Cheers To A Smart Way To Fill Your Glass

Use these tips to toast to good health this New Year.

Written by: Cielestia Calbay

The holiday season is notorious for indulgent eating and drinking. But some of us get so caught up with staying on track and fighting the urge to over-eat that we forget about the calories we can accumulate by over-drinking.  Over-drinking not only results in unwanted calories, but can also reduce your “healthy-eating” inhibitions. Before you know it, you could be mindlessly reaching for that second slice of pie. So before you work the party circuit and raise your glass on New Year’s Eve, check out these tips to help you truly toast to good health.

Easy Mixing

Mixers, syrups and sodas can give you more than just a sugar rush. The standard 1.5-ounce serving of 80-proof alcohol has 96 calories even before you add any mixers. “Keep away from mixed drinks. Instead, use soda water or stick to tequila or potato vodka – this will keep you way ahead of the game,” says trainer Todd Rushworth. “I like to alternate a glass of water between drinks to keep my hand occupied and my stomach full and hydrated.”

Dilute Your Drink

If vodka-cran is your cocktail staple, try mixing soda water with a splash of cranberry juice and a squeeze of lime instead. “It’s okay to mix to drinks but there are many different ways to naturally flavor your cocktails. Strawberries, lime and lemon juices aren’t loaded with sugar and are a refreshing way to add some color and freshness to your cocktails,” said Caleb King, a mixologist with SBE Entertainment.  Additionally, a recent study found that adding ethanol, which is found in vodka, to blackberries and strawberries boosts their antioxidant levels. King also advises to stay away from shots, as the average shot has about 70 to 90 calories.

Separate Your Lights and Darks

“Dark spirits like cognacs and whisky are higher in carbs and sugar than clear liquors like vodka and gin, which are recommended,” said King. Dark liquors also have higher congener levels, which have the tendency to produce worse hangovers. Congeners refer to the by-products created during the alcohol fermentation process.

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