NU-TRAIN”S SURVIVAL SERIES: Don’t let Tipsy Tip the Scales: Tips and strategies for surviving the Holiday “Spirits”

Frequently asked alcohol-related questions
  1. How many calories are in my favorite drink?
  2. Which drinks wreck the most havoc and why?
  3. What is the best way to handle a little-too-much-of-a-good-thing the next day
Answers below… but first some pointers to keep in mind beyond simply being aware of what and how much you’re consuming
  • A secret I tell my clients -- among the bustle of a business dinner, feel free to quietly ask the waiter NOT to refill your wine glass after the first pour. You will find it remarkable how little you will miss the refills, as many people tend to drink a bottomless glass of wine without much thought.
  • Recognize your weakness. If one glass of wine leads to two to three glasses, but one mixed drink can hold you over throughout the evening, stick to the mixed drink during typical events and save the wine for a special occasion.
  • You’ve heard it a million times-- pair every drink with a glass of water.
  • Liquid calories count! Think about choosing a lighter appetizer or entrée or skipping dessert if you’re having more than one drink. And remember that a little-too-much tends to weaken your will-power… you know the rest of that story.
  • Watch the size of your glass. If it obviously over-sized, it holds much more than the standard 4 ounces. Martini glasses and wine glasses are the worst culprits.
  • Something to keep in mind: studies have shown that too much alcohol at once slows down the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats because the body first metabolizes the alcohol. In a nut-shell, long and active cocktail hours are not a nutritional friend.
  • If you happen to go overboard, your greater diet concern should not be the calories worth of alcohol consumed during the evening, but rather, the amount of calories you consume the next day in order to “feel better”.
  • Most importantly, remember, just like eating, you have full control over the number of drinks you consume in an evening. Order and hold seltzer with lime if you are at all self conscious about seeming empty handed.
Your Calorie Guide to the Cocktail Hour(s):
Beer Calories Wine Calories
Beer, 12 fl. oz. 146 Sweet wine, 4 fl. oz. 105
Hard Cider, 12 fl. oz. 144 Port , 2 fl. oz. 90
Light Beer, 12 fl. oz. 100-110 Champagne, 4 fl. oz. 90
Dry Sherry, 2 fl. oz. 84
Spirits Red , 4 fl. oz. 80
100 Proof , 1 ½ fl. oz. 123 White (dry), 4 fl. oz. 75
94 Proof , 1 ½ fl. oz. 115 Sweet Vermouth, 1 fl. oz. 44
90 Proof , 1 ½ fl. oz. 109 Dry Vermouth,1 fl. oz. 33
86 Proof , 1 ½ fl. oz. 104
80 Proof , 1 ½ fl. oz. 96
Cocktails Liqueur
Margarita, 4 fl. oz. 168 Drambuie, 1 ½ fl. oz 188
Manhattan , 3½ fl. oz. 164 Cointreau, 1 ½ fl. oz 188
Coolers, 6 fl. oz. 150 Crème de Menthe, 1 ½ fl. oz. 186
Martini, 3½ fl. oz. 140 Kahlua, 1 ½ fl. oz. 176
Daiquiri, 4 fl. oz. 122 Brandy, Cognac, 1 ½ fl. oz. 75
Whiskey Sour, 3 fl. oz. 122 Curaçao, ½ fl. oz. 60
Cranberry Juice, 4 fl. oz. 72 Tonic Water, 4 fl. oz. 50
Pineapple Juice, 4 fl. oz. 68 Tomato Juice, 4 fl. oz. 24
Fresh Orange Juice, 4 fl. oz. 56 Fresh Lemon Juice,1 fl. oz. 8
Heavy Cream,1 tbs. 53 Fresh Lime Juice, 1 fl. oz. 8
Cola, 4 fl. oz. 50 Club soda, 4 fl. oz. 0
Ginger Ale, 4 fl. oz. 50 Diet Cola, 4 fl. oz. 0
Now the burning question: Why do I feel so BAD the next day? Blame it on Congeners Congeners are toxic chemicals that are formed during distillation and fermentation; some liquors have more of them than others. These impurities give each drink its individual taste, color and aroma. Congeners do not cause drunkenness, but do add to your hangover. In other words, the more congeners in your drink, the worse the headache the next day. Two simple rules of thumb: clearer liquors have fewer congeners and the cheaper the alcohol, the less it has been processed to remove the impurities. Flow chart of liquors from most to least congeners Bourbon > Brandy and Scotch > Red Wine > Dark Beer and Tequila > Champagne > White Wine > Lager Beer > Gin and Clear Rum > Vodka A few congener facts:
  • Vodka has less congeners than gin
  • Most scotch whiskey has about four times more congeners than gin does.
  • Brandy, rum and single-malt scotch have about six times more congeners than gin.
  • Bourbon drinkers ingest eight times the amount of congeners as do gin drinkers.
  • Red wine has more congeners than white wine does.
Here a some helpful tips for the day-after:
  • You’re probably dehydrated, don’t confuse thirst and dehydration with hunger.
  • Sometimes water doesn’t help as well as a drink like Gatorade because you need electrolytes. 150 calories before you go to bed or first thing the next morning will help avoid hundreds of calories worth of “comforting” food later.
  • Try your hardest to eat as well as you can despite your cravings and fatigue, a bad eating day will only make you feel worse in the end.
  • Once you are fully hydrated, get some exercise to freshen your body and brain, and to get your metabolism back on track.



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