Low Calorie Alcoholic Drinks – some diet tips before Xmas.
It always happens. You get on a diet, or a workout program. Its going great, and you are starting to see results.
But just at that point, you get invited to an event that you just can’t avoid. It could be a friend’s birthday. It could be an office Xmas party. Either way, you have no choice. You now have to deal with going out and having a drink or two.
It’s all too easy to overdo it with alcohol calories. We all know desserts are fattening. But when it comes to alcoholic drinks, sometimes the calories don’t register, even though a single chocolate martini has more calories than a McDonald’s grilled chicken sandwich. In fact, 1 gram of alcohol has 7 calories, compared to only 4 calories for a gram of carbohydrates or protein.
Fortunately there is no need to worry. Go through this list of low calorie alcoholic drinks and be prepared before you get to the venue. The lists and recommendations are separated into four categories. Wine, Beer, Spirits and Cocktails. Depending on your preference or what you think will be available, note down some choices.
Note that, if drinking lower calorie alcoholic drinks results in drinking more. Then the point of the entire exercise is lost. Decide on a maximum number of glasses. Then look at the numbers. You might be better off drinking two to three stronger, high calorie alcoholic drinks, than drinking a lot of lower calorie alternatives.
Low Calorie Wine
Wine and champagne are almost always available at any venue or function. If wine is your drink of choice, you will be pleased to know that they average 100 calories or less per glass. White wines like Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Riesling have 90 calories per 4 oz. Red wine are similar. Merlot, Rose, or Rhonewith have roughly 95 calories per glass. But nothing beats Champagne. A single 4 oz glass is just 78 calories.
CHAMPAGNE: 78 Calories per 4oz Glass
WHITE WINE: Chardonnay, Zinfandel or Riesling – 90 Calories per 4oz Glass
RED WINE: Merlot, Rose or Rhonewith – 95 Calories per 4oz Glass
Here are calories counts for other wine:
- Red wine (5 oz): 120
- White wine (5 oz): 120
- Port wine (3 oz): 128
- Wine spritzer (5 oz): 100
Low Calorie Beer
It’s possible to enjoy a beer once in awhile, but you are best off choosing the light variety. Some brands have come out with beer that has only 65 calories, which is great for those who like to enjoy a couple of beers at a barbeque without racking up the calories in the mean time. The best way to stay satisfied with low calorie alcoholic drinks is to mix it up and try something new once in awhile. The biggest issue when looking for low-calorie beers is availability. They may not taste all that great or pack much of a punch but they are light on the calorie count. However chances are that you won’t find them everywhere. Guinness on the hand is likely to be available. Guinness gets a bad rap because of the darker hue. But at 125 calories per 12 ounces, it is a great balance between calories and taste.
RECOMMENDED: Guinness – 125 Calories per 12 oz
Here are calories counts for other beer:
- Beer (12 oz): 150-198
- Light beer (12 oz): 95-136
- Ultra-light beer (12 oz): 65-95
Low Calorie Alcohol
Spirits are another good option. The danger comes from the mixers. Stick to diet mixers, and you should be fine. If you drink any of these on the rocks, it’s a double benefit. Not only will you drink slowly. But you will also avoid drinking cola and whatever sweetener it contains. Another option is diluting your drink with club soda or sparkling water. And if you usually drink vodka and cranberry, for example, try it with club soda, just a splash of cranberry juice, and a squeeze of lime. Garnish with a wedge of citrus or pineapple to add flavor and few calories.
RECOMMENDED: Rum & Diet Coke – 64 Calories per 1 oz
Here are calories counts for other spirits:
- Rum – 64 Calories per 1 oz
- Brandy – 64 Calories per 1 oz
- Gin – 64 Calories per 1 oz
- Tequila – 64 Calories per 1 oz
- Scotch Whiskey – 73 Calories per 1 oz
- Vodka – 73 Calories per 1 oz
- Whisky – 73 Calories per 1 oz
The higher the alcohol content, the higher the calories:
- 80-proof vodka (40% alcohol; the most common type) has 64 calories per 1oz
- 86-proof vodka (43% alcohol) has 70 calories/1 oz
- 90-proof vodka (45% alcohol) has 73 calories/1 oz
- 100-proof vodka (50% alcohol) has 82 calories/1 oz
How to mix Low Calorie Cocktails.
