Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Liquid Calories and the holidays

With the holidays coming up, I wanted to highlight an area that people tend to forget or ignore...liquid calories. Whether its that innocuous glass of spiked "punch" at the holiday table, egg nog or that half bottle or two of wine/champagne you and your date put away at new years, liquid calories add up. I'm not trying to be a grinch here, just educate you. A 6 oz glass of egg nog can have up to 343 calories. Who is measuring the ounces of party glasses anyway? Who remembers how many glasses of egg nog they even had at the last office party?

Here are some tips for moderating liquid calorie consumption and preventing hangovers ;)

1) Never go to an office party or happy hour hungry or thirsty. Always drink at least 1 glass of water or preferably 1 small bottle of water and have a small snack like a handful of nuts or a small apple as a way of easing into the evening.

2) Drink water in between alcoholic beverages to cleanse the system, keep yourself hydrated and also to fill you up. Hydration prevents hangovers, headaches and nasty restless sleep induced by alcohol imposed dehydration. Keep the water flowing. Also consider drinks such as club soda or mineral water with lime if you still want to feel part of the party. Diet coke and other caffeinated beverages are similarly dehydrating like alcohol. All the steam heat indoors can also be dehydrating and lead to headaches so make sure to keep drinking water at parties and before/after.

3) Try to eat while you drink. I know it can be tempting to want to enjoy the holiday season with a little indulgence. There is nothing wrong with that. There's nothing wrong with 1 cookie, a piece of chocolate cake and 1 or 2 drinks. However, 6 cookies, 3 pieces of cake, 4 glasses of wine and a whole dinner might be a bit of a problem for those trying to moderate holiday pounds. Sometimes tearing into a holiday dinner after 3-4 cocktails is a recipe for overeating. It is a good rule to eat raw vegetables, fruits, nuts and cheese (limit the amount) with holiday cocktails and make a decision: cocktails or dessert, but not both. There's nothing wrong with a little indulgence, you deserve it, but you are also in control if you moderate drinking with a bit of food and water in between.

Looking forward to a splendid holiday season and wishing you and yours a happy, healthy holiday whatever you choose to do. Here's to your health!

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