Refreshing drink specials and delicious half-priced apps last all summer long on Wednesdays in Philadelphia! This is great for your wallet, but maybe not so great for your waistline… Let’s get this straight – in no way should you fear the occasional Happy Hour and assume it will completely derail your healthy lifestyle. But, you should be beware that cheap drinks don’t give a discount on calories.
Liquor Calorie Counting
A 1.5-ounce shot of liquor (vodka, rum, tequila, bourbon, whiskey, gin, scotch) has about 100 calories. Order it on the rocks, with a twist or a squeeze of citrus, and that’s where the calorie-count ends.
Mixers Tipping the Scale
Keep an eye on the calories that could be hiding in your mixer of choice. Some popular culprits:
- 8 ounces of tonic water has about 85 calories and 22 grams of sugar
- 8 ounces of cranberry juice has about 140 calories and 30 grams of sugar
- 8 ounces of Coca-Cola has about 100 calories and 27 grams of sugar
Try pairing your spirit with water, seltzer or calorie-free soda — or consider ordering a flavored vodka (1.5 ounces of Raspberry Smirnoff vodka has about 100 calories and 2 grams of sugar and Malibu rum has about 85 calories and 9 grams of sugar).
Beer & Wine
Beer and wine not only have calorie from alcohol, but they also have carbohydrates. For roughly 5 ounces of wine, you’re looking at about 120 calories and about 4 grams of carbs. There’s a lot more variation for 12 ounces of beer – anywhere from 110-180 calories depending on which brew you choose.
Being tipsy makes it hard for you to pay attention to your hunger cues, which increases your risk for over-eating. Remember, fried and super cheesy foods are going to pack a bigger caloric punch than platters with fruits, veggies and lean protein and spreads like hummus and guacamole. (But beware the bottomless chips!) Consider sharing high-calorie snack orders with friends. Alternating alcoholic drinks with water will keep you hydrated (often we confuse thirst for hunger) and keep you coherent enough to make smart choices all around!