After several years of quiet Christmases, some of us are understandably enjoying our first “normal” silly season since the pandemic.
But while we want to enjoy the festivities, it can be a shock when realise just how many additional calories you’re consuming through booze alone.
A British study carried out by market research company Censuswide and gym chain Fitness First found that the average office party attendee will consume 4941 calories at the work ‘do.
Generally, the recommended daily calorie intake is 2000 calories a day for women and 2500 for men.
But if you’re looking to make healthier choices while still enjoying yourself, UK-based dietitian Terri-Ann Nunns said there are ways you can still indulge while keeping your calorie count in check.
“Some really simple swaps can be made to ensure that calorie intake is reduced without putting a dampener on your festive spirits,” she told The Sun.
Here are her top six alcohol swaps that can help you enjoy the first “free” festivities in years.
1. Swap a large glass of wine for prosecco
Celebrating with bubbles rather than a large glass of wine will reduce the calories dramatically.
“A large glass of wine contains 220 calories whereas a glass of prosecco has just 85 calories,” Nunns said.
“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.”
2. Swap a pint of beer for a bottle of beer
It’s a pretty simple solution. A pint of lager has 210 calories, where as a bottle has 140.
“The term ‘beer belly’ doesn’t exist without reason. Beer can be a big contributor to weight gain,” Nunns said.
3. Replace Long Island iced tea for a Bloody Mary
Many of us love cocktails. But it’s probably a good idea to swap the Long Island iced tea as the popular drink contains as whopping number of calories, varying between 355 to 770 calories dependant on ingredients used.
“Not taking into account the potential of a looming hangover, the calorie content of this drink is more than a cheeseburger from McDonald’s,” Nunns said.
“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 (servings of vegetables) if you’re having 150ml tomato juice and if you eat the celery stick afterwards.”
A Long Island iced tea can even have more calories than a Big Mac, which has around 564 calories according to the McDonald’s Australia website.
4. Swap gin and tonic for gin and slimline tonic
Changing your mixer to a sugar-free alternative will cut the calories down dramatically.
A regular gin and tonic is 100 calories, and a slimline tonic just 60.
“If you are trying to manage your weight, this is a really easy swap to make and the taste is virtually the same.”
5. Swap dessert wine for a glass of sherry
Most of us love a dessert wine, but it comes to about 118 calories.
A glass of sherry contains just 60.
6. Swap whiskey for vodka
A single shot of whiskey, which is equal to a 25ml measure, is about 64 calories.
For a healthier swap, choose vodka served as a single measure. One 25ml pour is about 50 calories.
“A double measure with a sweet mixer like Coke is around 170 calories a pop, which is more than a schooner of beer,” experts at Glamour Magazine said.
“So opt for single shots and mix with low-cal soda and fresh lime instead.”