Enjoy January without having to give up drinking completely with these drinking tips…
This January, if you’re looking to cut down on your calorie intake and eat healthily, there’s no need to let the odd alcoholic beverages spoil your diet. With some smart substitutions and a little bit of planning, you can still party in style without the guilt (or the hangover the next day)! We’ve shared our top tips for drinking while on a diet, so you can enjoy your favourite tipple without breaking your new year’s resolutions. Just read on to learn more about these drinking tips…
1Cut down the calories with slimline options
While it might sound obvious, substituting sugary mixers like Coke or tonic for slimline versions can drastically cut down the number of calories in your drink. Simply swapping the mixer in your rum and Coke for a diet option could skim as much as 39 grams sugar off your drink — that’s the equivalent of over 9 teaspoons of sugar (Livestrong).
The same goes for cocktails, which can contain more sugar than some desserts, so avoid anything that contains sugary or creamy liqueurs. Instead, opt for simpler cocktails using fruit juice, clear spirits, and citrus garnishes.
2Drink more water during nights out
If you’re heading out to the pub this January, try to stay hydrated by making every other drink you order a glass of water. This way, you’ll be drinking your alcoholic beverages more slowly, and therefore consume fewer calories over the course of the evening. Drinking more slowly will give your body more time to metabolise the alcohol, helping you to stay in control. Drinking plenty of water will also help to counteract the dehydrating effects of alcohol that cause hangovers, meaning you’ll wake up feeling fresher, too. – A must in our list of drinking tips.
Adding plenty of ice to cocktails and other alcoholic beverages is also a great way to dilute the alcohol content and will make them last longer. You could even try adding sparkling water or soda to wine to make a low-calorie spritzer.
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3Pre-plan your post drink meal
Even though alcohol is packed with empty calories, it still acts as an appetite stimulant, making us want to reach for a greasy takeaway at the end of the night. So, instead of indulging your craving for a pizza or burger, try planning a healthy meal to eat after your trip to the pub. Scope out a few nearby takeaways or restaurants that serve low-calorie options, so you can grab a bite to eat without the guilt.
If you really want to cut back on the calories, try making a diet friendly healthy snack for when you get home. You’re much more likely to eat something low-calorie if it’s already prepared when you get in, so have some hummus with chopped veggies or a bowl of lightly seasoned popcorn ready to satisfy your craving for a midnight feast.
4Make yours a sparkling wine
A standard glass of wine contains 159 calories, which is roughly the same as a doughnut (Drinkaware). If wine is your tipple of choice, consider switching to a sparkling variety, like Champagne, Prosecco, or Cava. Not only do they taste delicious, but they’re served in smaller glasses, with a standard glass of sparkling wine measuring just 125ml. That means that the average serving of champagne contains just 89 calories per glass which is diet friendly.
Sparkling wine also tends to have a lower percentage of alcohol by volume: for instance, Prosecco tends to be about 11% ABV, making it a brilliant diet alternative to red and white wines, which normally have an ABV closer to 13-15%. Just make sure your tipple of choice is labeled Brut or Brut Nature, as these varieties will have the least sugar.
5Party like a vegan
If your new year’s health plan involves taking part in Veganuary, you’ll want to make sure that any alcoholic drinks you indulge in are cruelty-free. Many craft ales and beers are filtered using isinglass, an ingredient found in fish. And, as not all pubs are stringent about labeling their veggie options, it can be difficult to establish whether or not a certain beer is vegetarian. Certain winemakers also add milk proteins to wine during the fining process to make it look cleaner and brighter.
The good news is that wine producers are catching on to the vegan market, offering an ever-increasing number of options for vegetarian drinkers, including those lower calorie (as close to diet friendly) sparkling wines we mentioned earlier. To stay on the safe side, check that you’re ordering a drink from a certified vegan brand before you order. Bottled & Boxed’s guide to prosecco lists some vegan-friendly fizz producers, and Barnivore also offers a regularly updated list of vegan beer brands, so you can enjoy a pint without the worry.