New Years Eve will be here tomorrow. Do you have a plan for celebrating without sabotaging your plans to live a healthy lifestyle? If you think that staying away from all of the festivities will be the only way to behave yourself, think again! Here are a few ideas for low calorie, healthier cocktails for you to drink while ringing in the new year.
Cocktails can pack a caloric punch when prepared with high-calorie mixers like juice, soda, tonic water, and simple syrup. Keep things light with these skinny drink choices.
If you want a Dirty Martini – (220 to 330 calories)
A better choice: Hot-pepper-infused vodka over ice with an olive (105 calories)
Martinis can be sneaky. A 4-ounce drink has around 220 calories, and many generous bartenders serve martinis in larger glasses. The bigger a drink, the more alcohol it has; therefore, the more calories it has. The addition of olive brine in a dirty martini only adds about 20 extra calories, which isn’t that big of a deal — but the sodium is. It can increase your thirst, which you may try to quench with more alcohol, and it can also make you feel bloated the next day.
If you want a Cosmopolitan – (212 Calories per 4-Ounce Serving)
A better choice: Raspberry-infused vodka with club soda, a splash of cranberry and a lime (115 calories)
A little vodka, a little Cointreau, some cranberry juice—you may as well be sipping a pack of liquefied fruit chews. And the more splashes of juice and shots of alcohol you add, the higher the calories climb.
If you want a Gin and Tonic – (120 to 166 Calories)
A better choice: Equal parts gin and soda water and a splash of tonic (100 to 140 calories)
Tonic water—that bitter-tasting bubbly mixer whose key ingredient, quinine, was once used as an anti-malarial medicine—has almost as many calories and sugar as soda. Cut the quinine beverage with soda water rather than ordering diet tonic (or diet anything) because research suggests zero-calorie artificial sweeteners can throw off the body’s natural response to intense sweetness, which can lead to weight gain.
It is best, of course, to avoid alcohol, but if it doesn’t feel like New Years Eve without a festive cocktail, there are definitely some choices that are better than others. Happy New Year from Dr. Heidi Ryan. Celebrate safely and healthfully!