The holiday season is in full swing! We are attending parties, family gatherings, and celebrations galore! What is one of the most common ways to kick back and enjoy the holidays? Drinks! Whether you’re looking to let loose and party or trying to relax and unwind after a long day, tis the season for drinkin’.
According to a report by BacTrack, a company that manufactures breathalyzers, the months of December through March have the highest occurrence of days where the BAC was 0.06% or higher. Between the holidays and the colder weather we are imbibing at a higher rate this time of year.
While having a drink or two can be an enjoyable way to socialize and relax, it’s important to know the effects that alcohol has on our health and to be aware of the risks associated with drinking both short and long term.
On average the body can process about one alcoholic beverage per hour. After 1-2 drinks you may start to feel buzzed experiencing lowered inhibitions, flushed skin, and slightly impaired motor function. As you increase the amount of alcohol consumed in a short period of time your body is unable to process the alcohol fast enough causing blood alcohol levels to rise. You may exhibit signs of intoxication increasing in severity based on your BAC levels ranging from stumbling, severe mood swings, memory loss, and vomiting, to more severe and life threatening symptoms such as slowed heart rate, difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, and choking.
Chronic long term alcohol consumption can have serious effects on your mental and physical health including but not limited to liver damage, cardiovascular disease, cancer, addiction, and mental illness.
For more detail on how alcohol can affect your physical both long and short term please read this blog from alcohol.org.
Most of us are aware of the risks we take when we drink and why it’s important to drink responsibly. To ensure you have an enjoyable but safe holiday:
It can be easy to lose track of your alcohol consumption while socializing, and as we all know, after a couple of drinks they start to go down easy! If you’re not careful not only will you find yourself more intoxicated than desired, but the calorie count can get pretty steep! We tend to be more mindful of the calorie content of our favorite holiday treats this time of year and don’t think twice about what we are drinking, however many of our favorite holiday beverages can have the caloric content of a small meal in just one drink! A few high calorie drinks can derail any efforts to stay on track with a moderate health focused diet.
Knowledge is power.
If you have a general idea on the caloric content of commonly used liquors, mixers, drinks, etc., you can make choose the best option that allows you to satisfy your holiday cravings while maintaining your goals.
First it helps to know the standard measurements used when calculating the calories you are consuming. We all tend to be a bit more “generous” with our pours!
One drink is recognized as:
Below is a quick calorie guide for alcohol, mixers, and popular holiday cocktails:
Now that you have a sense of just how many calories your favorite cocktail is packing, let’s talk about ways we can cut back!
Here are a few lower calorie options to keep you festive and fit this holiday!
Wishing you all a healthy and happy holiday season!