With a little knowledge and some planning, you can enjoy healthy cocktails without packing on the pounds.
In an effort to maintain balance in a healthy lifestyle, most of us will indulge in occasional cocktails here and there. But more often than not, we choose high-calorie drinks that can easily sabotage our efforts to stay healthy.
When choosing a drink, the key to order healthy cocktails, the mixers, syrups, and sodas which are used to make the cocktails. Most drinks begin with 1.5 oz of distilled spirits, which is equivalent to about 96 calories. The higher the alcohol content, the higher the calories.
- 80 proof vodka (40% alcohol) has 64 calories per 1 oz (most common)
- 86 proof vodka (43% alcohol) has 70 calories per 1 oz
- 90 proof vodka (45% alcohol) has 73 calories per 1 oz
- 100 proof vodka (50% alcohol) has 82 calories per 1 oz
A standard glass of wine contains around 125-150 calories, but that depends on the size of the glass and the size of the pour. Beer can range anywhere from 64-198 calories per 12 oz. Light beers are the healthier option because they contain fewer carbs but the same amount of alcohol as a regular beer. However, the current trend is super-sized cocktails that contain sugared rims, syrups and mixers that are loaded with extra calories.
Here are some simple tips to avoid unnecessary alcoholic calories:
- Alternate between an alcoholic drink and a nonalcoholic drink: Once you finish a glass of wine or beer, switch to glass of water or sparkling water. This will help you to drink less, stay hydrated and feel better the next day.
- Choose a light beer or simple cocktails made with low-calorie mixers. Ask for your drinks to be mixed with water, club soda, low-calorie juices (Trop 50) or artificial sweeteners (Crystal Light Pure, Truvia/Pyure).
- Healthy alternative mixers: Light orange juice (8 oz): 50 calories, Light cranberry juice (8 oz): 50 calories, Light lemonade (8 oz): 5 calories, Crystal Light Pure: 15-30 calories, Club soda: 0 calories (75 mg sodium)
- Skip the mixer altogether! Now liquors are infused with just about every flavor you could imagine, from chocolate-covered strawberry to caramel. They are popular because they are infused with flavor instead of sweetened, which reduces calories significantly.
- Diluting a drink can make it last longer. Ask for a half glass of wine and half club soda or sparkling water, or order a drink with club soda and just a splash of juice.
- Plan ahead: The best way to avoid packing on extra alcohol pounds is to decide beforehand what number of drinks you are going to have and how you are going to order your drink to cut back on calories. Make sure to eat before drinking because alcohol is absorbed through the stomach lining and can absorb much quicker on an empty stomach.
Now you know how to order healthy cocktails and have a nice day after!