According to the annual Gallup survey on alcohol consumption, most American adults drink at least four alcoholic beverages per week, with 52 percent enjoying up to seven drinks per week, on average. That can add up to an astounding 364 cocktails per year.
The most popular drink of choice in America is beer, which weighs in at roughly 154 calories per drink. Statistically speaking, if you were to drink four beers per week for a year, you would consume 56,000 calories – nearly one month of your recommended daily nutritional allotment. At your next dinner party, you can avoid a high caloric intake by making smarter choices about what you drink. These lighter options are delicious and won’t stretch your waistline:
- Vodka and Soda Water – Vodka and soda water is a refreshing option with less than 100 calories. The trick is to trade up for an ultra-premium vodka, like Purity Vodka or Stoli Elit, which has a smoother and more full-bodied taste that shines through. You can even use flavored soda water (0 calories) and a splash of lemon or lime. Your buzz also may happen earlier in the evening, causing you to drink less.
- Light Beers – If you prefer brews like majority of the Americans surveyed, have no fear. Beck’s Light comes in at only 64 calories, and Heineken Light is just shy of 100 calories. For a nuttier and more complex taste, Sam Adam’s Light is 119 calories. Those who prefer craft beers also have a few options, where available. Stone Levitation Ale (135 cals) and Founders Brewing Co. All Day IPA (148 cals) are smarter sips than their heavier counterparts.
- Champagne – Here’s another reason to pop bottles. A 4 oz glass of bubbly may surprise you, with a low caloric count of 85. Beware of the sugar, however. Opt for Extra Brut, which has 7.3 less grams of sugar than Demi Sec. If you prefer flavored champagne, float a few fresh raspberries or strawberries for a natural flavor.
- Blanc Wine – Blanc wines can range slightly in Alcohol by Volume (9-10.5% ABV) but generally fall into the category of 90-105 calories for a 5 oz glass. The Alsace Blanc comes from France and makes everything from Pinot Grigio to Riesling and Sylvaner. The Bourgogne Blanc makes a delicious and dry Chardonnay, and Bordeaux Blanc won’t leave you bloated, with a higher APV of 10.5%. Go light on the pour, and treat yourself to another glass.
- Skinnygirl Cocktails – Bethenny Frankel hit a nerve with women when she created a line of ready-to-serve cocktails across the spectrum that minds your waistline. Besides the benefit of one simple step – pouring – the mojito is also only 35 calories. We will cheers to that!
Overall, drinking responsibly and keeping a close eye on your alcohol intake will lower your calorie count and help you save your points for that extra cheese bite, or piece of fruit.