All year long you “cheers” to birthdays, holidays and special achievements. If you’re trying to lose weight or live a healthier lifestyle, you’re probably wondering what “healthy” alcoholic drink options are out there for these celebrations. To help you have fun without sabotaging your fitness and nutrition goals, we selected our favorite low-calorie alcoholic drinks to enjoy while dieting.
Keep in mind that just because these drinks are healthier, low-calorie options doesn’t mean they should be enjoyed in unlimited amounts. Calories from alcoholic drinks add up quickly without providing much nutritional benefit.
How to Drink While Dieting – general drinking tips
Overindulging in alcohol dehydrates our bodies and often results in a nasty hangover. To feel amazing the morning after a fun night out, follow our five tips.
1. Add an extra cup of water for every alcoholic beverage
Have you ever noticed how thirsty you are after a night of drinking? Alcohol can dehydrate us and even mild dehydration can negatively impact our mental and physical performance. In addition to your normal daily water intake, drink an extra cup of water after each alcoholic beverage.
2. Know your limits
More alcohol means more calories and calories from alcoholic beverages lack the nutritional benefits we get from food calories. Enjoy your beverage slowly and focus on moderation to limit calories and that next-day hangover. Remember that moderation for men typically means less than 2 bottles of beer or 2 glasses of wine, but for women, it’s half the amount.
3. Have it neat or on the rocks
Skip the sugary mixers and juices. Instead, ask for your favorite liquor neat or on the rocks.
4. Add natural freshness
Get creative and add something fresh — lemon, lime, mint, basil, cucumber or berries — to your drink. Citrus, herbs, and fruits make liquor and wine taste amazing without adding extra calories or sugar.
5. Don’t drink on an empty stomach
Always fill up on food before filling up on alcohol. Drinking on an empty stomach makes you feel intoxicated more quickly and that intoxication often leads to more drinking or mindless eating. Consume a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner from your 8fit meal plan before a night out to slow the absorption of alcohol and encourage drinking in moderation.
Our favorite low-calorie alcoholic drinks
There are a few drinks we reach for during a night out. Try one of our favorites next time you’re celebrating.
- Vodka: Our preferred low-calorie vodka drink only has 65 calories. Ingredients: 1 shot of vodka, a splash of mineral water, lime slices and crushed ice.
- Wine: We like red wine because it has slightly higher vitamin and mineral content than white wine. Choose a dry wine for lower sugar content. One glass, regardless of whether it’s white or red, has around 120 calories. Ingredients: Your preferred high-quality red wine.
- Champagne: The typical New Year’s Eve alcoholic drink or wedding beverage is also a low-calorie one. A glass of champagne typically has about 90 calories. Ingredients: Bubbly, sparkling champagne.
- Mojito with extra lime: Make your mojito “healthier” by asking your server for a less sugary version. One glass of our concoction has about 130 calories. Ingredients: 1 shot of rum, lime juice, 1 tsp agave (or cane sugar), a splash of mineral water, lime slices, fresh mint leaves and crushed ice.
- Cucumber gin martini: This refreshing alcoholic drink brings a little summer to cold, dark winter and only clocks in at 100 calories. Ingredients: 1 shot of gin, fresh cucumber slices, 1 tsp agave (or cane sugar), a touch of lemon juice and crushed ice.
If these low-calorie alcoholic drinks aren’t available, reach for a light beer, a bloody Mary, tequila with mineral water and lime, bourbon soda or a michelada. Kindly ask your server for more natural, less sugary options and don’t feel weird about it. In the end, it’s important to have fun and to not let your fitness or nutrition goals add stress.
Enjoy alcohol in moderation and have a happy, healthy holiday, wedding, graduation, birthday – all of it.