Cocktail Calories: How NOT to blow your diet these holidays when choosing alcohol drinks!
As the holiday season passes and summer approaches, it’s easy to forget about your diet. Everyone wants to enjoy their holiday season, but no one wants to wake up 5 kilos heavier. So when the idea of holiday partying starts to take over, you might forget to count calories – especially when it comes to holiday party cocktails. So how do you stick to your diet and still have a fun holiday – with or without cocktails or “mock tails“? The key is to remind yourself of the high levels of calories in every cocktail, and select as wisely as you can when it comes to choosing drinks.
How many calories in a cocktail?
Alcoholic beverages actually can contain enough calories that can give you the opposite results on your diet, even if you’re performing every other weight loss tip perfectly. That’s because drink mixers, such as soft drinks and juices, contain a variety of sugars and additives. These may lead to higher volumes of caloric intake (and consequential body fat gains) than you may ralise you’re getting with every special holiday drink.
The best way to ensure maintenance of a reduced calorie intake over the holidays is to NOT drink alcohol at all. You can save a lot on caloric intake – and make the most of your diet efforts – by avoiding cocktails altogether.
But if you DO choose to drink over the holidays, your best choices are sticking to low carb or low calorie drinks. This typically means looking for drinks made with diet sodas or freshly squeezed fruits (such as limes or lemons). Steer clear of full strength beer (try light beer instead) and definitely limit your intake of wines.
Cocktail Drinks are like “Liquid Donuts” when it comes to calories and weight gain
One of our Team calls cocktails “the liquid doughnut,” referring to the high levels of sugar – and calories – in every drink.
To prove her point, did you know that a Pina Colada contains nearly an identical amount of calories to a doughnut?
And did you know that a frozen strawberry margarita often contains a similar amount of calories to a cheeseburger!
Sadly but true, you need to look at drinks the same way you look at sugary treats – and adjust your caloric intake accordingly, especially if you want to keep your weight in check over the holidays and New Years.
Top 5 Cocktails to stick to this summer period to avoid gaining excess weight
Low Calorie Cocktail or Mocktail Choices
- Vodka Lime and Soda: It’s a known fact around the world that if you’re on a diet or otherwise trying to maintain a stable weight, it’s often best to stick to a vodka lime and soda drink. Why? Because typically these drinks contain only 96 calories each. It’s also a beverage that is simple and refreshing, and one you can often feel satisfied with having just one standard drink. But beware: some bars may use a lime cordial which contains excess sugars and other additives that aren’t friendly to your waistline. So this summer – make sure you ask for fresh lime and tell them to hold the cordial.
- Martini: This popular cocktail contains gin and dry vermouth. It’s often a calorie-safe cocktail to stick with this summer. That’s because it typically contains 176 calories per standard drink; which is a bit higher compared with the vodka lime and soda drink. But this cocktail equals 2 standard drinks compared to the vodka lime and soda equaling one standard drink. So be aware of this and NEVER drive under the influence of alcohol. It’s not safe for you or anyone else on the road.
- Mojito: If you want to taste something a little sweeter this holiday period, then a mojito cocktail may be the perfect mix. It tends to contain white rum, soda, fresh mint, lime and sugar. Even though this cocktail typically has 2 teaspoons of sugar in it, the caloric intake is often only 168 calories; but in terms of a standard drink, it counts as 1.3 standard drinks.
- Sazerac: This strongly-flavoured drink is usually a mix of Cognac, Absinthe, a sugar cube and bitters. As a standard drink, it counts as 2 drinks in terms of alcohol intake; but only has a calorie intake of 136 calories.
- Old Fashioned: This drink is a combination of bourbon, lemon juice and maple syrup. The typical calorie intake for an “old fashioned” drink is typically only 154 calories; but it counts as 1.4 standard drinks.
Mocktails are usually even LESS in calories, so make excellent choices for people who are dieting or when pregnant, when alcohol of any kind is best avoided (there is NO safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy).
Please note: these descriptions are only estimates in terms of standard drinks, so be sure to ask your server AND visit Australia’s excellent resource pages on knowledgeable, safe consumption guidelines.
Cocktails to Avoid When Dieting
So what are some of the most highly caloric cocktails you will need to “give a miss to” over the holiday periods to stick with your diet or maintain your weight?
- Mudslides – 560 Calories
- Pina Coladas – 586 Calories
- Long Island Iced Tea – 543 Calories
- Margarita – 550 Calories
Other Ways to Maintain Your Weight or Sustain Your Dieting Efforts over the Holidays
Before any big nights out over the holidays, such as New Year’s Eve, make sure you eat enough leading up to the day. You won’t want to be snacking throughout the night, and you don’t want to drink on an empty stomach either. It’s just not good for you. So for every drink you have that contains alcohol (or for every mocktail that doesn’t), be sure you drink a full large glass of water to help keep yourself hydrated properly. This can also reduce your chances of waking up with a killer hangover the next day!
Enjoying the holidays is on top of everyone’s to do list and having fun and staying fit is definitely possible this summer.
If you decide to spend a night out and indulge in cocktails, remember the list above. This can help you to keep on your diet or not go overboard on calories. Dancing throughout the night will also tend to help you burn calories, but it’s good to spend the next day having healthy greens and berries and other foods you know are nutritious and will help your body recover from a big night out.
Just remember you CAN look after your body and your health, and still enjoy yourself.
Just follow the golden rule – moderation and good decisions.
And whatever you do, NEVER drive whilst under the influence of alcohol.