You don’t have to blow your 3 week diet when you’re out partying with your friends. It is possible to cut calories and trim carbs without losing taste and effect. Here’s how.
Focusing on Low Carbs
If you are counting carbs, make sure you understand the difference between drinks that are low calorie, and drinks that are low carb. Low calorie drinks have fewer calories, while low carb drinks have fewer carbs, but they frequently have more calories. Beers are a good example of this concept: beers that you are likely to meet in a typical bar run from 1.0 carbs per beer to a high of 17.6 carbs in a 12 ounce beer. Aside from Guinness, the beer with the highest carb counts are Lite (or Light) Beer! It may be 100 calories for a Lite Beer, but the beer may have 8.0 carbs. A regular beer, on the other hand, may have from 140-200 calories, but only 2.0 carbs. If you are counting calories you’re likely to choose the Lite; if you’re concerned about carbs, pick the regular! It can make a difference around your waistline. An excellent carb and calorie chart can be found at RealBeer.com.
Most wines range from 2.5 carbs to 5.0 carbs for a 4 ounce serving. Most of the time, you’re going to get more than 4 ounces of wine in a glass. 4 ounces, after all, is only half a cup. Wines run 60 to 160 calories per every 4 ounces. A good rule of thumb to remember is that if the wine is dry, it usually has less calories. If you’re counting calories, remember to drink a dry wine; if you’re counting carbs, wine may not be your best choice.
Straight up or on the rocks, unmixed booze may be your best option. A 1.5 ounce shot can cost you from 115 to 200 calories, depending on the type of alcohol. But remember, if you add a mixer, you add calories. Those great drinks that taste sweet and creamy have the calories to match. Some of those drinks are make with liquor, or a flavored syrup with alcohol. If you drink Schnapps, for instance, you’re going to start out with a lot of calories and the count will only get worse. DrinkFocus.com has a good chart detailing the bases of various Schnapps.
Trick your Metabolism
Plan your drinks before you go. Remember that you can lower the calories by asking the bartender to make your drinks with diet sodas, but there’s a disadvantage. Diet sodas don’t have any sugars, so they won’t help buffer the alcohol in your stomach. If your drink is made with diet soda, you’ll metabolize it faster. Remember these hints:
- Diet sodas save calories, but seltzers have very high sodium levels.
- Alternating between alcoholic beverages and virgin sodas and waters will not only cut calories and carbs, but will cut down on the chance of a hangover.
- Set yourself a reasonable limit and stick to it. Plan your favorite drinks, get a good idea of what the calories and carbs will run, plan either diet mix or regular and set your stopping line.
- If you decide to eat, order the veggie plate. Save yourself some calories from the snacks, and remember, it is much easier to give your drink a flirtatious swirl with a carrot stick than a peanut.
- Dance away some of those excess calories and carbs. Why not get some exercise to good music with good friends? It’s much more fun than spending hours in a gym!
Enjoy Yourself, but Don’t Overindulge
Your waistline and your wallet will both be much happier, and the chance of getting a DUI/DWI is much less. Remember: if you drink, don’t drive.