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How to Save Calories on Cocktails

Holiday Survival Guide: 3 Ways to Save Calories on Cocktails

Holiday parties are meant for strategic indulging, but don't let the festive cheer make you forget about your weight-loss goals. Here are three ways to cut those empty alcohol calories while still enjoying your libations.

Back away from the punch bowl: Staking a spot next to the snacks and drinks is bad for your waistline; not only does it encourage mindless grazing, but it also encourages more imbibing, especially if there's a delectable cocktail tempting you from the punch bowl. Once you've filled up your cup, move away from the bar or drink table; find a spot elsewhere where you can have a conversation without distractedly going for another drink.

Put down the glass: Walking around with an almost-empty glass will surely be your hostesses clue that you need a refill. Drink slowly so your cocktail lasts, or set your glass down if you're feeling tempted to seek out the bar. You can trade your cocktail glass for a cup of water to keep your hands occupied while you make your rounds at the party.

Know your serving sizes: Forgoing the sugary cocktails is a smart option if you're watching calories, but don't give yourself a license to fill your wine glass to the brim. While a serving of wine (five ounces) will run anywhere from 96 to 127 calories depending on type, a heavy-handed pour can double the amount you've got in your glass. Pour smartly so you're not drinking more calories than you think; a good rule of thumb is to fill your wine glass to just about the part where it starts to curve back in. If you're drinking a cocktail, use a short glass — especially if you just have to have a taste of 343-calorie eggnog — and sip slowly.

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