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Enjoy a Cocktail Without Throwing Off Your Diet

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As with drinking in general, you just gotta be responsible about it.

I’m not really an alcohol person. I don’t have any moral complications, I just don’t really care for the taste of most beers and cocktails. Ciders are nice, though… anyway, a modestly-sized drink every now and then is perfectly reasonable, and considering the state of the world at the moment, I would not begrudge you for it. It does pay to remember, however, that as with any other food or drink, alcoholic stuff can mess with your health, and I don’t mean the alcohol. Cocktail syrups are full of the same kind of chemicals you get from juices and soft drinks. Remember, just because it’s a “fun” drink doesn’t mean there’s no calories.

The important thing about monitoring your intake of alcohol, aside from the obvious reason, is that every drink can have a surprisingly large amount of calories. Even a single shot of the straight stuff can pack over a hundred calories, to say nothing of a big mug of beer, which as The Arrogant Worms reminded us, is essentially “liquid bread.” If you’re planning on having more than one drink, finish the whole thing before you refill. At least that way you can keep track of precisely how many drinks you’ve had, and by extension, the calories (assuming you’re still lucid).

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While there’s no such thing as a “healthy” alcoholic drink, there are better options. For example, instead of a pina colada, try a sangria packed with fruit or a blended daiquiri. All the fun of alcohol, plus some extra vitamins and minerals. Don’t think going for the better options gives you carte blanche, though. If your options are one unhealthy drink and a whole tray of “healthy” drinks, you’d probably be better off with the one unhealthy drink, balance-wise.

Most of all, remember to keep a glass of water handy. Staying hydrated between drinks, in addition to countering alcohol’s drying properties, will help you regulate your pace. Some drinks taste better on the rocks, anyway.

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