Summertime is in full swing and with summertime come the patios, BBQs and rooftop parties coupled with copious amounts of booze. If you’re trying to lose weight, the temptations of alcohol can often be counteractive to your progress. To add fuel to the fire it’s really hard to cut booze completely out of your diet. Luckily, a few small changes in your drink choices can help you push ahead with your weight loss goals. Because who are we kidding, at the end of the day –
Drinks to avoid
Margaritas are one of the worst diet offenders – an 8 oz. glass contains almost 500 calories and tons of sugar.
Unfortunately as much as I love piña coladas and dancing in the rain, piña coladas should be axed from your drink list as well. On average, one of these fruity drinks will set you back 525 calories.
If you like wine, keep away from port wine; one 4 oz. glass contains about 185 calories.
Because life is cruel mixed drinks tend to be the tastiest, but they are usually the drinks packed with the most sugar and calories. Steer clear of drinks with liqueurs; one shot of these bad boys usually has about 130 calories and that doesn’t include the added mixers and liquor.
As classy as you may look sipping on a martini, most 4 oz. martinis have about 200 to 300 calories. Sad part is that I could easily down 3 or 4 of these after a hard day, racking up about 1200 calories in one sitting (ouch).
Order this instead
Whenever I pick my poison, I always opt for vodka (I am a Polak after all). My drink of choice on nights out is a vodka soda topped with a lime wedge (56 calories). Soda water has no calories and a bit of fresh squeezed lime juice ensures the vodka goes down extra smooth.
If you’re a rum fan, opt for a rum and diet Coke (65 calories). If possible, order your drink with Bacardi as this has the least calories from all of the rums most bars tend to stock.
A standard gin & tonic has about 120 calories – tonic water packs a whole bunch of additional sugar, so if you’re a gin fan get a gin & soda (59 calories) instead.
While it’s best to stay away from beer while watching your weight, if you can’t say no to a brewski opt for some lighter choices like these:
The white wines with the least calories are White Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc (80 calories per 4 oz.), while Chardonnay is another viable option (coming in at 90 calories per 4 oz.). Feel free to pop the bubbly too – champagne comes in at a reasonable 96 calories per 4 oz.
If you’re drinking white wine, add a few ice cubes to your glass. Not only will you trick your body into thinking you’re fuller, but you’ll also be getting some added hydration (wine hangovers are the absolute worst, amirite?).
If you prefer red wine, drink a glass of Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon (both have about 90 calories per 4 oz. glass). As an added health bonus, red wine is a source of antioxidants that have been proven to help prevent cardiovascular disease.
Remember that there’s nothing wrong with indulging in a Long Island Iced Tea or a pint of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Ale once in a while. Just make sure that you’re being smart about your choices and cutting back whenever possible.