Tuesday, June 17, 2008

If you like pina coladas

Okay...enough already. I work out regularly. I watch what I eat. And up until recently, I was pretty successful at maintaining my weight. But now, all of a sudden, I've noticed a few new pesky pounds popping up and I feel completely unprepared for bikini season. And you know why? It's because of all the recent backyard BBQs and sipping of cocktails on outdoor patios with friends. How's a girl supposed to lose - and keep off - weight around here, once the weather warms up?
Anyway, I came across a fabulous article on the Weight Watchers site that discusses the caloric wallop of those fabulous frosty beverages. Take a piƱa colada, for example. The average eight-ouncer can set you back more than 400 calories. Wow.

So here are some Weight Watchers tips to lighten up the next drink order.
1. Never come to happy hour hungry. Arrive with a growling belly and you may find yourself downing a few handfuls of bar nuts (about 600 calories), or chowing down on nachos or chicken fingers. Instead, work in some extra exercise and eat a piece of fruit before hitting the bar.
2. Be mindful of mixers. Hard liquor runs 100-200 calories per shot, but add a sugary or creamy mixer and you'll double or triple the calories. So order your fave but make it lighter — a rum and Coke using diet cola, a gin and tonic using low-calorie tonic. Or skip mixers altogether and sip a light beer or a glass of red wine.
3. Make the cocktail your dessert. If you can't resist a daiquiri, drink seltzer during your cocktail hour and savor the mega-calorie libation instead of ice cream or a slice of cake.
4. Enjoy alcohol every other round. Alternate each alcoholic beverage with seltzer or water. It'll cut down on calories and help you keep count of how much you're drinking.

And here are a few lower-cal cocktail recipes designed to help you avoid moving up a dress size.

1. Caipirinha. Cut a room-temperature lime into quarters and drop it in a shaker. Add one packet of sucralose sweetener and one tablespoon water. Mash the mixture very well with a wooden spoon, dissolving the lime into mush. Add a shot (1½ ounces) of white rum and enough ice cubes to fit in an old-fashioned glass. Shake well. Pour mixture (including the peel) into a glass. Variation: Add slices of mangos or a few cherries along with the lime.
2. Mojito. Pour 3/4 of an ounce (about half a shot) fresh lime juice into a glass. Add one packet of Splenda and four or five mint leaves. Stir until the sweetener dissolves. Add a shot of light rum and several ice cubes. Top with 2 ounces club soda and a sprig of mint.
3. Margarita. To shaker, add 3/4 of an ounce (about half a shot) fresh lime juice, 1 to 1½ ounces low-calorie triple sec and 2 ounces tequila. Add ice. Count slowly to 10 while shaking. Rub a lime halfway along the glass's outside rim, then roll the moistened part of the rim in kosher salt. Pour margarita into the glass.
4. Long Island Iced Tea. To shaker, add 1/4 shot vodka, 1/4 shot rum, 1/4 shot gin, 1/4 shot tequila, 3/4 ounces fresh lemon juice and two packets of sucralose sweetener dissolved into 2 tablespoons of water. Shake. Pour into a tall glass filled with ice and top with diet cola. Squeeze lemon on top.
5. Sangria. Dissolve four packets of Splenda into 4 tablespoons of water. Pour into pitcher. Add slices of oranges, lemons, limes, peaches, plums or nectarines as well as grapes (for white wine sangria, red grapes; for red wine sangria, white). Add a bottle of red or white wine. Stir, then let sit. Before serving, top pitcher with a drizzle of club soda.

And now, because I've referenced pina coladas in this entry, I have the dang Rupert Holmes song running through my head. Of course. So because I love you all so much, I decided to share it with you...Don't hate. Appreciate!

More recipes with a sugar substitute

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