Counting your alcoholic calories this Christmas

alcoholic calories

The hidden calories in your favourite Christmas tipple

If you're watching your waistline, the last thing you want to do is ignore the hidden calories found in Christmas booze. While we can all appreciate the affect of that extra mince pie on our bellies, it is very easy to forget (or ignore) the calories hiding in a mulled wine or ten pints of Stella Artois.

If you are attending a party and you know you will have a few drinks don’t try to cut calories by not eating. This will just slow your metabolism down and ensure that the alcohol goes straight to your head.

With seven calories per gram, the amount of calories in alcohol is second only to fat, which is nine calories per gram. The calories in alcohol are broken down first by the body, ahead of burning fat, which is not great news if you are watching your weight.

Here’s a selection of some Christmas favourites and their calorific content: 

Baileys Irish cream 129 calories
Hot buttered rum 218 calories
Mulled wine 245 calories
Eggnog 394 calories

However it’s not all bad news. There are some lower calorie options you could choose:

Cosmopolitan: 99 calories
A Cosmo is low in calories and contains a health-boosting shot of cranberry juice. However, great alternatives to this would be a vodka and slimline (50 calories) or vodka and cranberry (60 calories)

Martini: 99 calories
It’s low in calories and made with white spirits which are less likely to give you a raging hangover.  However, opt for a lychee or pomegranate martini to keep your immune system topped up over Christmas.

Mojito: 111 calories
This low calorie alternative is full of vitamin C, which will help ward off winter colds and flu, whilst the mint will help keep your digestion working in tip top shape. Just make sure the bartender doesn’t ladle in too much sugar.

Bloody Mary: 140 calories
Although the double vodka will come as a calorific treat, this drink will reward you with 30% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin C in one serving. Remember to eat the celery.  Three sticks a day will count as one of your recommended daily portions of fruit or vegetables.

Mixed drinks tend to have the lowest calorie content

If mixed drinks are more to your liking try changing them up a bit to reduce their caloric impact. Most bars offer diet versions of soda, tonics, and mixers if you remember to ask the bartender to substitute these instead of the standard mixers. Space out your drinks over time and try having a glass of water in between drinks. The water will make you feel full and you won’t drink your alcoholic drinks as fast. Having water when you are drinking alcohol also helps to reduce the risk of a hangover the next day. Here’s a selection of lower calorie alternatives:

Spirits (Single measure - 175ml serving)

Gin and slim line tonic 56 calories
Vodka and diet coke 56 calories
Jack Daniels and diet coke 64 calories
Southern Comfort and lemonade 73 calories
Vodka, lime and soda 76 calories
Whiskey and lemonade 82 calories

Although, if wine, beer or alcopops is more your poison of choice, be warned of their calorific content:

Wine/Champagne (175ml serving)

Dry white wine 116 calories
Red wine 119 calories
Champagne 133 calories

Pints

John Smith 170 calories
Carling 187 calories
Fosters 193 calories
Guinness draft   210 calories
Bulmers 210 calories
Heineken 227 calories
Staropramen 233 calories
Strongbow 239 calories
Stella Artois 256 calories

Alcopops

VK Watermelon 76 calories
Bacardi Breezer Cranberry 160 calories
Smirnoff Ice 176 calories
WKD Blue 228 calories

Whatever your drink of choice, make sure you have a great time this Christmas. Just be mindful if you are watching your weight that drinks can carry calories just like the goodies. And remember; always ensure you drink in moderation.

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