By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD
Summertime - holidays, relaxing in the sun, chilling out with friends and family. Whichever of these pastimes you’ll be enjoying this summer, alcohol is often in plentiful supply – and that can mean a lot of additional calories.
If weight loss is your goal, then drinking any form of alcohol can slow the results
Making better drink choices can save you from putting back on those pounds you worked so hard to lose before the holiday season.
Get in the Know
A little knowledge about the number of calories in different drinks can go a long way. Cocktails vary greatly in their ability to help you pile on the pounds. Check out our guide to the calorie content of 20 popular summer cocktails.
Alternatively, take a look at how some clever drink swaps that will save you hundreds, if not thousands, of calories over the holiday season.
Remember too, it only takes a few drinks to weaken your resolve and, before you know it, you’ve had four or five, plus a snack at the bar or revisited the barbeque. So it’s a good idea to alternate alcoholic drinks with water or a sugar free soft drink. Doing this will also help to alleviate the dehydrating effects of alcohol, especially important in warmer weather.
Our Holiday Drinks Tips
When it’s hot, don't be tempted to cool down with litres of fruit juice and sugary drinks, these can pile on the pounds if you drink enough of them. Just one small glass of juice contains 50 calories, while many other juice drinks and fizzy pop can come in at well over 100 calories a serving.
- Choose low/no sugar or low calorie versions instead, or better still, drink water. Instead, you're best off quenching your thirst with water, so keep a good stock of bottled water to hand, particularly if it’s not safe to drink the tap water. If you want a little flavour, add cordial - soda water and lime can be a refreshing alternative.
- If you're going to hire a car on holiday, get it registered in your name as well as your partner's so that you can drive occasionally with the result that you have to stick to alcohol-free (and low-calorie) drinks.
- Beware of ‘free pour’ measures! Many bars and restaurants abroad don’t have standard measures for spirits – they pour straight from the bottle. If this is the case, try asking for a small measure, don't have a top up just ask for more ice – at least you'll have tried!
- If diet or slimline mixers aren’t available, bear in mind that your usual gin and tonic may have twice as many calories as it does at home. Fizzy water can often be a good substitute with a squeeze of lemon or lime.
- It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book, but mixing white wine with soda or sparkling water and lots of ice will make it last twice as long.
- Watch out with local beers or lagers. They’re often stronger than standard beers at home and so have a lot more calories – and are far more likely to get you drunk.
- If you can’t resist a few cocktails, avoid those made with cream-based liqueurs, cream, coconut milk and syrupy fruit purees. Instead choose those made with lower-cal ingredients like fruit juices, fresh fruit and carbonated mixers. Check out the calorie content of the Top 20 Cocktails
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