You don’t have to give up happy hour to lose weight.
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It’s all about moderation when it comes to fitting your favorite cocktail into a balanced diet.
Alcohols like whiskey, rum, bourbon, scotch and tequila have similar calorie counts and are about the same nutritionally, so the most important thing to keep in mind is what you’re mixing them with.
Frozen drinks tend to be the highest-calorie alcoholic beverages. A frozen margarita can be anywhere from 218 calories when made sans mixer to upward of 800 calories when you tack on the triple sec, sugar-saturated mix, tequila and salt. A pina colada with rum, pineapple juice and cream of coconut can contain up to 650 calories.
“Ask for a margarita with less agave, [or] a mojito with less sugar,” Amy Gorin, a registered dietitian nutritionist, told Women’s Health, adding: “Ask if the bar is serving 100 percent juice or a juice cocktail, [the latter of] which is a keyword for added sugar and calories.”
Another option is to drink spirits like whiskey or scotch straight and add water to bring out the robust flavors. For those who don’t love darker spirits, opt for a low- or no-calories mixer like club soda or seltzer.
One shot of vodka contains around 100 calories with no sugar or carbs. So a shot of vodka with a zero-calorie seltzer could be your best bet at happy hour to stay on track with calorie counts. And a classic rum and Coke with Diet Coke is only 97 calories. Gin lovers may want to choose a gin martini. One shot contains 110 calories, and even if you add two olives James Bond-style, you’ll still consume just under 200 calories. A straight shot of whiskey, bourbon or scotch clocks in at around 105 calories.