When you’re watching what you eat and trying to stay on the healthy bandwagon, going out can be a dangerous endeavor. The internal struggle can eat away at you.
But the question really isn’t whether you will go out. It’s inevitable that you’ll tire of your Netflix account and feel your cute dresses beckon you to wear them.
You can’t remain a shut-in, particularly when your friends are always bugging you to come out.
But how can you still hit the bars and partake in the drinking marathon without ruining your diet?
You don’t need to wrestle with yourself about whether you can go out. You only need wrestle with your own self-control to skip the unhealthy booze bombs and go for healthier drinking choices.
Here are some tips for ordering low calorie drinks so the struggle doesn’t seem so difficult when you get to the bar:
1. Go diet or skinny when possible
You love classics like rum and coke, margaritas, and gin and tonics. But those drinks can be total sugar bombs! While I don’t promote high consumption of artificial sweeteners, if you’re trying to save on the calories in your drink, diet soda and diet tonic will help in the cause.
Other cocktail classics that come with simple syrup, like margaritas, mojitos, and daiquiris, there’s an option to ask for it “skinny.” Usually, this just means less simple syrup. Just be prepared for a slightly tarter drink.
2. Love those fresh juice options
Vitamin C plays a role in reducing alcohol-related stress in the liver. Unfortunately, alcohol depletes your stores of vitamin C. Getting in some vitamin C in your mixer is definitely a smart choice.
3. Club soda is your friend
The beauty of soda water is its ability to mix with pretty much any spirit. With the addition of a squeeze of citrus, it makes for a good low calorie drink. If that’s not enough mixer to cover that rough alcohol flavor, add a splash of juice!
If you enjoy going the vodka and soda route, there are many flavored vodka options. You can try to order a different flavor combo each time and you’ll probably never run out of options. I’d skip the fruit loops vodka though—just trust me on that one.
4. Not all wines are created equal
Different wines have different calorie content. On the higher end of the calorie spectrum we have sherry (157 calories, 3.5 ounces), burgundy (127 calories, 5 ounces) and moscato (125 calories, 5 ounces). The lower calorie wine options are champagne (96 calories, 5 ounces), white zinfandel (106 calories, 5 ounces), pinot grigio (112 calories, 5 ounces), cabernet (113 calories, 5 ounces), and pinot noir (115 calories, 5 ounces).
Wine isn’t a bad choice for its antioxidant content. Red wine contains resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant. And just because champagne isn’t red doesn’t mean it doesn’t also have some of the same heart-healthy benefits (red wine grapes are most commonly used to make champagne). The polyphenols in these grapes have been shown to remove nitric oxide from the blood, thus improving blood pressure and overall circulation. I go more in-depth on polyphenols in my article on antioxidants on my blog.
5. But what about beer?
Beer has this reputation for making people fat. The higher carbohydrate count in beer works hard to prove its reputation to be kind of true. But beer is so delicious!
Here are some ground rules:
- If it says light in the name, it is fair game. I make no guarantees about flavor, but it’ll be lower calorie than other options.
- If it’s one of those craft beers with an ABV greater than 6%, it isn’t a low-calorie option. There are 7 calories per gram of alcohol content, and those add up fast.
- Just because it comes in a smaller glass doesn’t mean that it’s lower calorie. Usually it’s quite the opposite.
You can still go to the bar
With these easy tips, you won’t ruin your diet with your night out on the town. Ordering a low calorie drink doesn’t mean limiting your choices or sacrificing flavor. Don’t be a slave to your new diet. You’ll be more likely to fail if you don’t have a realistic approach.
Being healthy is more about being mindful of your choices, not about always making the “angelic” choice. Don’t forget to make sure what you’re eating is making you happy. Mental health is just as important as your physical health.
So don’t ditch your friends out at the bar just because you’re afraid it may ruin your calorie count for the day. You’ll never look back on life to regret the fun times you had out. Get your health(ier) party on!
About the Author
I’m Katilin. I talk about practical advice on how to save calories, reduce the effects of a hangover, and look good while having fun. I empower party-goers to make easy dietary changes for a health(ier) lifestyle.