They don’t call it liquid calories for no reason! Just because you don’t chew these delicious drinks, doesn’t mean they don’t pack on the pounds. In fact, there are some popular alcoholic drinks that are laden with more kilojoules than fast food.
But the good news is that you don’t have to stop drinking to keep your diet on track. You just need to make some sensible swaps.
Dietician Terr-Ann Nunns has some great suggestions on how to avoid the drinkable cheese burgers and instead stick to healthier tipple.
“Some really simple swaps can be made to ensure that calorie intake is reduced without putting a dampener on your festive spirits,” she said in news.com.au.
Try out these clever alcohol swaps so you don’t have to feel left out.
1. Ditch The Pint and Go For A Bottle
While the amount of alcohol is actually less in beer than wine, most people will drink gallons more – which then makes it a far less healthier option.
A schooner of beer is around 425ml and contains around 210 calories (which is the same as a standard chocolate bar). Whereas a bottle of beer averages out at around 140 calories. So reduce the volume you drink, and you’ll be slashing the calories you’re taking in.
“The term ‘beer belly’ doesn’t exist without reason. Beer can be a big contributor to weight gain,’ Ms Nunns said.
2. Swap the wine for bubbles
Instead of ordering a glass of wine, pick prosecco instead. Generally, bubbly is served in smaller, narrower glasses so you tend to drink less. Plus prosecco usually contains less sugar and sometimes at least half the amount of calories as compared to a glass of wine.
“A glass of prosecco will provide you with 1.5 units of alcohol whereas a large glass of wine is likely to be around three units,” Ms Nunns added.
3. Say bye to the Long Island Iced Tea and say hi to a Bloody Mary
Cocktails are often the biggest perpetrators when it comes to demolishing diets.
A Long Island Iced Tea – which is a yummy combo of vodka, gin, rum, tequila, triple sec and cola – contains over 400 calories – which is more than the nutritional value of a Maccas cheeseburger.
Ms Nunn suggested opting for a Bloody Mary instead. Not only would this container fewer calories but “you could even hit two of your five a day (servings of vegetables) if you’re having 150ml tomato juice and if you eat the celery stick afterwards.”
4. Make Your G&T a skinny one
It’s not really the gin that is hoisting up the calorific value of your G&T – it’s actually the mixer. Many mixers are packed with sugar so if you want to make your gin and tonic healthier, pick a sugar-free mixer.
This will reduce a regular gin and tonic from 100 calories to around 60 calories, for the skinnier version.
“If you are trying to manage your weight, this is a really easy swap to make and the taste is virtually the same,” Ms Nunn said.
She also suggested sticking to a single rather than blowing your calories on a double.
“If you are pouring your own measures at home, it’s very easy for single measures to turn into triples – which may mean more fun but also means more calories,” Ms Nunn warned.
5. Say No To Dessert Wine But Yes To Sherry
Dessert wine is so delicious but it’s also not a great choice if you’re watching your diet. One mini glass of after-dinner wine tops the scales at 118 calories. However, a glass of sherry is significantly less at 60 calories.
You would generally bring less sherry as it is significantly stronger than wine.
6. Go for the clear spirits
If you’re counting calories, it’s best to opt for the clear rather than the cloudy or coloured spirits.
Vodka has 50 calories for 25ml as opposed to whiskey which contains 64 calories. It may not be a significant difference but it all adds up.
And just remember to opt for sugar-free mixers or opt for a squirt of lime and soda with your vodka.
Would you rather drink a long island ice tea or eat a cheeseburger? Tell us what you would pick?