It's been a long week of Christmas celebrations and Family events. Now, you're looking forward to a jubilant New Years Eve.  But, a night on the town can do serious damage to your diet, especially if you order cocktails made with high-calorie mixers. 

Still, your New Years Eve doesn’t have to be a diet disaster.  With a little planning, you can avoid that diet disaster. You can create some alcoholic drinks that are relatively low in calories.

Now, I’m not an export on alcohol anymore, that was my College years but, I did consult some exports on favorite drinks of partiers. I just asked some current College Students what their favorite drinks are and then researched how to make them more calorie friendly.

Here’s what we should note: 1 gram of alcohol has 7 calories, compared to only 4 calories for a gram of carbohydrates or protein.  Not to mention the fact that alcohol has less nutritional value as well.

Calories aren't the only reason to take it easy on alcohol. Not only do cocktails boost calories, they also have a powerful impact on your inhibitions. I also discovered this in my College years.

The number of calories in mixed drinks also depends on several things, including the amount and proof of the alcohol; the mixers; and the size of the drink. 

Whether you're drinking a beer or a Cosmo, the higher the alcohol content, the higher the calories. 80-proof vodka (40% alcohol; the most common type) has 64 calories per 1oz, 86-proof vodka (43% alcohol) has 70 calories/1 oz, 90-proof vodka (45% alcohol) has 73 calories/1 oz, and 100-proof vodka (50% alcohol) has 82 calories/1 oz.

Most glasses of wine contain 125-150 calories, but that can double depending on the size of the glass size and how full it is.  At cocktail or dinner parties, glasses are often refilled before empty, making it especially hard for dieters to track their alcohol and calorie consumption.

Beer can range from 64-198 calories per 12 ounces. Light beers are a better choice because they contain the same amount of alcohol as regular beers but fewer carbohydrates; low-carb beer is just another term for light beer.

The biggest cooperate of calories are the mixers, syrups, and sodas that really get people into calorie trouble.  Most drinks start with 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits that have around 96 calories, but mixologists can easily turn that into a drink with hundreds of calories.

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So, choose wine, light beer, or simple cocktails made with low-calorie mixers. Just as you might order your salad with dressing on the side, don't be shy about asking for your cocktail your way. You can save 100 calories if you have a diet soda as your mixer.

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Mix cocktails with water, club soda, low calorie juices, artificial sweeteners or sugar-free syrups for easy calorie savings. Vegetable juices can be good choices because they are lower in calories than some other mixers and also contain disease-preventing antioxidants. Still, be careful of fruit juices because even though they are more nutritious, the calories can add up quickly.

Skip the mixer altogether. Try ordering your favorite spirit or one of the new flavored liquors on the rocks. Infused vodkas are very popular because they are not sweetened but infused with flavors, from jalapeno to peach, without adding any extra calories.

Some mixers that won't pack on the pounds include:

  • Diet soda or diet tonic: 0 calories
  • Sugar Free Red Bull
  • Orange juice (6 oz): 84 calories
  • Cranberry juice cocktail (8 oz): 136 calories
  • Light orange juice (8 oz): 50 calories
  • Light cranberry juice (8 oz): 40 calories
  • Light lemonade (8 oz): 5 calories
  • Coffee, tea: 0 calories
  • Baja Bob's sugar-free margarita or sweet 'n' sour mix: 0 calories
  • Lemon or lime juice (1/2 oz): 10 calories
  • DaVinci or Torani's sugar-free syrups

Here is a list of some favorites compiled from my expert advisors. Because they’re still in College and I personally know their parents, their names are not being used lol.

Low-Calorie: Mojito

For those of you who are watching your waistline, ask for half the simple syrup—or ditch it altogether. Mint, lime, and soda water are all naturally low-cal, a shot of rum is about 100 calories, and 2 tbsp. (half the normal serving) in the form of syrup is about 40 calories.

Low-Calorie: Vodka and Sugar Free Red Bull

No, it’s not the most glamorous drink at the bar, but it is refreshing (and refreshingly low in calories - under 100!). Plus, it’ll give you a boost of energy for lasting power.

 Low-Calorie: Rum and Diet Coke

Ah, the classic rum and Coke - this was my first mixed drink I ever had but, with regular Coke. Try it with Diet Coke. White rum and diet cola is a good choice to cut the calories. Or, try spiced rum to give the drink a kick.


Low-Calorie: Sea Breeze

If you usually order a vodka-cranberry, try a sea breeze. The 4 oz. of grapefruit juice, 1½ oz. of cranberry juice, and 1 oz. of vodka will set you back about 180 calories.




Low-Calorie: Champagne

Forget choosing between wine and beer. A 4-oz. glass of bubbly is only 85 calories. That’s about 15 calories less than a 12-oz. bottle of light beer or a 4-oz. glass of wine.

Low-Calorie: Sour-Apple Martini

Try a sour-apple one, made with 2 1/2 oz. sour mix and 3/4 oz. each vodka and sour apple liqueur, for a 160-calorie treat.

Low-Calorie: Mudslide

This is the kind of sweet drink that sounds like it’ll set you back more calories than a hot-fudge sundae. In reality, it’ll cost you 184 calories.

So, there you have it. Toast the old Year that just passed and toast the New Year that is yet to come. Have a safe New Years Eve and please drink responsibly.

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This article was written by Curtis Mann Co- Owner and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.

Information for this News Article was obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Mayo Clinic, LiveStrong Foundation, and the American Cancer Society.