You have managed to kept your resolution and been hitting the gym and doing the ‘salad without dressing’ diet since the beginning of the year to get your body ready for bathing suit season this Summer. You have sorted out all the invites you received to the beach houses and poolside parties at Hampton’s and threw in that extra tube of waterproof mascara into your new Celine tote. Then the worrying dilemma sets in— Are you going to stick to boring sugar free drinks or are you going to reward yourself, let go, and partake in the all the boozing and merry making? We are all too familiar with the ‘just one drink’ theory. Without even realising it after a drink or two, your best intentions have all but gone if you’re watching your weight. Alcohol is one of the major weight saboteurs that’s being overlooked. It’s all too easy to overdo it with alcohol calories.
We all know desserts are fattening and with determination, will avoid them like a plague. 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 or a thick chunk of banana chocolate cream pie. In fact, 1 gram of alcohol has 7 calories, compared to only 4 for a gram of carbohydrates or protein. And calories add up even faster for cocktails laden with sugary mixers and fruit juices. Calories aren’t the only reason to take it easy on alcohol. Not only do cocktails boost calories, they also have a powerful impact on your inhibitions.
“Your resolve can be really strong when you are sober, but down a few drinks and you may find yourself popping more than a healthy handful of chips and nuts, another helping of buffalo wings, or whatever food that is within striking distance,” says Dr. Toby Hui, medical consultant with The Sloane Clinic with a keen interest in Weight Management. “Drinking alcohol can also make you feel hungrier because alcohol can lower blood sugar and dehydrate you.”
To help you avoid those guilty feeling when having a sip or two while out and about, RSB has sought out some diet friendly, low-calorie cocktails and have included the recipes which you can recreate as a ‘hostess with the mostess’ or roll it out in your most sultry voice to those cute bartenders at many a summer soiree!
Mimosa (85 calories)
Nothing like some bubbles to set things in the right mood. With only 85 calories a glass and rich in antioxidants, what an excuse to raise a glass or two! A Mimosa cocktail is as easy to make as it is to swallow. Fill up a champagne flute or glass wine ¾ full with ice and add 4 oz of Champagne with 2 oz of low-calorie orange juice. Top that up with freshly squeezed juice of ½ a medium sized orange, stir and toss in an orange rind for pizazz. Voila, don’t you feel like a mini celeb already?
Low Carb Cosmopolitan (105 calories)
Nothing stirs up more nostalgia then ordering a round of Cosmos for you and your gal-friends reminiscent of the quartet from “Sex & the City”. Cosmopolitan cocktails are festive and fun to drink but usually have quite a lot of sugar due to the cranberry juice. Here’s a way to make it low in sugar and carbs without sacrificing the flavour.
Start with 3 tablespoons of Vodka, 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cranberry juice, 1 tablespoon of lime juice, 2 tablespoons of water and the trick of all time, 2 tablespoons of artificial sweetener. Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker half fill with ice and shake well while popping your booty at the same time. Strain into a Martini glass and serve— “The Spy Who Loves You” not included!
Pina Colada (72 calories)
Because it contains coconut, the Pina Colada is often mistaken as a diet buster. It is in fact a nice healthy cocktail big on taste and relatively low on calories. And don’t you just love how the words roll off your tongue while ordering one? With a drink like this, it’s hard not to feel sexy! All you need to do is to combine ½ oz of fat free Greek yogurt, ½ oz skimmed milk, 1½ oz ice, ½ oz of Light Rum, ½ oz of cubed pineapple and ½ oz of coconut cream. Dump all ingredients into a blender, work it and pour into tall glasses and serve. Should be enough for two!
A good strategy to adopt is to set your priorities right. You are at a party to mingle and socialise, not to drink like a fish out of water. Start your evening with a tall glass of sparkling water to satisfy your thirst. Calories can add up, but with a little planning and pacing, you can avoid those calorie busting cocktails for the slimmed-down versions instead. Be a true lady, sip and not gulp. And don’t forget you can always skip the mixer or pop in a couple more ice cubes to keep your drinks deliciously chilled and diluted to cut back the calories!