Keep Your New Year's Resolution: How to Watch Your Weight While Drinking

Tips on staying slim without cutting the booze

At the beginning of a new year, it’s inevitable that a resolution of eating right, drinking less, and keeping slim and trim will be made. For the first few weeks of the new year we manage to accomplish just that, but eventually we realize that it is a lot more difficult to give up the fried foods and the booze than we thought.

The funny thing about weight maintenance is that everyone has a different opinion on how to do it. Some say cut back on the carbs and ramp up the cardio, while others say calorie counting and zero alcohol is the only way. What most people will agree on is the belief that drinking isn’t going to help you stay fit, and while that isn’t entirely untrue, it isn’t entirely true, either. Worry no more, my friends, we can still drink without feeling the guilt!

Below are a few tips and tricks to cut the guilt when it comes to drinking. Being healthy and fit doesn’t mean you have to cut things out of your life that you love, rather, we should be mindful of what we do indulge in so we don’t get carried away. Some of these suggestions may be no-brainers, but there are a few surprises as well. Cheers, and here’s to our health!

Low-Calorie Boozing. Over the past few years, liquor companies have been doing their best to come up with new and unique spirits to market to the masses. In 2011, Voli Vodka did just that. Voli, a low-calorie and high-electrolyte vodka, was released on the market and has done incredibly well, especially with women. The vodka comes in several delicious flavors, and comes with a selling point that not many vodkas can offer; low in calories but still delicious enough to drink on the rocks or in a cocktail. And with the electrolytes, your chances of a nasty hangover are slim to nil. It’s a win-win! Skinnygirl is also another low-calorie brand that cuts the fat, similar to Voli. However, be mindful of the carbs in this particular brand.

Clear Up Your Mixers. This may seem simple enough, but the fact of the matter is that most people don’t consider how many calories are in mixers. Dark sodas tend to have more calories and sugar than lighter ones, so opting for a soda water rather than a cola is probably the right way to go. Also, if you’re anything like me, you may be more inclined to not use any mixers. A good Scotch or bourbon is perfect on its own, so why ruin it with extra calories?

Light Beer, Right Beer. Recently I’ve seen a lot of commercials on television that hate on the typical "light" beer drinker, saying that he or she is a pansy of sorts based on their beer choice. Well to that I say hush up now, because there are several light beers that taste the same if not better than their non-light counterpart, and have half the calories. If you are serious about watching your weight but still want to indulge in alcohol, going with a light beer option is your best bet. Many light beers have far less calories than regular beers, and as long as you are burning more calories than you are taking in, the calories from your beer won’t be a huge impact on your body.

Avoid the Sweet. As an avid cocktail drinker, I find myself being drawn toward different kinds of cocktails, depending on the mood I’m in. My winter cocktail taste swings toward whiskey-heavy, smoky, or bitter. But in the summer I usually opt for something light and sweet, which can sometimes bite me in the buns. If your go-to cocktails ever require a syrup for the mixing, your best bet is to make the syrup at home, rather than buy it in a store. That way, you are able to control the amount of sugar that goes in, and even the kind of sugar that you use. Cutting down on the sugar will in turn cut down on the calories, making for a happier and healthier drink.

Sara Kay, The Spir.it

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