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Nonalcoholic Thirst Quenchers continued...

Choosing a glass of fruit or vegetable juice is a great option, chock full of nutrients and disease-preventing antioxidants. Vegetable juice contains the least amount of calories and can be very pleasing. Fruit juice that is 100% juice contains almost twice as many calories as vegetable juice and while very nutritious, can add up to several hundred calories in large glasses.

One of the best thirst quenchers is good old-fashioned water. Sparkling water makes a nice substitute if you like the effervescence of soda. Jazz up noncaloric waters with fresh citrus, a splash of juice or a sprig of fresh mint. This is a great way to meet your daily fluid needs without any extra calories. And for those who don't want to look like they are not imbibing in the festivities, sparkling water with lime or fruit juice looks like you are enjoying a social cocktail.

The Plan

Before heading out to the party or bar, make a game plan. Eat a light snack before you go so that you won't get tipsy with the first drink; it should also help reduce the temptation to dive into the food.

Choose drinks that are relatively simple, such as coffee, tea, juice, wine, wine spritzers, light beer, or drinks mixed with low-calorie mixers. Sweet or creamy drinks add lots of extra fat and calories. Rum and diet cola or vodka and soda with a twist are good lower-calorie drink options.

Winter Warmers

Okay, we've talked about Super Bowl party time, but what about those other winter warmers?

Snuggling up to the fireplace with a mug of warm apple cider or hot chocolate is pure bliss. Make your hot chocolate with skim milk and top with a dollop of light whipped cream for a delicious and satisfying treat. Spice up your favorite warm ciders with spices or vanilla beans to heighten your senses.

Hot herbal teas and coffees are equally tasty. At the coffee house, order up your specialty coffee with skim milk ("skinny"); hold the whipped cream and you won't find yourself 600 calories in the hole. That's right, some of those large fancy coffee drinks with syrups, whole milk, and whipped cream can set you back as much as 600 to 700 calories -- the equivalent of two healthy meals!

Staying well hydrated during the cold winter months is very important. Drink plenty of fluids, especially if you are suffering from colds or flu, and remember to choose them carefully. As you've seen, those wonderful winter warmers and holiday nogs can add lots of unwanted calories!

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Expert Column

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