Low Calorie Day Drinking Options That Will Still Get You Buzzed

While you may have spent the winter months hiding alone in your bed with Netflix and a cuddle buddy, spring has (basically) sprung.

With drinking-focused holidays like St. Patricks Day and spring break being celebrated all month long, you’re probably planning on doing a lot of drinking. I don’t mean sipping a few glasses of wine at a quiet bistro drinking, I mean shotgunning a beer in your backyard at 10 a.m. And guess what? Lawless as day drinking might be, it doesn’t have to destroy your diet.

First thing’s first: beer is not the diet-killer so many of us have been trained to see it as.

While many distributors offer special low calorie beers, they generally aren’t offered at your local bar (not to mention it’s slightly embarrassing asking the hot bartender if they serve Miller 64). If you’re at a bar and want to order a brew with less regrets, try Coors Light (102 calories), Bud Lite (110), Corona Light (105), or Miller Light (96). Although it may give you PTSD to your frat-hopping days, Natty Light is cheap as hell and only packs 95 calories.

Also, surprise! Guinness only has 125 calories. And it’s way cooler to sip than Bud Lite, plus it actually tastes good.

If you’re buying a case or a six-pack for an at home get-together, see if you can snag some Beck’s Light (64 calories), Heineken Light (99), Miller Genuine Draft 64 (64, obviously), or Bud Select 55 (55).

Unfortunately, just like any “skinny” vodka, these beers have a lower ABV than their higher calorie counterparts. Miller 64 has a 2.4% ABV, whereas regular Miller High Life has 4.7%. The thing about alcoholic beverages is that if you want to decrease calorie content, you have to decrease alcohol content. If you’re drinking to get drunk, you may as well stick to the more traditional light beers rather than going for the ridiculously low-calorie options. But at the same time, sticking to the light options also means you’ll probably last longer without running out of steam.

With vodka, the traditionally low calorie liquor, the same predicament appears. Critics over at Persephone Magazine noticed that the female-targeted drink Skinnygirl Vodka is only “skinny” because the recommended serving size is 3/4 of a standard shot and the beverage is 60 proof rather than 80 proof (80 proof is the standard among most vodkas). So basically, it’s only skinny if you drink a tiny amount of it, stop there, and have no desire to actually get a buzz.

When it comes to actual vodka, obviously day-drink that at your own risk. But Smirnoff vodka tends to be the lowest calorie in a wide variety of their products. Whether you’re going for their standard Blue Label (121 calories per shot), Red Label (97), Silver Label (110), or a flavored option like Smirnoff Apple (93), you’re getting bang for your buck and a margin of the calories you would get from a mixed drink.

Ketel One also squeezes 99 calories into a shot. The problem arises when you mix it with a sugar-y soda or fruit juice. If you’re watching your weight, try mixing your vodka with water or club soda and a lime (bonus: it helps tomorrow’s hangover). If you can’t stomach plain water or club soda with vodka, stick to a diet soda.

Surprisingly, another low calorie option that will get you even drunker than vodka is tequila. Jose Cuervo Especial Gold has 96 calories and Patron has 98. While we’re not so sure about articles that claim tequila helps you lose weight, we can ensure that a shot of tequila is less damaging on your waistline than a shot of fireball for sure.

Whiskeys and rums are generally higher in sugar content and calories, but if you gotta have your fix we recommend Wild Turkey (124), Bacardi Gold (98), Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum (86), or Jack Daniels (98). Good gin options are Tanqueray (116) or Bombay Sapphire (114).

Lastly, while wine or champagne may make you feel classier, it may not be as great as you thought. Whether you’re at the high end of the market with Dom P (110 cals) or at the low end of the market with Franzia (105 cals), you’re inhaling a good amount of calories for the ABV (12.5% for both). If you’re a self proclaimed wine lover, you do you, but if you think wine is healthier for you than beer (at least in terms of calories), think again.

Overall, you don’t want to be Debbie Downer by informing everyone that margaritas hold 500 calories during happy hour, but it’s always good to be conscious about what you’re putting into your body. If you can stick to lower calorie drinks this spring, go you! But if you find yourself accepting whatever beverage the hottie next to you buys you, that’s okay too.

All nutrition facts from Get Drunk Not Fat.

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