It's Friday and time for us to let our hair down and celebrate with friends. I love cocktail hour for several reasons: great time to network, cute clothes, and fruity drinks with fruity accessories. I don't like the extra calories that come along with those accessorized drinks and the tapas. Here are a few suggestions to lighten up the cocktail hour:
Best bet is light beer (no cute accessories) or wine. Each has aprox 100 calories per serving, and that is 12 oz for the beer and 5 oz for the wine.
Hard liquor and mixed drinks pack more calories depending on the quality of the liquor and the ingredients in the cocktail mix. Rule of thumb, higher the proof higher the calories, and the creamier the cocktail, think fat and excess calories.
If you are hosting a cocktail party, you can lower the calories of mixers by using sugar-free instant drink mixes (Crystal Light is an option), Splenda® sweetened no calorie sodas (Coke Zero, Sprite Zero), and sparkling waters in your libations.
Alcohol has downsides and excess calories are only one of many reasons to use moderation when you are mixing it up with "mixers". Remember, the phrase "beer gut" did not invent itself. Our bodies tend to store the calories from alcohol the same way they store fat calories and unfortunately calories from alcohol tend to be stored around the waist.
Enjoy a drink, keep it lower cal and focus on networking and spending time with friends. Avoid the appetizers like the plague -- the smaller the treat = higher the calorie content (usually). Like anything else, balance and moderation are key to being able to socialize sensibly and stick to your healthy lifestyle. Have a great weekend!