Drinks and vacation – they two are almost a foregone conclusion. And yet, it’s one of the quickest ways to derail your health and fitness progress. Cocktails are typically loaded with extra calories and sugar – none of which come with any nutritional value the way foods do. In fact, the standard 1.5 ounce serving of 80-proof alcohol has 96 calories even before you add any mixers. A 6-ounce serving of orange juice has 84 calories, but add a shot of alcohol to make it a screwdriver, and the calories more than double. As well, because cocktails are liquid, they add extra calories without any feeling of fullness. So in addition to anything you might eat on vacation, you’re also consuming a couple hundred extra calories in the form of beverages.
That doesn’t mean you have to go dry on the road... just be smarter about what you order. Remember that mixed drinks are typically worse than straight up or neat concoctions. If you like rum and coke, consider switching to a sipping rum over ice. You’ll be getting fewer calories per serving and because you’re sipping instead of knocking them back, you’ll probably have fewer total drinks. The liquor you choose matters too. A good rule of thumb is that darker colored liquors carry more sugar and or calories. That means gin and vodka are better choices than whisky or bourbon. So keep that in mind as you get your drink on. Beer and wine are great choices – except that the low alcohol content usually causes people to overindulge in these beverages, quickly stacking the calories in an unpleasant manner.
Still can’t stomach the thought of a straight pour? Try a vodka tonic, gin and tonic, rum and diet coke, white wine, champagne or light beer.