Ah, alcohol. The silent killer.
Well… at least of your diet.
This is one of the saddest posts for me to write. I like to drink. Not excessively, not abusively, but I like a good drink. It’s a no-no. No two ways about it.
I’d like to tell you there are sneaky ways around this, but truly, there aren’t.
I subscribe to the once-a-week rule. I pick a night to be little Miss Boozy, and I go for it. This is really the only way to go about drinking and maintaining your weight, let alone drinking and losing weight.
Bummer, I know. But let’s just break this down a little bit.
Want to drink a bottle of wine?
800-1,000 calories. And no, that isn’t the 1.5L bottle. Do you know what else you could have for that?
A Big Mac and fries.
10 fillets of haddock.
A slice of White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake fromThe Cheesecake Factory.
How about a Long Island Iced Tea?
700 calories. You could have fish and chips at the pub for the calories in THAT ONE DRINK.
I looooooooooove a good margarita
But at 600 calories, I could have a Wendy’s double cheeseburger instead.
And yes, I know, alcohol doesn’t have the same fat content as, say, a double cheeseburger. But its effects are FAR more dangerous! Not only does your body process alcohol calories before food (allowing whatever you ate earlier in the day to handily jump onto your thighs), but they are completely empty calories—you certainly aren’t taking care of any hunger by drinking.
Another problem: after a few mixed drinks, you’re A LOT more likely to chow down on a greasy slice of pizza than you’d otherwise be—diet plans go out the window in a Smirnoff stupor.
Not only do you have to deal with the drunk munchies, but then you’ve got to deal with the hungover munchies. No one in the history of time has craved a salad when they’re hungover. You want some cheesey-bacon goodness, and you sure as hell don’t want to make it to your cardio kick-boxing class.
But don’t fret just yet! I have some fantastic low-cal cocktail option for you to get your drink on (responsibly!) without fear.
The Vodka Soda
This is my standard drink order. At about 60 calories a shot, vodka is easily the most diet-friendly of the booze options. The club soda (with 0 calories) is refreshing, and doesn’t add any sugar. I like to order it with extra lime wedges. If you can’t stomach it like this, try it with a splash (and I mean a splash, not a cup) of orange juice, grapefruit juice, or pineapple juice. Added bonus: the combo of clear alcohol + no sugar +a wee bit of hydration from club soda = MUCH less painful morning than if you’ve been sipping on jack and coke all night.
The Skinnygirl Margarita
If you’ve been craving a margarita, this really is your best option. The mixes at the grocery store are SO full of sugar and can be really, really syrupy. At only 100 cal, you can enjoy the margarita taste without sacrificing your waistline. Another option: If you can stomach it, pour tequila on ice, and add a splash of both lime and orange juice. Tastes like a STRONG margarita, without the guilt.
The Skinnygrape Wine
Wine is a really tricky one. People assume that it is light because it usually tastes light, but you can get anywhere from 140-200 calories per glass. This tasty selection is around the 80 calorie range, which is pretty darn awesome. Look for it at your liquour store.
Skinnygirl Margarita has been a huge hit, and it is really a great diet-drinking option. But with its popularity has come the inevitable “skinny-everything”. Be careful. Don’t let yourself get ripped off! Take the Skinnygirl vodka, for example. A 30 proof vodka with 40 calories a shot, it the same size bottle as, say Absolut, but is generally a few dollars more. But, if I wanted 30 proof vodka with 40 calories, I’d take ¾ of a shot of regular vodka. Don’t get conned into paying more for less.
You want to keep in mind that clear alcohol (vodka, gin) is generally better for you than amber (whisky, bourbon, etc). Rum is made from sugar cane, so you want to steer clear of the Captain. If you insist on it, have it with diet coke to minimize the yucky effects. Generally, you don’t even want to look at the mixed drink menu. I know the raspberry-fizz-vodka-rum-slushee sounds good, but it won’t feel good when you can’t zip up your jeans in the morning.
Remember these tips, and enjoy your weekly bar night with ease. Cheers!