Drink Smarter: Low-Calorie Alcohol Options for a Healthy Lifestyle

As summer approaches, weight loss and diets are top of mind, and you might be worried about the extra calories in your favorite spirits.

While spirits and alcohol will increase your calorie count, giving them up altogether isn’t necessarily the only option. If you do try to cut your favorite treats out of your life entirely, you’ll probably cheat at some point, and it will lead to a cycle of guilt and unhealthy indulgences.

Therefore, rather than trying to give up your favorite indulgences entirely, consider making your selection healthier and consume smaller amounts of each spirit.

Here are some recommendations on how you can make your next indulgence healthier.

Spirits Calorie Count

Whether you’re considering a shot or making a cocktail, here is a breakdown of the calorie count for some of the most popular spirits.

  • Vodka: 64 calories and zero carbs per ounce
  • Tequila: 69 calories and zero carbs per ounce
  • Gin: 74 calories and zero carbs per ounce
  • Scotch: 80 calories and zero carbs per ounce
  • Rum: 97 calories and zero carbs per ounce

As you can see, vodka is the lowest calorie spirit, and tequila is a close second. However, alcohol isn’t the only contributor to weight gain. What you mix with your drink also impacts the calories you consume. Therefore, here are some tips for shaving calories from your next cocktail.

Making Low-Calorie Cocktails

When creating a diet-friendly cocktail, it’s important to consider the calories and the carbohydrates. Carbs contribute to weight gain as they are stored as fat if not used. While most spirits contain zero carbs, mixing them with other high-carb drinks (more than 15 grams per 200 milliliters) may lead to weight gain.

That said, here are some tricks to ensure your cocktails are both low carb and low calorie.

Frozen Fruit/Seasonal Fruit

Rather than using sugar or syrup to sweeten your cocktail, consider using frozen fruit or seasonal fruit. Fresh fruit is ideal as some frozen fruits are loaded with sugar, so be sure to read the nutrition label as you make your selection.

Some of the best seasonal fruits you can add to your cocktail include cantaloupe, lemon, peach, and oranges, as they are relatively low carb and low calorie. 

Sparkling Water

Another great way to cut calories is by mixing your drink with sparkling water. Most sparkling water brands contain zero calories and zero sugar, making it an ideal replacement for unhealthy options.

While many people group sparkling water and tonic in the same category, it’s best to avoid tonic as it contains added sugar and, therefore, more calories.

Smaller Serving Sizes

Even with these suggestions, you’ll still gain weight if you drink excessive amounts of healthier versions. Limit yourself to just a glass or two and consider making smaller glass sizes.

If you don’t think that a glass or two will curb your cravings, eat a healthy snack full of fats before you start drinking. For example, almonds or low-carb crackers with salmon are excellent options.

Start Today

Beginning a diet can be intimidating, and most people give up before ever seeing results. However, shaving a few calories off your favorite drinks is easy and will help you develop healthier lifestyle habits that will stay with you forever. 

Therefore, consider using one of these tips the next time you have a drink. Over time, you’ll come to realize that not only is cutting calories easy, but you’ll also have more energy and feel guilt-free indulging in the occasional drink.