If you’re not careful, cocktails and other alcoholic beverages can add up to a huge amount of calories. If you’re trying to lose weight (or maintain your current weight), keep the following five tips in mind.
1. The first rule to remember for low calorie drinking applies to drinking in general: Limit your alcoholic beverages. The maximum recommended amount is two per day. If you go above this, you’re adding extra calories to your day as well as perhaps dealing with the problems of drinking too much alcohol. This may not be too much of a problem if you are only drinking occasionally. But if you find it difficult to stay to two drinks per day, you may want to seek professional help.
2. Not only does the quantity of the drinks make a difference in your calorie level, but the quantity of beverage that is in your glass counts as well. Seek out mixed drinks that have a lot of low calorie mixers, or add some water to further dilute the alcohol.
Ask for drinks made with soda water or regular water. If you don’t want to mix water into your drinks, try alternating an alcoholic beverage with a glass of water to dilute the amount of calories in your system.
3. When it comes to filling your glass, you can trick yourself into drinking less by using a lot of ice. If your glass is filled to the brim with ice, you’ll end up putting less of the drink into your glass to begin with. The ice will melt as you drink the beverage and your drink will become naturally diluted. More dilution equals fewer calories, and you’ll automatically drink less. You probably won’t even notice the difference.
4. Watch out for high calorie mixers. Mixed drinks can be tricky because there are a lot of mixers that are very high in calories. Anything sweet, sour or a mixture of both tends to be very high in calories.
There’s a reason those beverages taste good! They are filled with sugar to offset the flavor of the alcohol. Flavored liqueurs can also be chock full of sugar which can significantly raise the level of calories in your drink. If a mixed drink tastes like a dessert, it’s best to just leave it alone. Look for drinks mixed with soda water or regular water for your best low-calorie bet.
5. Finally, you can skip mixed drinks all together and go for an all around lower-calorie beverage choice, such as wine, champagne or light beer. These drinks all have significantly lower calorie levels than mixed drinks. There are some light beers that are just 60 calories per bottle.
Do keep in mind that having a low-calorie beverage isn’t a reason to drink more. It’s a good idea to limit your alcohol consumption to two drinks per day not matter how few calories your drink has.