Make Your Cocktails Guilt-Free!

six cocktails on a barWhether you’re getting together with friends to have a few drinks or celebrating the holiday season with a festive cocktail or two, it is possible to have a guilt-free night of fun.

Many drinks are heavy on calories and fat, which isn’t good when you’re trying to maintain healthy eating habits. But instead of just sipping seltzer and missing out on all of the cheer, here are a few simple tricks to keep cocktails from showing up on the scale.

Start with some bubbly

Sorry, not champagne! Instead, start off with a glass of no-calorie seltzer (or still water). The bubbles from the carbonation will give your stomach a full feeling, which helps you slow down and think about your food and drink choices as the night progresses. If you pace myself, you have better control. Plus, it’s no surprise that the calories in cocktails quickly add up, so you can also alternate seltzer between rounds.

Order it with extra rocks

Order your cocktails with extra ice, since melting cubes dilute the drink. This creates more liquid, so you can sip longer without increasing calorie intake. Sometimes it lasts so long, you may not bother with another, which saves calories in the long run.

Think before you drink

Many tend to make a beeline straight for the bar when arriving at the club, bar or party, and then guzzle down the first drink before anyone else has even placed their orders. That way, you’re consuming calories before the night has even began! Instead, start with the seltzer and think about the drink you’d like to order. By the time you’ve thoroughly considered your options, you’re happier with your cocktail choice and can take the time to savor it.

Lose the straw

Many tend to chug down cocktails when you use a straw, which means you’re more likely to refill sooner. Have a drink without a straw and you may be surprised just how much slower you sip (and enjoy) it.

Skip the juice (unless it’s fresh)

Fruit juice is often packed with sugar, so avoid cocktails that contain juice—unless it’s freshly squeezed, which is rich in disease-fighting antioxidants. A great example is vodka with seltzer and a small splash of pomegranate juice. This gives the drink lots of flavor and a healthy punch without too many added calories.