6 ways to diet at the bar

NancyM on 12 Mar 2009 at 8:45am

1. Eat before you go. Between salt-laden bar snacks, greasy bar menus, and the "can you carry my tab over to my table" move, if you're at a bar, chances are there's food. The less you crave, the more you save in calories (and money).

2. If it has a cute name, skip it. If it has a name that's not on a bottle, it's mixed; and mixed drinks come with a high calorie count—many starting at over 200 calories per drink. A tame-sounding Long Island Iced Tea packs well over 700 calories.

3. Order up two at a time. No, don't double-up on those Martinis. Instead, make sure you order a glass of water when you order your drink. Alternate sips between the two. It slows down your cal intake while filling you up.

4. Give yourself a spritz. A fave of models and celebs, the wine spritzer is always in fashion when looking for a low-cal drink. Opt for one instead of regular wine—it'll save you about half the calories.

5. Smaller doesn't mean fewer. Thinking smaller portions will deliver smaller calorie counts? Not if smaller means shots. Rule of thumb: a 1.5 oz. shot of any 80% alcohol is about 100 calories. It adds up—think of that Long Island Iced Tea.

6. Ask for diet. Sounds simple, but for some reason ordering diet at the bar is harder than ordering it at a table. Do it. It can save you close to 100 calories per drink. Newer on the market but hard to find in bars: McDowell’s DietMate Whiskey. And, of course, opt for Light Beer.