Hope you enjoy this guest post on the topic of consuming alcohol without the added calories and guilt, and don’t forget to check out Kara’s blog, Food Baby.
There are few things that I enjoy more than sipping on a drinky-drink when the occasion calls for it. And there are few things I hate more than foregoing that drinky-drink out of fear of the calorie count.
Luckily for me (and you) is it’s entirely possible to have your drink and look good drinking it.
The first step to skinny drinking starts before you even take that first sip.
There are two camps when it comes to pre-alcohol eats. Some people eat a lot in order to have something to soak up all those delicious beverages so they can party harder. Others don’t eat anything so they can get that special feeling off fewer sips, thus saving calories and money.
Both camps are wrong in my opinion.
If you eat a lot (ie-take in a lot of calories) you then need more drinks (which mean more calories) to get a bit of a buzz. Also, alcohol slows your metabolism, and we all know what that means.
But steering clear of food is a very risky move. First, it’s risky because without anything to act as a barrier between your body and the alcohol you’ll get far too drunk far too fast. But also, the more you sip the lower your blood sugar and inhibitions become. And if you’re already getting hungry before your first round then prepare for a massive amount of stupid snacking (as opposed to good, healthy snacking) to ensue.
Instead, I prefer to eat a light meal with a little bit of good fat, a little bit of protein, tons of fruits or veggies, and minimal carbs a couple of hours before the festivities begin. A meal like this packs some staying power, ensuring you’ll feel full for a long time while getting plenty of water (from the fruits and veggies) and managing to avoid blowing up like a balloon (from the carbs absorbing alcohol). And beyond the aesthetic aspects is the health one—alcohol packs a major carb count. No balanced diet needs two big servings of carbs at a single meal.
And this meal plan works even if you prefer to sip while you dine.
So now you’ve eaten. You’ve got enough fuel to party hardy till the sun comes up. Here comes the fun part—the beverages.
You’ve got endless alcohol choices. That means endless opportunities to make a good choice and endless opportunities to make a gut busting one. There are very few tried and true rules in this department. That ones that do exist, though, should be followed till death do you stop.
Avoid neon, fruity cocktails. There are no fruit juices existing in nature that are bright blue, highlighter yellow or fluorescent pink. That being said, if your drink is that color you should avoid it. Think of those bright colors are warning lights.
This pretty little calorie bomb get their color from sugary mixes. Do you know what simple syrup is?
One part water, one part sugar. Sweet and sour mix is ¾ part water, 1 part sugar, ¼ part lemon juice. The average drink contains 1 – 2 ounces of this stuff. Add in the sugars in the alcohol, the natural and added sugars in the fruit juice and the sugar the glass could be rimmed with and you’re well on your way to a beautiful spare-tire center.
If you make the drink yourself than leave out the mix or ask the bartender to (or better yet, just pick a drink that doesn’t need any to begin with). And if you really want to go above and beyond, make the juice yourself. Sure, it takes a little extra time, but it makes that first sip all the better.
But, have no fear there are exceptions to this rule. There have to be exceptions, because a life without fruity cocktails with little umbrellas would be far too serious and boring.
But my favorite exception to this rule is Jello shots. Make these bad boys with sugar-free Jello and you’ll be feeling anything but bad.
Beer + Wine + Champagne
Beer, champagne and dessert wines are for sipping and tasting, not chugging or racing. Let the frat boys with never ending metabolisms and the gold diggers with nothing better to do build a tower with their empties. You’re better (and better looking) than that. You don’t buy your beverages by the case. Nor do you drink them so fast or so often they lose their taste. Where’s the fun in that?
The fun from these drinks should come from trying different kinds and really enjoying the taste. Sure, you can still get that good feeling from a beer or bubbly, but you should never make any bad decisions based on them.
If you’re looking for a drink to blame your lowered inhibitions on than my first choice is always a martini. Vodka (or gin for my father and more traditionalists), vermouth, a little olive juice for flavor, and a couple of olives for a snack at the end. Simple, classic and classy as hell.
Gin and Vodka Tonics
If this isn’t your cup of tea, though, there are other waist-safe options like Gin or Vodka tonics. Gin or vodka tonics (or swap club soda for tonic to be even more calorie conscious) with plenty of citrus are always wonderfully refreshing drinks to sip in the sun or under the stars.
And when you really want to make some bad decisions there’s my personal favorite, the Siberian sunrise, two parts vodka, three parts grapefruit juice, one part club soda, one part Triple Sec.
This pretty in pink cocktail will give you all the kick (and only a small portion of the calories) you need to kick up your heels and sip till you drop.
And for the morning after? When you’re feeling less than festive, there’s one thing that can help put that sparkle back in your eyes (besides plenty of water and Tylenol) and that’s oatmeal.
According to Men’s Health Magazine and my own personal experience a hearty bowl of oats full of every mixin’ possible settles my stomach and replenishes my energy like no cup of coffee ever could.
So with these tips in mind, I bid you happy, skinny sipping.
What is your go-to adult drink? Do you have a skinny version of a classic favorite?