hungry!  Treat the day just like any other day and eat your normal meals leading up to the event/meal.


Additional Tips:

  1. Avoid drinking on an empty stomach
  2. Alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks (ideally at least 8 oz water)
  3. Avoid combining alcohol with energy drinks
  4. Eat before, and while, you are drinking

Transport and Safety

Transport and safety:

  1. Don’t drink and drive.
  2. Organize a skipper/designated driver when going out.
  3. Be sure to bring enough money for a taxi.
  4. Never get into a car if the driver has been drinking or taking drugs.

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