Winter is here, and the weather is frightful—so what better way to keep warm than to partake in some seasonal brews? The holidays are notorious for rich indulgences, and the drinks are no exception. While it’s common sense to go easy on the heavy food, it’s not always apparent how many calories are packed into a drink of eggnog.
That doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself all season long. Like most good things, a little holiday cheer goes a long way. We’ve compiled a list of festive drinks that you should approach with caution—that is, unless you want to start the New Year carrying a few extra pounds.
6 Calorie heavy Drinks to Avoid
Wassail. A seasonal drink so delicious that it inspired a Christmas carol, wassail is a mulled punch composed of cider, wine, or ale mixed with sliced fruit. Wassail is also spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, giving it an irresistible holiday aroma. At 129 calories per glass, this drink typically has no added sweeteners. But this drink can still send your blood sugar levels skyrocketing.
Eggnog. Thick and creamy, eggnog is a classic holiday drink packed with rich ingredients such as milk, sugar, egg, and rum (for alcoholic varieties), as well as a profusion of seasonal spices. This full-bodied beverage is formulated to be irresistible, but with 343 calories per glass, try to limit your indulgence to a single small mug—or better yet, drink a glass of regular warm milk instead.
Next: Sugary and Diet Sodas
Sugary and diet sodas. While not a traditional holiday drink, carbonated beverages remain a staple at most parties and gatherings. Sugary sodas are a leading cause of obesity, and can trigger dangerous spikes in your blood sugar levels. While diet sodas seem like the reasonable, low calorie drink alternative, beware—these drinks can cause other hormonal effects which wind up leading to weight gain anyway.
Next: Cocktails and dessert drinks
Cocktails and dessert drinks. The holidays are accompanied by a variety of creamy, candy-infused, and ultra-sugary mixed drinks. These liquid calorie-laden confections are guaranteed to spike your blood sugar, so if you want to get the New Year off to a healthy start, limit yourself to one drink per gathering—or abstain entirely.
Next: Spiced Wine
Spiced Wine. For wine lovers, spiced or mulled wine is an indispensable part of the winter drinking ritual. Typically, a red wine is brewed with sugar, fruit, nuts, and spices, resulting in a highly aromatic concoction – and 245 calories per glass. Due to its sweetness and alcohol content, it’s easy to down one too many, so decide how much you’re going to indulge in before the wine goes to your head.
Beer. Wine lovers aren’t the only connoisseurs who benefit from the holidays. Beer enthusiasts can look forward to a variety of wintery drinkables from their favorite breweries. Unfortunately, at 150 calories per can, nothing widens your waistline faster than a few cold ones, so pace yourself and savor the seasonal flavors.