Sussex Performance Centre

7 Alcohol Swaps To Help You Enjoy Christmas WITHOUT Ruining Your Diet

IT’S Christmas… and with that comes the festive party fun.

But for many people this season can prove a minefield when it comes to weight loss, or  trying to keep a healthy diet on track.

But, the good news is wanting to keep on the straight and narrow doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself.

There are clever ways you can still indulge while keeping your calorie count in check.

Christmas is a time of year where we can enjoy ourselves and indulge a little. But it’s important that we’re mindful of what we are putting into our bodies, especially if we are trying to stay focused and on track in the build up to Christmas.

We often forget about the calories in drinks and the huge impact they can have on our daily intake if we are not careful.

Some really simple swaps can be made to ensure that calorie intake is reduced, without putting a dampener on your festive spirits. Here, we share our top seven alcohol swaps which can help you enjoy your Christmas parties without worrying about piling on the pounds…

1. Swap eggnog for sloe gin

You can slash a huge number of calories by opting for a sloe gin instead of eggnog.

Eggnog can contain up to 350 calories, while sloe gin has just 85 calories.

Eggnog is made with milk, egg and sugar in addition to the alcohol of choice so, depending on the amounts of ingredients used, a glass of eggnog could quite easily exceed 350kcals. This has to be one of the most indulgent drinks around Christmas time and certainly won’t help if you are trying to manage your weight.

Another drink that is equally enjoyable but for different reasons is sloe gin. You can have it warm or on ice but it is still a tasty treat – with much fewer calories.

2. Desert wine for a glass of sherry

Everyone loves a glass of desert wine for after your meal, however, one small glass totals up to 118 calories.

Instead we recommend going for a glass of sherry which is just 60 calories.

If you want a sweet alcoholic treat to follow your meal, opting for a glass of Sherry would halve your calorie intake in comparison to a small glass of desert wine. You are served smaller quantities of Sherry as it has a higher alcohol content compared to other wines, coming in at around 18-20 per cent ABV.

3. Mulled wine with sugar for mulled wine with sweetener

There’s nothing more festive than the smell of a spiced mulled wine.

But don’t worry, if you’re on a diet you don’t have to ditch this festive drink – you can instead try and make a lower calorie version at home.

A glass of mulled wine made with sugar contains 210 calories, whereas if you make it with sweetener this drops it down to 145 calories.

Mulled wine can be a lovely drink to have at Christmas and if you are making your own at home, it is possible to make a lower calorie version. Normally when making mulled wine, you need to warm up wine and add spices and sugar.

Adding the sugar obviously adds more calories but you can actually use sweetener instead of sugar to achieve that sweet taste without the calories. Try artificial sweeteners or natural sweeteners such as stevia.

Alternatively, you could add more flavourings, spices and lemon juice and not add sugar or sweeteners at all.

4. Large glass of wine for prosecco

Celebrating Christmas with a glass of fizz rather than a large glass of wine will significantly cut down your calorie intake.

A large glass of wine contains 220 calories whereas a glass of prosecco has just 85 calories.

All wines and prosecco brands vary in alcohol and sugar content, but a glass of prosecco is likely to be less than half the calories of a large glass of wine. A large glass of wine is 250ml or a third of a bottle, whereas fizz is served in smaller glasses, generally serving 125ml.

You often find that the sugar content can be lower in prosecco which again, gives it the edge when it comes to calories. A glass of prosecco will provide you with 1.5 units of alcohol whereas a large glass of wine is likely to be around three units.

5. Pint of lager for a bottle of beer

This may seem obvious but swapping a pint of beer for a bottle significantly reduces the volume you will drink and therefore the calories, especially if you plan to have more than one.

A pint of lager contains 210 calories whereas a bottle has 140.

The term ‘beer belly’ doesn’t exist without reason; beer can be a big contributor to weight gain.

Although the percentage ABV (alcohol by volume) is less than wine for example, the volume in which beer is consumed if drinking pints means that the calories mount up very quickly.

Therefore, if beer is the drink for you, consider going for bottles to lessen the impact on your calorie intake.

6. Long Island Iced Tea for a Bloody Mary

Long Island Iced Tea contains a staggering 400 calories, so if you want your cocktail fix maybe try for a 125-calorie Bloody Mary.

Long Island Ice Tea combines vodka, gun, rum, tequila, triple sec and cola so there really is no surprise that, dependent on quantities used, this drink can reach 400kcals if not more!

Not taking into account the potential of a looming hangover, the calorie content of this drink is more than a cheeseburger from McDonalds!

If you want to go for a healthier cocktail, choosing something like a Bloody Mary would mean you would consume much fewer calories and you could even hit two of your five a day if you’re having 150ml tomato juice and if you eat the celery stick afterwards.

7. Gin and tonic for Gin and slimline tonic

By changing your mixer to one that is sugar-free, you can make a significant reduction to your calorie intake.

In particular, a regular gin and tonic is 100 calories whereas one made with slimline tonic is 60 calories.

If you are trying to manage your weight, this is a really easy swap to make and the taste is virtually the same. Slimline tonics and other related drinks use sweeteners instead of sugar with a resulting calorie reduction.



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