July 5, 2011 at 2:31 PM

Skinny Drinks

"...as you prepare that summer diet plan, here are a few things to consider when ordering drinks."

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I  got an email a couple weeks ago from a reporter asking if I’d like to contribute to an article about low-calorie drinks and how I feel consumers could drink better.  And since spring approach-eth, I’d bet you dollars to doughnuts  I’m not the only one who has looked in the mirror grimacing at the body work needed pre-swimsuit season.  Ok skip the doughtnuts; know what I mean…?


So,  as you prepare that summer diet plan, here are a few things to consider when ordering drinks that might help you smile at that reflection in the mirror (outside the mass consumption of alcohol).


First off, stay far far away from any pre-mixes no matter what they are.  The calorie range is 100-300 per serving, and with the addition of booze (avergae 90 calories per shot), it’s not hard to hit a high calorie count in just a few drinks.  There are some out there that will draw you in by their name, but if you read the label, you will find quite a different story.


Next, do NOT fear sugar! Believe it or not, most drinks made from scratch contain only about 1/2 oz of some type of syrup (simple, honey, agave).  You are looking at about 8-10 calories per 1/2 ounce.  That ain’t much.


Don’t get sucked in by large glassware. You’ll just be tempted to double recipes to fill the glasses and thats where trouble begins.


Finally, use fresh ingredients!!!  I say this over and over and over again.  It makes a difference here too!


Here is a list of common ingredients and their calories per ounce


Lime/Lemon juice: 8  (most drink recipes call for 1/2 -3/4 oz)
Fresh Grapefruit: 11 (juice range from 1-3 oz per drink)
Fresh Orange:  18
Cranberry 16
Liquors 60-73 (average pour in a drink is 1 1/2 oz.)
Liqueurs 100- 120 (average pour 1/2 oz)
Wine: 24-26 ( thats about 150 per 6 oz glass
Getting some ideas here?  

Let’s keep going with a classic drink for comparison
 
Margarita made with a Pre-Mix
1 1/2 oz Tequila (90 calories)
1/2 oz triple sec (50 calories)
4 oz Margarita Mix (100 calories
Total cals?  240


Margarita with Fresh ingredients
1 1/2 oz tequila (90)
1 oz triple sec (100)
1/2 lime juice (4)
Total cals?  194
 
Lets go down even further….


Daiquiri with Pre-Mix
1/2 oz White Rum (93 cals)
3 oz Lime daiquiri mix (187 cals)
Total 290 calories!
YIKES!!!
Traditional Daiquiri
1 1/2 oz white rum (90 calories)
1/2 oz Lime juice (4 calories)
1/2 oz Simple Syrup (8 calories)


Shake ingredient with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with lime wheel.  Total Calories: 102!
It’s pretty easy to see that you can still enjoy a great cocktail without killing your calorie count  in a day.  Ill Throw another at you the may blow you mind:  The avergae soda has 155 calories per 12 oz serving (about 13 per ounce which is less than cranberry juice!).  Mixing a 2:1 highball like a rum and coke gives you 93 calories from the rum and only about 39 from the soda totalling 132 calories: less than a 6 oz glass of wine!
So don’t be afraid to have a drink while watching you weight.  Just like with eating smart, you gotta drink smart.
 

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