Personal Finance

"Maintain, Don't Gain" Tip No. 1: Watch the Alcohol

In this video from Motley Fool Answers , Alison Southwick and Robert Brokamp welcome Motley Fool Chief Wellness Officer Sam Whiteside to the show, as she offers her best advice on how to make it through the holiday season without adding to your waistline.

Her first suggestion: Don't use the holidays as an excuse to drink too many of your calories!

A full transcript follows the video.

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Alison Southwick: Today we are joined by the Fool's chief wellness officer, Sam Whiteside, and she brings us her best advice to maintain and not gain over the holidays. Hi, Sam.

Sam Whiteside: Hi, Fools.

Southwick: Thanks for coming back to the show.

Whiteside: Absolutely. It's been too long.

Southwick: It has been too long.

Brokamp: It has.

Southwick: So what I like about your "Maintain, Don't Gain" challenge that you do here at the Fool is the idea that, "Listen. We know you're going to overindulge. Just try to maintain. I'm not asking you to lose weight. Just try not to get fatter."

Whiteside: Exactly. It's more about being cognizant in the moment, and making sure that you're aware of the choices that you're making.

Southwick: Yeah, those choices. All of the choices.

Whiteside: All of the choices.

Brokamp: So many choices.

Southwick: Because many of those choices are around the holidays, and take place at a party or among friends and family, I think it only makes sense for us to eavesdrop, a little bit, on a get-together and discover what trips people up the most over the holidays. Shall we go eavesdrop on a party?

Brokamp: Let's do that.

Southwick: Let's!

[Door opens. Sounds of people talking at a party]

Brokamp: I love living in New Hampshire!

Southwick: Fill the pool with whiskey! Cannonball!

Brokamp: Cannonball!

[Door shuts]

Southwick: So, yeah. Drinking alcohol. That happens a lot around the holidays.

Whiteside: It sure does. Every single party [or get-together] I'm sure we will all attend this holiday season will have some sort of booze. Have you been to a party without booze during the holidays?

Brokamp: Not that I'm aware of.

Southwick: No. No. Maybe like a kid's birthday...

Whiteside: No ...

Southwick: ... no, even kids' birthday parties these days have like ... beer. The funny thing about alcohol is not only does alcohol have a lot of calories, but the mixers have a lot of calories and then you end up eating all this horrible food after you drink alcohol. It's just horrible.

Brokamp: Did I mention eggnog yet? [00:08:57]

Whiteside: Well, it's a funny thing. Let's take a guess. How many calories do you think an average pour of eggnog has?

Southwick: Bro looks so sad right now.

Brokamp: [Sobs] Don't confront me with reality!

Whiteside: I'm going to tell you. It's 340 calories.

Southwick: Wow!

Whiteside: And 19 grams of fat.

Brokamp: But eggs are good for you!

Whiteside: Twelve grams of sugar ...

Southwick: Wow.

Whiteside: ... in a typical eggnog concoction ...

Brokamp: Mm.

Whiteside: ... so that brings me to my first point. The holidays -- don't use that as an excuse to overconsume and overindulge, specifically on alcohol. There are calories in those alcoholic beverages and just because it's liquid, it does not mean it doesn't count. It definitely goes into your total caloric intake.

And so I usually recommend trying some alcohol-free days, specifically during the week when you know that you have a party to go to that Friday or Saturday.

Number two. Every other alcoholic beverage -- maybe swap it out for a glass of water. Have that glass of water in your hand when you're walking around the party. That way someone won't come up to you and be like, "Hey, you don't have a drink in your hand."

Southwick: Oh, yeah. Fools do that.

Whiteside: How many times does that happen? That does happen a lot here. Your hands are empty!

Brokamp: Every day, all day long.

Southwick: No, not at work. Well, sometimes at work, but not often.

Whiteside: So that will reduce someone coming up to you and saying, "Your hands are empty. You don't have anything in your hand." You do, and every other drink is a glass of water.

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