Stay hydrated: Summer drinks that will not pack on the pounds

Lana Bandoim's picture

Summer is coming, and this means you will soon be overheated and thirsty, especially at barbecues and other outdoor social occasions. Although water is always the healthiest beverage choice, what can you drink that will not flood your system with sugar and empty calories? You are not doomed to a summer of ice water and sugar-free lemonade.

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There are many delicious summer drinks that will not destroy your diet. You may want to try these tasty concoctions that combine a big flavor punch with a tiny calorie count. When you serve these drinks, everyone will be asking for the recipes.

Water alternatives

Coconut water and infused fruit water are both popular now. This is great news because these tasty alternatives are perfect low calorie summer drinks. You can also substitute the occasional juice if you focus on fruits and vegetables with high water content like watermelon or cucumber. You want to avoid more calorie-dense fruits for beverages except as a special treat. For example, a mango lassi will not ruin your diet, and it is full of vitamins and antioxidants since mango is a superfood.

Allowing for alcohol

You do not have to go on a strict alcohol ban this summer to stay on your diet. You just need to make smart choices. Is a beer really worth it? It is probably not unless you are a local IPA connoisseur. However, a Cosmo without simple syrup and orange juice instead of Cointreau is a tasty option. Since there is so much fruit flavor packed into this beverage, you will not miss the extra sugar from the syrup.

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Sangria is also a great summer cocktail with its red wine base. You can add extra fruit to your drink for fiber and swap out sugar or simple syrup for a zero calorie sweetener. Sangria is also an easy drink for entertaining because it can be served in a pitcher or punch bowl, and everyone loves boozy fruit. For more calorie cuts, you can serve it as a sangria sparkler with added seltzer.

Avoid these calorie bombs

Although you are mixing up tasty, low calorie drinks for your own parties, there will still be temptations. You want to flag these drinks to avoid: frozen margaritas, the infamous mudslide and Long Island ice tea. Anything with multiple kinds of alcohol will be more calorie heavy so will anything with cream or sweet liquors.

A summer strategy

Almost any drink will add on the calories if you have several of them, so you want to limit yourself to one alcoholic beverage at any event. After one drink, it is time to switch back to water and decline the refills. You want to keep that cup in your hands and ward off friends proffering pitchers of fancy drinks. If it helps, you can declare yourself the designated driver for the evening by offering another incentive to avoid calorie dense beverages.

You do not want to forget to carry a water bottle this summer. In addition to helping you stay hydrated, carrying a water bottle will help you avoid pit stops. Everyone knows when you pop into Starbucks for an ice water you will be tempted by something less healthy, so you want to keep temptations at a distance to stay on track.

Image from Pixabay.com and used with permission.

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