A new study on the drinking patterns of adults finds that the average adult American consumes 100 calories on a daily basis from alcohol alone. Does that not sound like much? It’s actually about 16 percent of total daily calories.
Nutritionist Connie Diekman, in a report by HealthDay, explains that even 100 unneeded calories per day from alcohol translates to a ten pound per year weight gain.
Not surprisingly, men aged 20 to 29 had the highest rates of alcohol consumption at 174 calories per day, and their chosen drink was beer. One 12-ounce beer is 150 calories. The study found that six percent of women and 20 percent of men consume more than 300 calories from alcohol each day.
Of course, not everyone drinks every day, and even if they do, moderate alcohol consumption is not necessarily unhealthy. The catch is what kinds of alcohol Americans are drinking, because a glass of red wine is a lot different than a piña colada.
For the approaching holidays, cut out much of the unwanted weight gain by remembering that liquid calories count and restricting your alcohol consumption or by replacing unhealthy drinks with slimmed-down options.
The worst holiday drink offender is, by far, eggnog. Creamy milk, eggs, and sugar make one cup of this monster weigh in at 400 calories and 16 grams of fat. Swap it for homemade hot chocolate spiked with bourbon or brandy and still feel merry without all the extra calories.
Mulled wine is another festive, yet misguided holiday drink. It starts out harmless enough, with red wine, but added sugar can give it up to 40 grams of sugar. Make it with less sugar and more spices and your waistline will thank you, or just stink to the wine straight up.
For cocktail hour, gin and tonic sounds harmless enough, but the tonic water has as much sugar as a can of Coke, giving the drink 210 calories and 22 grams of sugar. Instead, order a champagne, cutting your sugar intake by three quarters.
White Russians, Hot Buttered Rum Lattes, and Samuel Adams Holiday Porters are also best to stay away from, as they are some of the worst holiday drink offenders in terms of calories, sugar, and fat. Remember, what sounds harmless enough right now will carry a different tune come New Year’s Day when you have a new weight loss resolution to make. Save yourself the effort and make wise drink choices this holiday season.
Light beers, wine, and champagne will be your best options. For something really festive, try our Blood Orange & Basil Mimosas, with only 99 calories, exclusively in our Baker’s Dozen eCookbook.
November 16th, 2012