Consumer Reports: Slimming Down Festive Drinks

December 13, 2011 5:11:46 AM PST
Champagne, cocktails and coffee drinks with whipped cream are part of many holiday celebrations. Consumer Reports ShopSmart says you need to watch those liquid calories to avoid packing on the pounds.

"Having just a couple holiday drinks can be the equivalent of an entire meal," said Consumer Reports ShopSmart's Lisa Lee Freeman.

-Bailey's Irish Cream has more than 300 calories and 13 grams of fat.

- Hot buttered rum has close to 400 calories and almost 30 grams of sugars.

- Starbucks' Venti Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha has 700 calories, 27 grams of fat, and 95 grams of sugars.

"If you just have to have one of those sweet holiday coffee drinks, skip the whipped cream and whole milk. That will save you 100 calories or more, not to mention all the fat and sugars," Freeman said.

A good alternative is the Starbucks Grande Skinny Peppermint Mocha. It has just 140 calories and very little fat.

"Another way to cut back is to avoid drinks that are creamy or are made with sweet, syrupy mixers. Another trick is simply to add club soda or seltzer to your drinks," said Freeman.

A wine spritzer and a martini on the rocks each have zero grams of fat and less than 150 calories.

Eggnog is a holiday tradition that can also be a real diet buster. A smart swap is Silk Nog. That way you can celebrate with less than half the fat!

Another ShopSmart tip for keeping liquid calories under control is to resist refilling your glass before it's empty. Refilling too soon is a surefire way to lose track of how much you are drinking.

And have a glass of water after any cocktail you have. That will keep you hydrated and help prevent overconsumption of calories and alcohol.

All Consumer Reports Material Copyright 2011. Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not for profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit

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