Being Mindful with Holiday Cheer

Tis the season to be jolly and imbibe responsibly in holiday spirits. As women, this is especially critical because we metabolize alcohol much more slowly than our male counterparts. There are various reasons for this: our smaller body size, different % of body fat and slower enzymatic metabolism of alcohol. All of these create a higher blood alcohol level in women compared to men.

That is why it’s important to be mindful during this holiday season with regards to alcohol intake – not just for our waistlines but also for our overall health and well-being.  

Let’s review what a standard drink means.  

A “standard” drink means any alcoholic drink that contains approximately 0.6 fluid ounces or 14 grams of “pure” alcohol. This equates to the following:

  • 12 ounces of regular beer
  • 8  ounces of malt liquor
  • 4-5 ounces of table wine
  • 3 ounces of fortified wine (sherry or port)
  • 2 ounces of cordial, aperitif
  • 1.5 fluid ounces of “hard” liquor – 80-proof (40% alcohol content).

Here are 5 Tips to lessen your alcohol load this holiday season.

  1. Drink lots of water: Before ordering that glass of cabernet or margarita on the rocks, remember to drink a glass of water. This will help quench your thirst and allow you to savor the sips of your beverage.  Remember to drink one glass of water between each alcoholic beverage and think in moderation!
  2. Eat food: Choose healthy options, if possible. Skip the salted chips with onion dip and go for the veggies with hummus dip. By eating food, you will slow the rate of alcohol absorption into your body.
  3.  Alternate with water or non-alcoholic drinks. This will keep your hands busy as well as keeping you hydrated as discussed above.
  4. Don’t cave into peer pressure.  If you don’t want to have that extra drink, politely say “No”. You’ll be happy about it in the morning.
  5.  Have a plan to get home safely. Designate a driver for the evening who agrees not to drink during the evening’s festivities and is responsible for getting everyone home safely. Or, call UBER. The cost of the fare is well worth it!

Here’s to a safe (and mindful!) holiday season!


In health and happiness,

Dr. Diana

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