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TIP OF THE DAY: Healthy Drinking On New Year’s Eve

Cheryl Forberg, James Beard Award-winning chef and nutritionist on NBC’s The Biggest Loser, has created a “Do List” for your New Year’s celebration.

The top line: Wine is your friend, a wine spritzer is an even better friend. And some popular drinks are nobody’s friend because they’re packed with loads of calories and saturated fat.

  • One cup of eggnog has 343 calories and a whopping 19 grams of fat (11 g saturated fat). Even a Starbucks non-alcoholic grande eggnog latte made with nonfat milk has 450 calories and 18 grams of fat (11 g saturated).
  • A Long Island Iced Tea has more than 500 calories.
  • A White Russian has 425 calories.


So, how do you party on without going overboard?

Flutes of Champagne are your best caloric
bet on New Year’s Eve. Flutes from Amazon.

1. Do drink conservatively. Limit yourself to one or two drinks interspersed with water and healthy nibbles over a period of time.

2. Do drink a big glass or two of water prior to drinking anything alcoholic. A recent study published in the journal Obesity compared weight loss for two groups of dieters; the group that consumed two cups of water prior to meals dropped more pounds. Water not only makes you feel more full; it provides your body with the hydration that alcohol depletes.

3. Do choose wine instead of hard liquor cocktails. Wine has calories, but no fat; and it contains health-boosting antioxidants. A 4-ounce flute of Champagne has 78 calories, while a 5-ounce glass of red wine has 127 calories and contains the powerful antioxidant resveratrol. Just make sure you’re drinking a single four-ounce serving; some oversize wine glasses can hold 12 ounces or more (that’s 300 calories).

4. Do try a white wine spritzer (wine mixed with sparkling water), the lowest-calorie alcoholic beverage. You’ll cut the calories in half and still get some of beneficial antioxidants.

5. Do opt for sparkling water or club soda with a slice of lemon or lime if you need to have a drink in hand at the cocktail party. No one will know it’s not a gin and tonic! And it’s zero calories.

6. Do skip creamy drinks like eggnog, Piña Colada and Irish cream liqueurs. They are loaded with calories and fat.

7. Do allow yourself some fun indulgences. Just make sure you balance the excess calories with an additional walk or extra time at the gym.


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  1. Sara said,

    December 29, 2010 @ 7:07 pm

    Don’t forget about drinks like amaretto sour — can be as bad as the creamy drinks because of all the sugar!

  2. admin said,

    January 9, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

    Agreed! If it’s sweet, it’s easy to drink three off them before you realize it. Appletinis, Cosmos, Piña Coladas—it’s like picking off a box of chocolates. That’s why I’ve been drinking straight spirits for a long time. Straight Scotch instead of that Scotch Sour. :-)

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