Toasting in the New Year

Once a year, when the New Year comes upon us, we focus on thoughts of how to better our lives and make healthier decisions. While the thought of making resolutions and promises probably can be intimidating, it is more feasible to take the year day-by-day and not overwhelm yourself. That being said, the time to start is during your New Year’s Eve celebrations!

While liquor itself is a hindrance to a healthy lifestyle when used in excess, imbibing on a cocktail or two during a New Year’s Eve celebration is not the end of the world. Just remember that alcohol does contain calories, sometimes a lot of calories. It also interferes with kidney and liver function, which inhibits the efficiency of your body’s purification systems. In other words, if alcohol is in your system, your liver, which is in charge of metabolizing fat, will get rid of the alcohol first, then the fat…meaning that your body cannot burn fat if you have alcohol in your system.

Despite this, you will probably still want to toast in the New Year with a drink or two! So, what are your best drink options?

Try to stick with low-calorie beers, white liquors, and sugar-free or calorie-free mixers, if possible. The “healthiest” cocktail you can drink is vodka soda. Vodka is the lowest calorie hard liquor and club soda is calorie free.

If you are not a vodka drinker and prefer rum or another liquor, a general rule of thumb is the higher the proof, the higher the calories. This is true even of the sweeter liquors such as coconut-flavored rums. The sugars that make them sweeter do not outweigh the proof of the liquors. The cream liquors – Baileys, Kahlua, etc. – do contain small amounts of fat and you should probably just steer clear of them if you are not sure.

When it comes to beer and wine, every choice differs. Some wines are higher in calories from the sugars, some beers from the brewing process, but all differ. Use your better judgment and do some research before you go out. A little internet research on the brewery’s or winery’s website will provide you with the information you are seeking.

Always remember that dinking liquor has few, if any, benefits. If you do decide to drink on New Year’s Eve, utilize the previous information when deciding what to drink.

Finally, the best strategy is to have a big glass of ice water in between each drink to help you metabolize the alcohol and keep yourself hydrated.

Have a happy, healthy, and safe New Year!

*This post was co-authored by Jeff Marinucci and Christopher Downey