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Many Brits look forward to cooling off with a refreshing cocktail – but finding low-calorie drinks that fit in with your diet can be difficult. Here are 7 figure-friendly drink alternatives that will leave you feeling refreshed.
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With the warm summer weather nearly upon us, many Brits look forward to cooling off with a refreshing cocktail or a juicy sangria.
But if you’re watching your weight, finding low-calorie drinks that fit in your diet can be difficult.
Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks are loaded with calories and added sugar, both of which can contribute to weight gain and other health problems long term.
While it is important to consume alcohol in moderation as part of a balanced diet, there are many guilt-free options you can enjoy without compromising your weight loss plans.
Here are 7 figure-friendly summer drinks that will leave you feeling refreshed without putting on those pesky calories.
Light Bloody Mary
Calorie count: Less than 100
A bloody Mary is a delicious high-flavour cocktail, but it can be loaded with sugar and sodium – especially if you use pre-made Bloody Mary mix.
However, if you make your own you can enjoy a juicy cocktail with a serving of vegetables at the same time.
The primary ingredient in a Bloody Mary is tomato juice – this antioxidant is rich in lycopene and has many health benefits such as reduce fatigue, lower oxidative stress, and repair damaged muscles post workout.
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Yas Ansari, M.S.,R.D.N, a dietitian based in Los Angeles, California, recommends: “Combining one ounce of vodka with a smaller portion of fresh tomato juice, and add just a dash of Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces.”
This keeps the sodium low while lending flavour. Don’t be afraid to also use spices to infuse heat—a little goes a long way.
This recipe helps to keep the sugar intake in check, but be careful not to add more alcohol or tomato juice than required.
Calorie count: 130
Nothing beats a glass of invigorating lemonade on a hot day.
Enjoy this refreshing recipe that will be sure to have your taste buds tingling.
Crush three strawberries in a glass. Add three basil leaves and gently bruise. Add one ounce of vodka and fresh lemonade, stir, add ice, and garnish with basil.
The combination of flavours will leave you with the perfect blend of fruit, pepper and vodka – ideal for lounging by the pool – or in your garden / balcony.
Mojito minus the syrup
Calorie count: Less than 100
Mojitos normally contain around 160 calories, but ditching the simple syrup can save you anywhere from 40 to 70 calories per cocktail.
Ansari recommends making the drink with light rum, and a teaspoon of sugar – or even a no-calorie sugar substitute.
Adding additional mint, increasing the soda water and packing in fresh lime also enhances the flavour without increasing the calories.
At the bar, simply ask the bartender to skip the syrup and add more mint and lime juice instead.
Kombucha with vodka
Calorie count: 90
Kombucha is a fermented health drink that became popular for its high probiotic content.
It is made with tea and sweetened with sugar, which is eaten by the SCOBY, a starter bacteria.
The fizzy beverage pairs well with an ounce of vodka – just be mindful of the sugar in kombucha and stick to low-sugar varieties.
Claims about kombucha’s health power are linked to probiotics – the bacteria targets diarrhoea and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and may even support the immune system.
Tequila with fresh lime juice
Calorie count: Less than 200
A margarita can contain between 160 to 400 calories depending on if it’s made with fresh juice or pre-made syrup.
Ansari explains: “Most of the margarita mixes are rich in sugars and calories.”
To shun the calories off the Mexican-inspired cocktail, the dietician recommends drinking tequila with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
“It blends in juice rather than a syrup, keeping calories under 200,” added Ansari.
Aim to use 100 percent agave tequila – this is fermented from just the agave plant and doesn’t contain additional sweet sources that may increase the sugar content.
Calorie count: Less than 30
This zesty mocktini mimics the taste of a regular martini, whilst eliminating the alcohol.
Add three ounces of diet tonic water, one ounce freshly squeezed lime juice and 1/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice to a shaker with ice. Strain into a martini glass.
Enjoy the refreshing beverage on a hot day and drink in lieu of a sugary alternative.
Non-alcoholic summer spritz
Calorie count: 65
This guilt-free non-alcoholic spritz uses granadilla, a type of passion fruit which is both sweet and sour.
All you need for this recipe is:
Tip the passion fruit pulp, lime juice and sugar syrup into a wine glass and gently muddle using a muddler or the end of a rolling pin.
Add the ice and sparkling water and stir before serving.
If you’re aiming to lose weight, try making mixed drinks at home, choosing low calorie or unsweetened mixers, using herbs to add extra flavour, and adjusting the ingredient ratio.
Remember you should enjoy alcohol only in moderation as part of a healthy, well-rounded diet, regardless of whether you’re trying to lose weight.