As the holidays are approaching, people are usually vaguely aware that they need to keep their eating in check. Desserts at every gathering, heavy, fattening meals, and zero portion control can really increase your waistline in no time if you aren’t careful.
What usually flies under the radar are the calories we consume from the drink menu. We can tend to forget (or choose not to remember 😂) that the sugar and carbohydrate count on these can be INSANE. Not only that, but the more we drink, the lower our inhibitions become, and any “dieting” we would be doing, goes right out the window.
So before you hit your first holiday party this season, let’s arm you with a few strategies to allow you to enjoy a low(er) calorie drink.
Start with the base. Sparkling soda water is the lowest calorie option out there weighing in at a whopping zero calories. No, I’m not telling you to JUST drink sparkling water (although, that is a great option as well) but it immediately sets you and your drink up for success with waaaaay less sugar than those drinks that start with juices with added sugars, syrups, and artificial sweeteners.
Toppings, toppings, toppings. Anything that can be added to give a boost of flavor without majorly increasing your calorie content is a bonus. Adding a twist of lime or squishing some berries can completely change the flavor and make you feel like you’re indulging! Watermelon, although not really a “holiday fruit,” can be a great topper. Did you know it’s made of 90% water?! So it gives you a naturally based zip of sweetness while adding to your hydration.
Spice it up! This one is definitely not a go-to for every drink or every taste bud. However, it can really help you not go overboard. A few shakes of hot sauce in a Bloody Mary or muddled up jalapeños in a margarita-- make you take your time. Generally, people aren’t chugging things that bring the heat. Added bonus, while alcohol is known for increasing appetite, spice helps curb it. Boom.
If you’re looking to make up your own creation, you should know all alcohol is not created equal.
Take a look at this list by calorie count, according to the Google machine.
Beer, one can 156 calories
Wine, 5oz 123 calories
Gin, 1oz 73 calories
Rum, 1oz 64 calories
Vodka, 1oz 64 calories
Whiskey, 1oz 70 calories
So what are the best healthy-ish drinks to order? Here's a few of my faves.
Wine Spritzers: You can add sparkling water to any wine and it immediately cuts the calories in half while you enjoy your favorite vino.
Vodka soda: Vodka, soda water, and a splash of lime!
Skinny Cranberry Margaritas: Yum! And no added sugar! It won’t be on every menu but will be a synch to make at home.
Champagne: Who knew this celebratory bev has less calories and carbs than wine?!
Old Fashioned: This one does have added sugar but you still get lots of flavor for under 200 calories!