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Party Drink Alert!

WebMD Feature from "Good Housekeeping" Magazine

By Delia Hammock, M.S., R.D.

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You can enjoy a festive drink this season without committing diet sabotage, but take care-if you're not precise when you pour your drink, it may pack far more calories than you'd planned. Many people consider one cocktail to be a glassful, regardless of how many ounces that glass contains. Dietitians and government sources, on the other hand, use standard sizes to estimate calorie counts-so one woman's single drink may be the equivalent of two or three standard-size ones. This means filling your glass to the brim can add hundreds of calories. In weight-loss terms: You'd have to trek for an hour on the treadmill to kiss those extra ounces of Cosmo goodbye. So decide how many calories you're willing to spend on a cocktail and how much that means you can have. Then, if a friend pours your drink, ask her to stop at that target amount (say, half a glass).

The buzz on alcopops

They're fizzy and fun-and also full of calories, something that isn't specified on the labels of these flavored malt drinks. (Makers of alcoholic beverages are not required to give nutritional information.) Here's the calorie scoop on the popular brands: Peels Strawberry Passion Fruit (10 oz.), 180; Seagram's Smooth Pink Dragon (12 oz.), 140; Mike's Hard Cranberry Lemonade (12 oz.), 220.

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