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7 low-calorie cocktails that won't bust your diet

Summer is here, and through all the fun, we're trying to stay on track with our health goals.

But again, summer is here. There are beach trips, cookouts and get-togethers, and maybe you want to eat better without having to turn down happy hour or a nightcap. Opting for a healthier option of drink may help you feel somewhat guilt-free.

The general recommendation for how many calories one should ingest in a day is 2,000 calories for women and 2,500 calories for men — and that’s to lose 1 pound a week. But keep in mind that is a very general number. Your optimal caloric intake will depend on your height, weight, age, activity level and metabolic health, among other factors.

To put it in perspective, many non-light beers have upward of about 150 calories per bottle or can, and that’s just a base. Many can climb well over 200 calories per drink.

And although there are many claims that wine can be healthy, there are still major calories that can be ingested (hello, sugar). That’s not considering if you have a heavy pour (which, let’s be honest, can get heavier as the night goes on).

[Click here to see where your favorite wine lands on calorie count.]

When we get to liquor, that’s where we can see the calories drop a bit. But adding in a mixer -- such as cranberry juice, orange juice or soda -- is where you can really start seeing a jump in your caloric intake.

All this is not to say that you can't still enjoy your favorite drink in some form -- there are always options!

So, without further adieu, let's get to some adult beverages you can enjoy and not feel overly guilty about.

1. Champagne: Who ever said champagne is just for special occasions? You might be surprised to know that champagne is one of the most forgiving alcoholic beverages at only 90 calories per 4-ounce flute.

2. Wine: If you're a white wine drinker, try sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio, both of which hold about 120 calories per 6-ounce glass. If you identify more as a red drinker, try pinot noir or merlot, which also have about 120 calories per 6-ounce glass.

3. Margarita: Skinny, that is. There are some fantastic-tasting ones out there. And better yet, there are limited ingredients: 1.5 ounces of silver tequila, .5 ounce of agave nectar and freshly squeezed lime juice. 

4. Liquor with a mixer: 1 ounce of vodka, rum, tequila or scotch is 64 calories (gin is close behind at 74 calories). Mix any of those with water or club soda and a lime and you're not taking on any additional calories. Maybe you want something with a little more flavor, however. The thing to be aware of with mixers is that juices and sodas can pack quite a few calories into a drink. If you want something with a little more flavorful, try a sugar-free juice or toss some fresh fruit into your drink.

5. Beer: People prefer all kinds of beer, but the light ones are where you're typically going to find fewer calories in your brew. Bud Select 55 has just 55 calories in a bottle. If that's not full-flavored enough for you, some of the more popular light beers fall between 95 and 110 calories. Click here to find where some of the more popular beers fall on the calorie scale.

6. Mojito: Maybe you like something with a fresher taste. A less sugary version of the Mojito is the way to go. Pour one shot of rum, one teaspoon of agave, some lime juice and water over fresh mint leaves and crushed ice.

7. Spiked sparkling water: Our latest fave! There are multiple brands on board with the spiked sparkling water now, which is to all of our benefit because of the options it can provide. With an array of flavors for anyone's taste, most of them sit just around 100 calories or less, with low sugar and carbohydrates.

Whether you opt for a lower-calorie option or you throw all caution to the wind and stick to the norm, always be sure to include drinks of water in between, and never drink and drive. There are way too many ride-sharing options to get behind the wheel after consuming adult beverages.


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