Jennifer Adair" />
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Saturday, September 23, 2023


Make a toast to a healthier happy hour

Replace your high-calorie cocktails with wine, light beer or pre-mixed margaritas. Try to limit snacking on finger food during happy hour as well — just because it’s free doesn’t mean it’s good for you. | Rick Audet/Wikimedia Commons

After a stressful week and with a few exams under your belt, happy hour is most likely calling your name.

Getting together with friends and having a few drinks and snacks after a stressful week is a great way to relax and have some fun, but it is also a great way to take in thousands of extra calories.

Once high-calorie alcoholic beverages are in, our inhibition goes down, cravings go up and we overload on the finger food ordered along with that second (or third) drink. With just a few simple twists, you can reduce the calories and not the fun. All it takes are some healthy choices during happy hour.


Drink to your health

For a healthier happy hour, try wine. This has fewer calories per ounce than liquor. A glass of red or white wine has about 120 calories and light beer has about 95 calories. There are also many low calorie drink mixes on the market, like Skinny Girl margarita and sangria.

Good quality vodka mixed with club soda and a twist of lemon or lime has only 65 calories, while a Bloody Mary has about 100 calories.

If you really want something a bit more exotic, try a mojito. If it’s made with light rum, a bit of sugar and topped off with cold club soda, it could only be about 160 calories and 15 grams of sugar.


Free food: Is it low calorie or fat free?

Just because the food is there and it’s free doesn’t mean you have to eat it. Bars love to supply their guests with salty treats like beer nuts, peanuts, and pretzels that make you drink more — good for them, bad for you.

Instead of thinking “why not, they’re free,” keep in mind that they’re not calorie or fat-free. If you want something to nibble on, don’t be tempted by what’s free. Instead, buy finger foods like edamame, which gives you that hit of salt without the calories and fat.

With low calories cocktails coupled with low calorie and fat free snacks, there is no doubt that you will have a more fun, healthier happy hour.

Cheers to making healthy choices you won’t regret the next morning.

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