After a long week, you probably look forward to starting the weekend at Happy Hour—whether at home or in your favorite local watering hole. Before you start drinking, though, be careful with the high calorie count in alcohol, it can end up right on your belly, says Jim White, registered dietician and American Dietetic spokesperson. But, it’s not just the alcohol you have to look out for, mixers and size, too. Standard servings start at 12 ounces for beer, 5 ounces per glass of wine and 1.5 ounces for liquor – at a restaurant or bar, you might get double that! Plus, when you’re drinking, inhibitions go by the wayside and those cheesy nachos, that taqueria truck or visit to the late-night eats spot on the way home look really good, so you’re doing double damage. It is possible to kick back with the fellas without undoing your workout. One rule of thumb: mix in a water between drinks, says White.
There are also ways to cut calories. Beer, rum, vino tinto name your poison, ‘LLERO found the best drink options that contain fewer calories to help keep off those love handles. Salud!
Wine: Drink Up
Wine is the most diet-friendly option you can fill your glass with. In general, each five-ounce glass has only about 120 calories, and zero fat, sodium and cholesterol. Plus, studies have shown that antioxidants in red wine may offer heart-healthy benefits. However, the calories can nearly double depending on the size of glass and how fast you top it off before it’s empty. So, be sure to keep track of those refills.
Pinto Grigio 122 calories, 0 g fat, 3 g carb
Cabernet Sauvignon 122 calories, 0 g fat, 4 g carb
Merlot 122 calories, 0 g fat, 4 g carb
Pinot Noir 121 calories, 0 g fat, 3 g carb
Sauvignon Blanc 119 calories, 0 g fat, 3 g carb
(all nutritional information based on a 5-ounce serving)