During the month of December there are a lot of bottles uncorked and a lot of glasses filled. Even if you are trying to diet, holiday parties will have a plethora of calorie-filled cocktails and savory treats, and oftentimes there is no telling how many calories we are consuming in one night. This will cause the pounds to pile on.

Empty Calories

We’ve all seen the food pyramind with recommended daily allowances of the different types of foods, but have we paid enough attention to the very top, where the least amount of calories should be coming from? Quite often these are also the tastiest foods which can be hard to resist, especially at parties with alcohol. However, these foods generally have no nutritional value and are very high in calories.

Are Calories from Alcohol Empty Calories?

Yes, alcohol has a lot of empty calories. Each drink typically has over 100 calories each, so you can imagine if you have 4 beers, there may be about 600 calories just right there. These calories have absolutely no nutritional value and no vitamin or mineral content.

Skinny Drinks

Some drinks are considered “skinny”, as they have been specially made to have as few calories as possible. One such drink is a “Skinny-tini” which is made with a low-calorie vodka and only a few drops of dry vermouth, shaken over ice and strained. Champagne also tends to have very few calories, so a toast or two is okay if you are dieting.


Drinks generally do not contain fat except with the addition of creams or sauces, but some spirits can contain fat, such as creamy Bailey’s Irish Cream or Wild Irish Rose. Many drinks contain cream and will add unnecessary fat to your diet. Fat contains the most number of calories per gram, versus proteins or carbohydrates.

Afraid of Holiday Weight Gain?

If you are nervous that you will gain weight during the holidays, you are not alone, but this does not mean that you cannot eat, drink and be merry with friends and family at festivities. Moderation is key. If you deny yourself completely, you will feel the urge to overindulge; instead allow yourself 2 or 3 snacks the whole night. Between every cocktail, beer or glass of wine, drink a glass of water. Not only will this help you pace yourself but will make you feel full and help you resist more drinks and snacks, along with the added benefit of reducing a hangover the next day. Never drink alcohol to quench your thirst, instead grab a glass of water for that.

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