This boozy fave is worse for you than a Macca’s burger
Christmas can prove a minefield when it comes to weight loss or trying to keep a healthy diet on track.
But the good news is wanting to keep on the straight and narrow doesn't mean you can't enjoy yourself.
UK-based diet guru Terri-Ann Nunns said there are ways you can still indulge while keeping your calorie count in check, The Sun reports.
"Some really simple swaps can be made to ensure that calorie intake is reduced without putting a dampener on your festive spirits," she said.
Here, Nunns shares her top six alcohol swaps that can help you enjoy your Christmas parties without worrying about piling on the pounds.
1. LARGE GLASS OF WINE FOR PROSECCO
Celebrating Christmas with a glass of bubbles rather than a large glass of wine will significantly cut down your calorie intake.
"A large glass of wine contains 220 calories whereas a glass of prosecco has just 85 calories," Nunns said.
"All wines and prosecco brands vary in alcohol and sugar content, but a glass of prosecco is likely to be less than half the calories of a large glass of wine.
"A large glass of wine is 250ml, or a third of a bottle, whereas fizz is served in smaller glasses, generally serving 125ml.
"You often find that the sugar content can be lower in prosecco which, again, gives it the edge when it comes to calories.
"A glass of prosecco will provide you with 1.5 units of alcohol whereas a large glass of wine is likely to be around three units."
2. A SCHOONER OF LAGER FOR A BOTTLE OF BEER
This may seem obvious but swapping a schooner of beer for a bottle significantly reduces the volume you will drink and therefore the calories, especially if you plan to have more than one.
A schooner of lager contains 210 calories whereas a bottle has 140.
"The term 'beer belly' doesn't exist without reason. Beer can be a big contributor to weight gain," Nunns said.
"Although the percentage ABV (alcohol by volume) is less than wine for example, the volume in which beer is consumed if drinking pints means that the calories mount up very quickly."
3. GIN AND TONIC FOR GIN AND SLIMLINE TONIC
By changing your mixer to one that is sugar-free, you can make a significant reduction to your calorie intake.
In particular, a regular gin and tonic is 100 calories whereas one made with slimline tonic is 60 calories.
Nunns said: "If you are trying to manage your weight, this is a really easy swap to make and the taste is virtually the same.
"Slimline tonics and other related drinks use sweeteners instead of sugar with a resulting calorie reduction.'
The expert added the figures were based on single measures only, which means if you like a double, this will up your calorie intake.
"If you opt for a double, you are adding around 55kcals per additional measure of gin," she said.
"And, if you are pouring your own measures at home, it's very easy for single measures to turn into triples - which may mean more fun but also means more calories."
4. LONG ISLAND ICED TEA FOR A BLOODY MARY
Serving cocktails on arrival is a given at many festive events, so it's worth choosing wisely if you are watching your weight.
For instance, a Long Island iced tea contains a staggering 400 calories and comes laden with a combination of vodka, gin, rum, tequila, triple sec and cola.
"So it's really is no surprise that, dependent on quantities used, this drink can reach 400kcals if not more!" Nunns said.
"Not taking into account the potential of a looming hangover, the calorie content of this drink is more than a cheeseburger from McDonalds.
"If you want to go for a healthier cocktail, choosing something like a Bloody Mary would mean you would consume much fewer calories and you could even hit two of your five a day (servings of vegetables) if you're having 150ml tomato juice and if you eat the celery stick afterwards."
5. DESSERT WINE FOR A GLASS OF SHERRY
Everyone loves a glass of dessert wine after their meal, however, one small glass totals up to 118 calories.
Instead, Nunns recommends going for a glass of sherry, which is just 60 calories.
"If you want a sweet alcoholic treat to follow your meal, opting for a glass of sherry would halve your calorie intake in comparison to a small glass of dessert wine," she said.
"You are served smaller quantities of sherry as it has a higher alcohol content compared to other wines, coming in at around 18-20 per cent ABV."
6. SWAP EGGNOG FOR SLOE GIN
You can slash a huge number of calories by opting for a sloe gin instead of eggnog.
Eggnog can contain up to 350 calories, while sloe gin has just 85 calories.
"Eggnog is made with milk, egg and sugar in addition to the alcohol of choice so, depending on the amounts of ingredients used, a glass of eggnog could quite easily exceed 350kcals," Nunns said.
"This has to be one of the most indulgent drinks around Christmas time and certainly won't help if you are trying to manage your weight. Another drink that is equally enjoyable but for different reasons is sloe gin.
"You can have it warm or on ice but it is still a tasty treat - with much fewer calories."
7. SWAP WHISKEY FOR VODKA
Christmas is a popular time to enjoy a glass of whiskey, either neat, on the rocks or served with a mixer.
A single shot, which is equal to a 25ml measure, is around 64kcal.
While this drink comes with fewer calories, those watching their weight are advised to stick to single measures and to opt for low-calorie or sugar-free mixers.
For a healthier swap, choose vodka served as a single measure. One 25ml pour is around 50kcals.
"A double measure with a sweet mixer like coke is around 170kcals a pop, which is more than a schooner of beer," experts at Glamour Magazine said.
"So opt for single shots and mix with lo-cal soda and fresh lime instead."