When you are following a strict weight loss program like the HCG diet, you may think that alcohol is off-limits. After all, draft beer is loaded with unusable calories. However, there are such things as low-calorie alcoholic drinks, which are the perfect choice for enjoying yourself at pool parties and summer barbeques without ruining the beach body you’ve worked hard to achieve. Cocktails shouldn’t be your first choice for hydration during hot summer months, but they can be a good way to loosen up and enjoy the party a bit more.
Know Before You Go
All alcohol, whether you prefer wine, beer, or liquor, is full of useless calories. These are the calories that do nothing nutritionally for your body or diet. Just one shot of hard liquor is about 96 calories, and that is before you add in the mixers. Ordering tonic water isn’t the same as soda water, either. Tonic water has around 32 grams of sugar and tops 120 by way of calories in just a 123-ounce can, whereas soda water has neither. A glass of wine hits around 140 calories in a six-ounce pour, and a 12-ounce bottle of light beer fares about the same. It will take some creativity to navigate the calorie-heavy options, but it can be done. If your goal is to just limit your caloric intake, then stick with a simple liquor-based drink like a vodka soda with a squeeze of lime. When ordering a cocktail, ask the bartender to skip the addition of sugary syrups and go light on the juice mixers. Stick to asking for “just a splash” and try an antioxidant-laden juice like pomegranate over cranberry or orange. Here are some more specific drinks you can request or make on your own for a figure-friendly approach to liquor.
Extra Spicy Bloody Mary
Most cocktails are laden with sugar, making it easy to drink more than one. A Bloody Mary that is extra spicy will have you slowing your roll on how much you guzzle down. It also encourages extra sips of water, keeping you more hydrated and taking up extra room that you would normally fill with alcohol. The tomato juice in the drink gives an extra boost of antioxidants, as well as a host of vitamins like lycopene and vitamin B. The garnishes of pickles and olives are also a nice little snack that makes this drink more enticing.
If you are totally staying away from unnecessary calories, then forgo the mixed drink and stick to a glass of red wine. The calories will still be there, but you will have something to show for them. A pinot noir has a high concentration of body-boosting antioxidants, including resveratrol, flavonoids, and polyphenols. Antioxidants help your immune system fight off the free radicals that cause cancers, diseases, and premature aging.
Increasing in popularity given the drinking habits of the gals on Sex in the City (who obviously weren’t worried about their figures), this is still one the most classic party cocktails. You can put your spin on a Cosmo with a low-cal variety that uses a raspberry-infused vodka, club soda, and just a splash of both lime and cranberry juices. Many fruit juices seem to be beneficial because of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants they contain, but they are often extremely high in natural sugars. You can keep those calories in check and still have the flavor by using just a splash of juice.
Summer heat is best beat with a cold drink, and Moscow mule is favored go-to. The copper cup this drink is traditionally served in offers drinkers an extra-cool sensation since the metal is quickly chilled by the icy cocktail. To stick to tradition, you need ginger beer, vodka, lime juice, simple syrup, and lots of ice. To have a drink that fits your waistline goals, leave out the simple syrup. Doing so drop this sensation down to around 80 calories. With that number, what’s the harm in having a second round?
This or That on the Rocks
Sometimes, less is more when it comes to liquor consumption. Using a silver tequila will have less sugar than a more traditional brown tequila or liquor, and you can either drink it straight up as a minimalist or mix it with club soda and a splash of citrus. A Scotch on the rocks will also give you great flavor, but it is strong enough that sipping on it through the night makes one drink all you need.
You don’t have to be the downer at the pool party or the designated driver just because you are on a diet. There are a lot of low calories options for cocktails and specialty drinks to let you enjoy your night without ruining your dieting goals.
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