No one can argue the fact that the holidays are a time for celebration—the perfect excuse to treat yourself just a little bit. It’s also one of the easiest times of year to over-eat, drop your workout routine, and gain unwanted weight. Sorry, things just got serious really fast.
One of your waistline’s biggest seasonal enemies? Holiday drinks, which are packed with empty calories and sugar. Take a look at the following calorie guide, which breaks down five popular holiday cocktails. Then practice some conscious drinking.
It’s probably the most celebrated seasonal drink, but a single cup of eggnog packs a serious amount of calories—223 to be exact. Add to that 11 grams of fat (16 percent of your daily allowance) and you’re toeing an unhealthy line. But the real kicker is the amount of sugar. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 25 grams of added sugar for women per day and 37.5 grams for men. Eight ounces of eggnog holds something like 20 grams.
Hot Buttered Rum
There’s a reason this cocktail is so silky and delicious, and it has a lot to do with its not-so-secret ingredients. Butter, sugar and rum all play a major role in this drink. An ounce of rum has around 65 calories and the typical Hot Buttered Rum cocktail contains twice this dose. Take into account the rest of the components and you’re looking at approximately 315 calories per serving as well as 38 percent of your daily saturated fat intake.
There are a number of holiday punch recipes out there, many of which feature champagne or sparkling wine, and some other kind of alcohol—usually rum or vodka. Before you over-indulge, consider the fact that one glass (about 3.5 ounces) of champagne has 87 calories. Sure, it may not seem like a lot when you read the nutrition label, but when the bubbly is mixed into a punch with liquor and sugar, it adds up quickly. Bottom line, it’s better to keep things simple.
The grapevine’s version of a hot toddy is the holiday drink-of-choice in many European countries, particularly England, Germany and Austria. But, in reality, you’re better off drinking a glass of regular red wine. Consider the other mulled wine ingredients: sugar and brandy. A 3.5-ounce serving of this cocktail has 106 calories and 17.5 grams of carbohydrates. In fact, nearly all of the calories in mulled wine come from carbs! Compare that to five ounces of classic red wine: 125 calories and only four grams of carbohydrates.
Spiked Candy Cane Cocoa
No doubt the prettiest drink on our list, a Spiked Candy Cane Cocoa just might be the worst option of them all. Milk, chocolate chips, candy canes and whipped cream all combine for a grand total of approximately 170 calories. (And that doesn’t even include your booze of choice.) Wouldn’t you rather savor some homemade dessert?