8 tricks to drink without gaining weight

By:  Kasmin Fernandes

Prevent that beer belly and drinker's flubber without compromising on regular partying

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It's a no-brainer that quitting (or cutting back on booze) is healthy for you. However, you can't help indulging once in a moon. These tactics will keep the calories low and the health perils to the minimum when you're out for drinks. 

1. HYDRATE HYDRATE HYDRATE

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It's wise to down a litre of plain, room temperature water before you head out. Oh and don't forget to eat before ordering drinks. “A full belly will slow down the absorption rate of the alcohol in your system, so you won't get drunk too fast,” says dietician Dr Girish Gadkari. Once at the bar, drink 1-2 glasses of water for every drink you order. 

2. MOJITOS INSTEAD OF RUM

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A harmless glass of rum and coke isn't so harmless after all. It's packed with artificial sugar because of the cola. Since you like rum, choose a mojito instead. It will give you the punch and the fresh lime and mint have a dose of antioxidants, so your cocktail has nutritional value too. Go easy on the sugar syrup.

3. BE SMART ABOUT MIXERS

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Unsweetened coffee and ice tea, raw juice and seltzer are much lower in calories and sugar than the usual cocktail mixers. Improve your cocktail by asking the bartender to garnish with fresh ingredients – muddled berries, a sprig of parsley or thyme, or a slice of lime.

4. AVOID DESSERT SHOTS

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The moment your shot of hard liquor has some cream or sugar in the mix, the calorie count doubles. Stick with straight shots of vodka, rum or whisky to keep the calories between 100 and 300 for each one. No embellishments needed. 

5. MIX VODKA WITH CRANBERRY JUICE

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You like your vodka tonic and Sprite+vodka? Try adjusting your palate to cranberry juice as a mixer to slash calories. 

6. ORDER LIGHT BEER

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You might be a connoisseur of the draught and macho beers. However, light beer isn't just for models. It has one-third fewer calories so when you're chugging down the pints at the office party, you will be consuming 200 calories less every fourth pint. 

7. BLOODY MARY FOR BRUNCH

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One Bloody Mary is just 125 calories and a hint of sugar. It trumps a mimosa, a Cosmopolitan or a daiquiri in this regard. Says dietician Karishma Chawla, “The tomato juice packs in Vitamins A and C. A weekend brunch calls for something you can enjoy with delicious food. A Bloody Mary is the perfect brunch option.”

8. SAVOUR EVERY SIP

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Whatever your poison, drink mindfully. Says Dr Gadkari, “Did you know alcohol actually makes you hungrier both physically and psychologically? Since people's inhibitions are lower, they might not be able to stay away from sinful food. Savour every sip of your drink and take pleasure in it rather than binge drinking just to get high.” 

Tip: Hot apple cider for house parties

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With no added sugar and a lot of nutrients, apple cider is a great option for house parties. It leaves a warm, satisfying feeling that mainstream drinks don't. No wonder ancient peasants got high on this alcoholic beverage. 

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