Mix cocktails with water, club soda, low calorie juices, artificial sweeteners or sugar-free syrups for easy calorie savings. Fruit and vegetable juices can be good choices because they are lower in calories than some other mixers and also contain antioxidants. Still, be careful of fruit juices because even though they are more nutritious, the calories can add up quickly.
Some mixers that won’t pack on the pounds include:
- Diet soda or diet tonic: 0 calories
- Orange juice (6 oz): 84 calories
- Light orange juice (8 oz): 50 calories
- Light cranberry juice (8 oz): 40 calories
- Light lemonade (8 oz): 5 calories
- Coffee, tea: 0 calories
- Lemon or lime juice (1/2 oz): 10 calories
- Sugar-free syrups: 0
How Many Calories in Popular Cocktails?
So just how many calories are in your favorite cocktail? These calorie counts for popular alcoholic drinks are approximate, but may vary depending on ingredients and portions.
- Pina Colada (6 oz): 378 calories
- Mojito (8 oz): 214 calories
- Cosmopolitan (4 oz): 200 calories
- Chocolate martini: (2 oz each vodka, chocolate liqueur, cream, 1/2 oz creme de cacao, chocolate syrup): 438
- Margarita (8 oz): 280
- Green apple martini (1 oz each vodka, sour apple, apple juice): 148
- Martini (2.5 oz): 160
- Bloody Mary (5 oz): 118
- Coffee liqueur (3 ounces): 348
- Godiva chocolate liqueur (3 oz): 310
- Eggnog with rum (8 ounces): 370
- Hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps (8 oz): 380
- Hot buttered rum (8 oz): 292
- Spiced cider with rum ( 8 oz):150
- Vodka and tonic (8 oz): 200
- Screwdriver (8 oz): 190
- Mimosa (4 oz): 75
- Gin and tonic (7 oz): 200
- Long Island iced tea (8 oz): 780
- White Russian (2 oz vodka, 1.5 oz coffee liqueur, 1.5 oz cream): 425
- Mai Tai (6 oz) (1.5 oz rum, 1/2 oz cream de along, 1/2 oz triple sec, sour mix, pineapple juice): 350
- Rum and Coke (8 oz): 185
High Calorie Drinks to Avoid
Drinks heavy in cola or juices (eg: Margarita)
Frozen or creamy drinks (eg: Pina Colada)
Drinks with high calorie mixers (eg: Eggnog)
Alcohol high in calories and sugar (eg: Crème de Menthe)
Denying yourself something that you usually take pleasure in because you are on a diet is no fun and can end up resulting in a binge situation later on. As long as you can practice self control, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying cocktails. Just do what you can to make smart diet choices when you’re drinking, and be sure not to overindulge. Everything in moderation!
Vodka Cranberry Fizz
By November 16, 2013Published:
If you pack your drink with nothing but cranberry juice, you're looking at a pretty high calorie refreshment. In order to create a tasty yet low calorie alcoholic drink, simply replace half of the cranberry juice with diet sprite or sparkling water which adds a little fizz to the drink. You can even mix it up a little by using another kind of fruit juice in place of the cranberry.
- A proper Vodka Cranberry also uses a touch of Rose’s lime and orange juice to bring out the best of the cranberry flavor. This cocktail recipe is pretty light on the alcohol, so feel free to vary it according to your taste and tolerance.
- Mix with real cranberry juice:
There are some easy ways that you can make this cocktail even less offensive to your health. For example, always use 100% pure cranberry juice to make your drinks, as this is the only way you really get the health benefits of the berries. Most juices have very little cranberries in them and are full of sugars and additives that could hamper your diet’s progress