By Cristin Lalone
Elm Staff Writer
Being a college student and over the age of 21 can mean you have two things on your mind at the start of the weekend: alcohol and keeping your weight where you want it. In one study, the results said that within the last year, 84 percent of college students that were tested said they drank alcohol. With that, a different study admitted that about one-half of college student drinkers engage in heavy alcohol consumption during their college career. To those students who can’t keep track of their alcohol consumption and end up gaining weight, they refer to the extra weight gained as their “beer belly.” With Birthday Ball coming up in only a few short days people are probably thinking, “What can I drink when I go out this weekend that won’t kill me with sugar and calories?”
Without looking at a nutritional label, you would probably never realize how high in calories certain liquors or mixers can be. A standard shot size or 1.5 ounce serving of 80 proof alcohols have 96 calories before mixers are even added. One gram of alcohol has seven calories while only four calories for a gram of carbohydrates or proteins. Calories add up quicker for mixed drinks than beer and wine usually because of the mixers. To dieters, Happy Hour is thought to be a diet downer because they always assume the calories will kill their diet and send them in the wrong direction. If you think ahead and research through nutritional labels before going out on what drinks are “healthier,” you can save a few calories and your diet.
There are a few mixed drinks you can easily make without having to worry too much about calories. Martinis are a perfect cocktail for diets coming in at only 73 calories and not too high in sugar. If you are a big whisky fan, it is only 72 calories for a single shot serving. A dietary suggestion with whisky would be to add a low calorie mixer, like diet lemonade or unsweetened tea. If you are a vodka fan, try a single shot of vodka mixed with lime and soda. To keep the calorie counts lower, you can try to use low or zero calorie mixers. Also it helps to take a look at the nutritional label for mixers low in sugar. A single shot of Bacardi with diet coke is one of the best cocktails you can drink at 58 calories per drink. If you aren’t a fan of soda or other carbonated beverages, try a shot of southern comfort with diet lemonade coming in at 48 calories per cocktail.
The types of drinks to stay away from because of calories would be drinks with more than a couple shots of the liquor or mixers high in calories and sugar. Not only do cocktails boost calories, but they also impact your intuitions and thoughts for the night. This means after a few drinks, you tend to overeat, especially with unhealthy foods. Once intoxicated from alcohol, this feeling pushes people to think and feel hungrier. For example, this can be a late night pizza from Domino’s, a Hot Pocket from the freezer, or persuading the sober friend of the night to drive to 7-11 or Royal Farms.