In an ideal world we would completely abstain from alcohol. However, the reality is that many people who lead a healthy lifestyle enjoy the odd drink (myself included). With Christmas and the New Year fast approaching you are likely to be consuming much more alcohol than normal. Unfortunately, only dietary fats (at 9 calories per gram) contain more calories than alcohol (at 7 calories per gram), making it one of the highest calorie beverages available. If you are not careful all the extra alcohol you consume over Christmas and New Year can quickly turn into excess holiday pounds. Today I am here to help with a list of 5 of the highest calorie alcoholic drinks that you should try and avoid over the festive period.
1) BAILEY’S IRISH CREAM
Bailey’s Irish Cream is a popular Christmas tipple for many people. With its smooth milky taste it makes a great night cap. It is also an excellent winter warmer as part of Irish Coffee (take 1 shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream and 1 shot of Irish Whisky, top up the glass with freshly brewed filter coffee and then finish with 1 tablespoon of whipped cream). Unfortunately, in terms of calories it is not the wisest choice. A standard 50 millilitre (ml) glass contains 162 calories and a large 100ml glass contains a notable 324 calories. Just three large glasses of Bailey’s can add almost 1,000 calories to your daily intake. So by all means enjoy the odd night cap or have the occasional Irish Coffee but make sure you moderate your consumption.
NUTRITIONAL BREAKDOWN OF BAILEY’S IRISH CREAM:
|ONE SHOT (25ml)||STANDARD PUB MEASURE (50ml)
|ALCOHOL, MACRONUTRIENTS AND WATER (GRAMS – g)||25
|ALCOHOL, MACRONUTRIENTS AND WATER (CALORIES)||80.91||161.75||323.5|
|MINERALS (MILLIGRAMS – mg)
|Water Soluble Vitamins||0.05||0.1||0.2|
2) JACK DANIELS AND COKE
Spirits are one of the lightest alcoholic drink choices. However, when you start to add mixers they suddenly become a lot heavier. A single shot of Jack Daniels contains just 55 calories and even if you double this up it is still on the low end of the scale at 111 calories. However, adding 300ml of coke also adds an additional 131 calories meaning a single Jack Daniels and Coke comes in at 186 calories and a double comes in at 286 calories. Drinking 4 double Jack Daniels and Cokes takes you over the 1,000 calorie mark. If Jack Daniels and Coke is your festive tipple try enjoying it without the coke. Straight Jack Daniels is an acquired taste but one you might start to like. If you really do not enjoy this spirit straight then try a lighter mixer such as diet coke. Both these options will cut some serious calories from your drink.
NUTRITIONAL BREAKDOWN OF JACK DANIELS AND COKE:
|SINGLE (25ml JACK DANIELS/300ml COKE)||DOUBLE (50ml JACK DANIELS/300ml COKE)||100ml (8ml JACK DANIELS/92ml COKE)|
|ALCOHOL, MACRONUTRIENTS AND WATER (g)||325
|ALCOHOL, MACRONUTRIENTS AND WATER (CALORIES)||186.1||286.4||57.81|
3) MULLED WINE
Mulled wine is very popular at this time of year and is on sale at most Christmas markets. It has a unique, fruity taste which makes it an excellent way to warm up on cold winter nights. Unfortunately, it contains high levels of alcohol and carbohydrates which make it very high in calories. A small glass contains a notable 253 calories and a large glass contains a significant 505 calories meaning that just two large glasses can add over 1,000 calories to your daily intake. So by all means warm yourself up with a glass of mulled wine at the Christmas market but make sure you do not stick to this drink for a full night.
NUTRITIONAL BREAKDOWN OF MULLED WINE:
|SMALL GLASS (125ml)||LARGE GLASS (250ml)||100ml|
|ALCOHOL, MACRONUTRIENTS AND WATER (g)||125
|ALCOHOL, MACRONUTRIENTS AND WATER (CALORIES)||252.5||505||202|
4) STELLA ARTOIS
Stella Artois and other premium lagers are very popular over the festive period and are bought by many families to enjoy as a Christmas treat. Unfortunately, the extra alcohol content in these lagers adds unwanted calories to the mix. A single pint of Stella contains 262 calories so drinking 4 pints in one sitting can add over 1,000 calories to your daily consumption. If Stella is your lager of choice try alternating each pint with a light beer and save some valuable calories in the process.
NUTRITIONAL BREAKDOWN OF STELLA ARTOIS:
|HALF PINT (284ml)||FULL PINT (568ml)
|ALCOHOL, MACRONUTRIENTS AND WATER (g)||284
|ALCOHOL, MACRONUTRIENTS AND WATER (CALORIES)||115.87||231.74||40.8|
WKD and other alcopops are popular drinks amongst teenagers because they taste very similar to traditional soft drinks. Unfortunately, achieving this sweet taste adds a lot of calories to the drink with sugar used to mask the taste of vodka. A standard 275ml bottle of WKD contains 220 calories and a large 700ml bottle contains a massive 559 calories. Just two large bottles will take you over the 1,000 calorie mark. If you are a huge fan of WKD you can cut down the calories by opting for a diet alcopop or making your own vodka mixer with a diet soft drink. This will cut out all the sugar and therefore a large amount of calories.
NUTRITIONAL BREAKDOWN OF WKD:
|SMALL BOTTLE (275ml)
||LARGE BOTTLE (700ml)||100ml|
|ALCOHOL, MACRONUTRIENTS AND WATER (g)||275
|ALCOHOL, MACRONUTRIENTS AND WATER (CALORIES)||219.725||559.3||79.9|
I hope this list helps you identify and avoid some of the higher calorie drinks this Christmas and New Year. If one of your favourites is on this list then by all means enjoy it in moderation. Just be aware that consuming high levels will lead to unwanted weight gain. If you moderate your consumption and follow these Christmas calorie burning tips you can minimise the amount of festive pounds you gain this year.