One of the best things about winter is the abundance of delicious drinks that come alive every season. The way a warm drink tastes and feels in winter can add so much comfort and atmosphere. But unfortunately, enjoying certain seasonal and holiday beverages can interfere with your weight-loss efforts.
“In general, during the holidays, we tend to drink more indulgent, sugar-sweetened, and alcoholic beverages that add extra calories,” he says Bianca Tamburello, RDNRegistered Dietitian with FRESH Communications.
Adds Roxana Ehsani, MS, RD, CSSD, LDNregistered and athletic nutritionist in Miami, Fla., “Whether you’re deciding to sip a cup of hot cocoa after a cold winter’s night, enjoy a warm glass of eggnog at a holiday event, or grab a Christmassy latte like a pumpkin spice or peppermint mocha , Soft drinks are available everywhere and at this time of year. During the holiday season, more cocktails and alcoholic beverages can also be enjoyed at holiday work parties or family and friends gatherings.”
With all these drinks in abundance, it’s important to keep track of your sugar, calorie, and fat intake when trying to lose or maintain weight. To help you, here are 7 of the best drinking habits to follow during the winter season, according to nutritionists.
Choose 100% fruit juice
If you are at a Christmas party and want to enjoy a sweet drink, go for fruit juice, which is 100% juice with no added sugar.
“Drop sugary drinks and try 100% fruit juice like orange juice,” says Ehsani. “100% orange juice provides you with an excellent source of vitamin C, which can help you maintain a healthy and strong immune system during the winter months (aka cold and flu season).”
She adds that choosing a fortified orange juice is even better since it also contains vitamin D, which is also important for keeping our immune system strong, along with phytonutrients, flavonoids, and carotenoids, which may also help fight inflammation and prevent disease and disease.
At your next holiday gathering, alternate alcoholic beverages with water
Enjoy the cocktail! Just make sure to refill water.
“Alcoholic beverages are often high in calories, and it can be easy to lose track of how many drinks you’ve had in a social setting,” says Tamburello. “Rather than snapping back-to-back cocktails, take turns with a glass of water to slow your pace and hydrate.”
Choose your alcohol wisely
When it comes to Christmas celebrations, you might be tempted by all the alcohol-filled cocktails or wine glasses on offer. Therefore, it’s important to be selective about alcohol when trying to lose or maintain weight loss.
“Unfortunately, drinking alcoholic beverages can increase the total amount of empty calories you eat. If you drink, remember to follow dietary guidelines to help you maintain or even lose weight, which is no more than one drink a day for women and no more than two drinks a day for men Ehsani says. “You could also look for a low ABV drink or mocktail. While these drinks may contain less alcohol, keep in mind that they probably still contain calories and also contain sugar.”
Choose mini-bottles for easy portion control
Do you love wine? This tip can help you avoid overindulgence.
“An open bottle of wine makes it too tempting to have a second and third glass, especially with a fun holiday movie playing in the background,” says Tamburello. “Instead, choose mini bottles for easy portion control.”
Choose herbal teas
If you’re looking for a warm, soothing drink that doesn’t cost you calories, turn to a cup of herbal tea.
“Herbal tea is a great zero-calorie beverage that can help you enjoy fun flavors of the winter season without worrying about drinking extra calories.” There’s a plethora of tea flavors on the market like ginger, peppermint, chamomile, and fennel that can help fight indigestion or calm nausea,” says Ehsani. “Or if you prefer something fruity, you can indulge in a peach , lemon, orange, or hibiscus tea. And since they’re all packed with flavor, you don’t even have to drink them with honey or sugar.”
Choose non-fat milk and sugar-free syrups in your holiday coffee drinks
You can also enjoy your PSL or Peppermint Mocha in a lightened version.
“Special edition Christmas coffee drinks are often high in added sugar and calories,” says Tamburello. “To make these delicious drinks a little lighter, opt for fat-free or low-fat milk, or ask for a sugar-free version of the flavored syrup.”
Don’t forget the water!
Make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day to help you lose weight. According to the Mayo Clinic, an adequate daily fluid intake is about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluid per day for men and about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluid per day for women.
“Drinking plenty of water can prevent you from overeating at mealtimes or reaching for late-night snacks,” says Ehsani. “You may think you’re hungry when in fact you’re just dehydrated. That’s why it’s always important that you drink plenty of water to maintain your desired weight.”