When it comes to your weight-loss plan, you’re killing it with veggies, your scarfing down lean protein, and making sure your calories are coming from healthy foods. But there’s one place you’re probably losing focus: the bar.
Next time you’re sizing up the drink menu, the number one thing to keep in mind is the mixer.Almost all shots of alcohol are about the same nutritionally—it’s what we have with it that makes a difference in the drink.
For better boozing habits, follow three main rules. First, keep it simple: If you can take your gin neat with a squeeze of fresh lime, your waistline will be better off than if you went for the standard, sugar-loaded G&T (yeah, there’s sugar in that tonic water). Second, stay away from mixed drinks that include more than one alcohol. “Once you start using more than one type of booze, your calories really start to get up there and stay far away from frozen drinks—they’re total sugar bombs.
One shot contains: 97 calories, (0 sugar, 0 carbs)
Best drink: Vodka soda
Zero calorie seltzer might be basic but it also helps you stay within your calorie budget. Add a squeeze of fresh fruit for a little more pizazz.
Worst Drink: Sex on the beach.
In general, stay away from juice mixers they can up your sugar count fast. (That means no vodka cranberries or vodka lemonades). The peach schnapps in a sex on the beach will really put your vodka over the edge with roughly 336 calories and 32 grams of carbs and sugar. Ouch.
One shot contains: 97 calories (0 carbs, 0 sugar)
Best drink: Rum and diet coke
Rather than your go-to rum and Coke, make it a diet to cut calories.
Worst drink: Pina colada.
The sugar-laced coconut-pineapple concoction turns a regular rum into a diet saboteur. The average cocktail packs 245 calories, 32 grams of carbs, and 31 grams of sugar. No Bueno.
One shot contains: 105 calories (.03 grams of carbs per ounce, .03 grams of sugar per ounce)
Best Drink: Manhattan
Don Draper was on to something. If you don’t want to drink your whiskey straight, order a classic Manhattan (whiskey, sweet vermouth, bitters), which keeps calories, carbs, and sugars low.
Worst drink: Whiskey Sour
Get fancy with a with a whiskey sour and you’ll run into trouble thanks to the simple syrup. One cocktail rings in at 240 calories, 24 grams of carbs, and 23 grams of sugar.
One shot contains: 110 calories (0 carbs, 0 sugar)
Best drink: Gin martini
Channeling your inner Bond girl will serve you well if you’re watching the scale. A gin martini with two olives is under 200 calories and contains no sugar or carbs. Hollah!
Worst drink: Gin and tonic
A classic gin and tonic is also pretty low calorie, but tonic water is laced with a surprising amount of sugar. One serving will add 21 grams to your daily diet
One shot contains: 105 calories (0 carbs, 0 sugar)
Best drink: Paloma
The tangy pink drink, made with grapefruit and lime juice, is like a margarita without the extra calories. However, it is juice-based, so don’t go overboard with your grapefruit juice mixer. Opt for the fresh-squeezed stuff if you can.
Worst Drink: Margarita
If you’re trying to tone up, you might want to toss margarita night. Margaritas, whether frozen or on the rocks are loaded with enough sodium and sugar to tip the scales against you even if you skipped the guac. A typical frozen margarita can weigh in at over 600 calories and over 80 grams of sugar. Yikes.
So in other words, SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS!