Watching Your Intake? Happy Hour Tips. Drinks Minus The Guilt.

Are you watching your diet, working on slimming down? Here are some tips from WeightWatchers.com on how to still enjoy Happy Hour with your friends without sacrificing all of your calories. I will be sure to keep this information in mind on my next outing with friends.

1. Never come to happy hour hungry “Skipping lunch to compensate for the calories you plan to drink is not a good idea,” says Molly Gee, RD, weight-loss counselor and researcher at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “Alcohol does not satisfy hunger.”

Arrive at a barbecue or outdoor bar with a growling belly and you may find yourself downing a few handfuls of nuts (about 600 calories), or worse, falling prey to the chip-and-dip platter. A better choice: Eat how you normally would during the day, work in some extra exercise, and munch a piece of fruit before you go to take the edge off.

2. Be mindful of mixers Hard liquor runs 100-200 calories per shot, but add a sugary or creamy mixer and you’ll double or triple the calories, says Lisa Drayer, a New York City-based dietician. Her tip: Order what you love, just make it lighter — a rum and Coke using diet cola, a gin and tonic using low-calorie tonic. Or, skip mixers altogether and sip a light beer (one-third the calories of regular) or a glass of red wine (just over 100 calories).

3. Make the cocktail your dessert If you can’t resist a piña colada or daiquiri, drink seltzer during your cocktail hour and savor the mega-calorie libation instead of dessert, suggests Drayer. “Negotiate with yourself.” But exercise moderation. “If you drank a piña colada or any 500-calorie drink every day in excess of what your body needs to maintain your current weight, you’d gain a pound a week,” says Drayer.

4. Enjoy alcohol every other round Alternate each alcoholic beverage with seltzer or water. It’ll cut down on calories and help you keep count of how much you’re drinking. And because alcohol has a diuretic effect, the water will hydrate you, says Drayer. Or, follow Gee’s lead and order a glass of water along with your cocktail. You’ll sip the hard stuff more slowly.

5. Focus on the conversation, not the cocktails When you find yourself alone at a fête, you may swig more swiftly out of anxiety or a need to look occupied. “Food and drink become substitutes for conversation; don’t fall into that trap,” says Gee. “If you don’t want to look like you’re standing there doing nothing, drink seltzer.”

6. Go for volume A platter of healthy food can satiate you more than a couple of high-fat morsels; it’s the same way with cocktails. “The taller the drink, the longer you’ll have it in your hand and hopefully drink a little less,” says Gee. “Make it last by adding lots of ice and soda water.”

Enjoy! Eat, Drink, and Be Merry! If you have any good suggestions please comment & feel free to share!

More Than Cute in the Face xoxo

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