Friday, 9 May 2014

Drinking and Dieting: How to Have Both

Photo: Elisa Maser (CCL)
You know that moment when you realise that actually, summer will be here (soon), and you haven't worn anything but humungous jumpers since forever, and you now need to think about t-shirts, tops and shorts.... and oh wait, you’ve done nothing but eat and drink ALL winter? Well, that moment happened to me two weeks ago and well, I’ve been hungry pretty much ever since. It isn’t just the girls who feel the pre-summer pressure of getting in shape; the increase in gym memberships and things like bike sales speak for themselves.

Now I know that large creamy cocktail isn’t the best choice when watching calories and I know that beer can be just as bad - but, after a long day I like to have a cheeky little glass of something with my dinner. Question is, what are the best drinks to watch the waistline? I’d just like to point out that I am no nutrition expert, and these are based on online research!

1.       Spirit with a slimline mixer- which is kind of perfect as a nice fresh G&T is just what’s needed when the sun comes out! Normal tonic contains as much sugar and calories as normal coke- so it must be a slimline not to hamper your efforts - Fever Tree naturally light tonic has an excellent taste. Gin, vodka, rum & tequila are all around the same in terms of calorific content; check your preferred brand to be 100% sure what you are getting. A standard measure of Gin & slimline tonic is around 70 calories.

2.       Wine. A small glass of Syrah carries around 125 calories, whilst also benefitting from the claimed health benefits such as being good for your heart.  Sweet wines as you would expect are worse, so stick to the dry styles. Lighter alcohol alternatives like some dry alsace rieslings (which can be as little as 7 or 8% abv) are also a fairly good choice - as long as they're dry.

3.       Cocktails are trickier; by their very nature they are mixed with sweet fruit juices, syrups and laced with sugar. My favourite is a traditional Mai Thai- which packs over 300 calories!! Stick to a Manhattan, Margarita or a Mojito if you’re being good... a traditional martini will notch you up around 130 calories.

Other tricks include having a glass of water between each drink so that you end up drinking less, and stick to standard measures.

What are your tips to enjoy a cheeky drink while watching what you eat?

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