You might be surprised to hear that the number of adult Americans who regularly consume alcohol is dropping. In fact, new research shows that nearly half of US adults under the age of 35 now say they do not drink alcohol. That said, not everyone has cut back on drinking in recent years.
That’s why it’s important to know how to enjoy low-calorie cocktails responsibly. Fortunately, there are a variety of delicious alcoholic drinks that don’t contain much alcohol but are still satisfying and can meet your other cravings while keeping your inner sugar monster at bay.
Many of these low calorie cocktail recipes use ingredients like flavors and extracts, herbs, spices and liqueurs to enhance the natural flavors in lower-calorie wines or beers without completely disguising their taste so you won’t get bored with them after a few sips.
While you can enjoy a number of low-calorie cocktails at home by replacing the alcohol with a calorie-free substitute like water, flavored water, or diet soda, you may want to visit a bar or restaurant if you want to indulge in a few. If you do choose to have a few drinks, keep in mind that some alcoholic drinks have a higher amount of calories than others.
For example, a typical vodka and soda contain about 90 calories, whereas a rum and coke contain about 100 calories and a glass of wine can range from 25 calories to 120 calories. If you’re watching your weight, you may want to enjoy a few low-calorie cocktails during the day, but try to avoid them at night since they may make it harder to fall asleep if you’re trying to limit your calories.
You can make cocktails at home using low-calorie wines and beers, but many restaurants will also offer low-calorie cocktails. If you’d like to enjoy a few low-calorie cocktails with your friends, head to a bar or restaurant that features them. Some bars and restaurants may offer special low-calorie cocktail menus that offer smaller portions of popular drinks like margaritas, martinis, and wine coolers.
Ask your server for more information or order off the regular menu and tell the bartender what you’d like to drink so they can adjust the ingredients accordingly. When you’re at a bar, make sure you order food too, since alcohol is still a source of calories even when it’s low in alcohol.
Many alcoholic drinks, like wines and beers, contain calories because they contain natural sugars and alcohol. If you’re trying to restrict your calorie intake and make healthy lifestyle changes, choosing beverages that have fewer calories is a good way to save some extra bucks while still enjoying a drink or two that is satisfying without going overboard.
Many popular low-calorie cocktails like margaritas, martinis, and mojitos contain a high amount of sugar thanks to the use of sweet liqueurs like Grand Marnier, Bacardi rum, and Triple Sec. If you want to enjoy these drinks at parties without worrying about blowing your diet, try swapping out the liqueur with a low-calorie rum like Captain Morgan’s rum, which has only 15 calories per 1/2 oz.
In addition to being low in calories, rum is a versatile spirit that can be used to make a variety of classic cocktails, so you don’t have to completely drop these popular drinks from your repertoire.
You can also try making your own low-calorie cocktails that are made with low-calorie ingredients like fresh fruit, seltzer water, or low-calorie syrups. If you’re hosting a party, you can also offer low-calorie appetizers, snacks, and finger foods that are filled with fewer calories than standard menu items.
Should you drink on a diet?
Research suggests that drinking is not associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes or heart disease, two conditions that are largely associated with high blood sugar. That said, if you’re trying to limit your calorie intake and improve your health, you may want to opt for low-calorie beverages like beers and wines that contain fewer calories than many spirits.
Additionally, alcohol has been shown to increase your rate of metabolism and cause your body to burn more calories while you’re active, so you may want to consume a few low-calorie drinks while on a diet and lose weight as a result.
The best types of alcohol for diets
Whilst some spirits like vodka and whiskey have more calories per serving than others, almost all alcohol has calories, so which ones are best for diets is up for debate. According to the American Beverage Association, beer and wine are the best low-calorie options, followed by spirits and then mixed drinks.
These findings are based on the number of calories that are provided by a single drink, but they can be helpful in understanding which beverages to choose when you’re trying to limit your calories.
Tips for enjoying your low-calorie cocktails safely and responsibly
Before you start drinking low-calorie cocktails at home or at parties, make sure you know how many calories each contains. You can check the nutritional information on the bottle or check the drink’s menu on a bar website. If you plan to order low-calorie cocktails at a restaurant or bar, always order food too, and make sure you order accurately so they can adjust the ingredients so they’re low in calories.
Drink responsibly and take frequent breaks from drinking, especially if you’re trying to limit your calories. When you’re enjoying your low-calorie cocktails, make sure you’re active and moving around. This will help to prevent you from sitting still and getting into the bad habit of drinking too much. Stay hydrated, too, since drinking alcohol often leads to dehydration.
Alcohol can be enjoyable and even beneficial in moderation, but it can also lead to unwanted weight gain, poor health, and accidents if consumed excessively.
Fortunately, you don’t have to completely banish adult beverages from your diet to keep the calories down and still experience the many benefits of drinking, like socializing with friends and relaxing after a long day. Low-calorie cocktails can be a fun and flavorful way to enjoy alcohol while keeping your diet on track.