Holiday Alcohol & Weight Loss

by Helen Ryan

I'm not here to rain on your holiday parade. Really. I love a little shot of Jack Daniels Southern Peach when I can't sleep myself.

For the holidays, though... I'm not a drinker. I do go crazy for desserts and candy sometimes (OK - often - around Christmas).

Some people prefer imbibing around the h̶e̶l̶l̶i̶d̶a̶y̶s̶ holidays. Nothing wrong with a little wine, beer, or vodka. Balance, baby.


…even if you are a little careful to not overeat during the (loooong) holiday season, alcohol can throw your weight loss off course. On its own. Like a (non)helpful Elf.

It doesn’t seem like a lot, but those calories can sure add up fast. One glass of wine becomes three. One beer becomes four. And ya’ know…hello, calories.

A 5 oz. glass of red wine (who drinks just 5 ounces?) is 123 calories. But a more realistic 250ml glass is about 220 calories. Maybe you have three glasses. That’s 660 calories. Before food.

If you are on a 1,400-calorie diet, that’s almost half of your calorie intake for the day. In glass form. Yikes!

But you don’t have to give it all up. Budget for it.

If you know you’re going to want a glass of wine or a cocktail with your meal, skip the dessert. Or skip the bread. Skip the food/drinks you don’t really love so you can have what you do love.

So what are some options?

  • Crook & Marker Spiked Sodas, 80 calories per
  • White Claw Hard Seltzer, 100 calories per
  • Barefoot Hard Seltzer, 60 calories per
  • Vodka with soda water, 60-90 calories per half to full shot (add a splash of cranberry juice for a festive few extra calories)
  • Whiskey, 100 calories per shot (spruce it up with different add-ins)
  • Ouzo, 91 calories per shot (so good and tastes like licorice)
  • Gin and Tonic, 150 calories (less if you use sugar free, but I’m not a fan of diet sodas)
  • Dry white with light alcohol (6 oz.), 115-140 calories
  • Red wine with light alcohol (6 oz), 135-165 calories

Don't wait until January. You can still lose weight and feel better over the holiday season. No one feels great with a sugar or alcohol hangover.

Published November 26, 2020