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10 Low-Calorie Cocktails To Order When You're Out

San Diego mixologists tell us the best bets for dieters and the calorie-conscious

What’s loopy to me? The number of people working out, watching their diets, taking supplements and vitamins, absorbing everything they can read on fitness and health, and then guzzling cocktails like they are diet aids. They aren’t. Fun, yes. Calories, double yes. Maybe the re-release of the famed 1964 The Drinking Man’s Diet is partly to blame. But I doubt it. It’s another hair-brained diet. 


Want to enjoy cocktails and still keep your hard-earned beach bod and six-pack? Here are the essentials. Americans drink about 20% of their calories on average. What’s the big offender? Cocktails, mixed drinks of distilled spirits, sugar, water, alcohol and bitters top the list. Adjust the sweetened syrups, sweet juices, the amount of alcohol, flavoring mixers and amount of the whole drink and you will reduce the calories and your waistline.

Here’s what San Diego mixology experts tell me are ten low-calorie cocktails you can enjoy guilt-free:

1.     Gin and Tonic

2.     Vodka & Sprite Zero ( or with a splash of pomegranate or cranberry juice)

3.     Appletini

4.     Mojito without the simple syrup or with Splenda syrup

5.     Tequila with lime juice and club soda

6.     Laurent-Perrier Ultra Brut Champagne

7.     Watermelon Martini with agave nectar instead of simply syrup

8.     Margarita on the rocks (some leave out the Cointreau, add agave nectar and wasabi powder)

9.     White wine spritzer (diluted with water or club soda)

10. Mimosa lite with lo-calorie fruit juice 

Keep in mind that an average 12-ounce domestic beer contains about 150 calories, the same as a 3.5 ounce glass of sweet wine. 1.5 ounces of 90-proof alcohol contains about 110 calories, and when you add carbonated sugar-filled sodas and juices, you also add on the calories. Alcohol adds empty calories and is converted to acetate that hampers your ability to burn fat.  Think of it this way: a hefty cocktail will double-cross you by cancelling out that heart pounding, fat-burning workout you enjoyed earlier in the day.

My advice? Be aware of what you are drinking and go for the low-calorie fun. Drink plenty of water between your cocktails, and plan your weak spots in advance. 

You can either drink anything and as much as you want, OR you can keep your waistline. You just can’t do both.



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About This Blog

Edit ModulePsychologist Michael Mantell tackles San Diego’s psychological well-being, from reducing stress and anxiety to creating closer bonds with family to the importance of physical fitness.

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