It’s summer. The sun is shining. The music is pumping. Maybe you’re lakeside, or pool side, or sitting by a fire. Relaxation at its finest. This often means relaxing on your nutrition as well. While a treat or two won’t hurt, too much can sabotage the hard work you’ve put in to meet your goals. Not to worry; you can still enjoy yourself while saving on calories! Here are some snack and drink hacks to consider next time you’re enjoying some well-deserved down time.
Let’s start by talking about the most common snacks people usually go for at the end of a long day or week. Potato chips and/or ice cream. Yum, I know. But did you know that one serving of potato chips is close to 300 calories? And one serving is SMALL. If you eat the whole bag, you’re adding about 900 calories to your day. With ice cream, a 1 cup serving is nearly 300 calories and about 33 grams of sugar, and that’s just for plain ‘ol chocolate ice cream. If you’re adding toppings or getting into the Reece/Cookies and Cream/Cookie dough flavours, the calorie and sugar count will likely be even higher.
Here are some satisfying savory and sweet options that won’t break the caloric bank.
Greek yogurt dip with veggies (there are tons of delicious recipes online)
Plain popcorn with seasoning salt (Amola is my favourite salt but there are MANY)
Hummus with veggies
Roasted Brussels sprouts (Roasted Brussels Sprouts by Love and Lemons)
Guacamole with veggies
Homemade Kale chips (Crispy Kale Chips by Once Upon a Chef)
Homemade Baked Apple Chips (Apple Chips by Well Plated by Erin)
Smart Sweet Gummies (Smart Sweets)
Protein Ice Cream (Protein Ice Cream by The Big Man’s World)
While backyard bbqs, summer weddings, camping trips, and most other summer events involve alcohol, you don't have to blow your caloric budget on drinks. The simplest solution would be to just avoid alcohol all together, of course, but if you do choose to imbibe, there are several ways you can easily decrease the calorie count of your favourite drinks!
To get us started, let’s look at the approximate number of calories in common beverages.
Daiquiri/Bellini/Margarita/Pina Colada: 300+ calories
Smirnoff Ice and other sweetened coolers: 228 calories per 330ml bottle
Rum and Coke: 185 calories (1.5oz)
Rye and Coke: 185 calories (1.5oz)
Mott’s Clamato Caesar: 170 calories/bottle
Corona: 148 calories/bottle
Canadian: 143 calories/bottle
Red wine: 125 calories (5oz glass)
White wine: 120 calories (5oz glass)
With that in mind, here are some tips for reducing caloric intake while drinking.
Vodka, Rye, Rum, Gin, etc., are only 97 calories per 1.5 oz. Consider mixing any of these with sugar-free mixes. Here are some examples:
Rye and Diet Coke/Gingerale
Rum and Diet Coke
Gin and Soda with lemon or lime
Vodka Soda with lemon or lime
Vodka Water with lemon or lime
Vodka Water with Mio (or other sugar free flavour enhancer)
Vodka with low-calorie juice (grapefruit, cranberry, lemonade, etc.)
Instead of using high calorie sugars or syrups, you can enhance the flavour of your favourite drinks with fresh herbs such as rosemary, mint, basil, or lavender, or by using fruit such as berries or citrus fruit.
Have a single shot in a tall glass rather than a short glass. This way you’ll fill up with calorie-free mixers (as noted above), rather than with alcohol.
Have a glass of water between drinks.
Drink low calorie coolers. Pro Tip: Add ice and a splash of soda/sparkling water to your coolers. This way it’ll take you longer to drink.
Add ice and sparkling water to wine. You could even throw some fruit in there for extra flavour.
Try light/low calorie wine. If you’re a white wine drinker, try Honest Lot Sauvignon Blanc, Cupcake Light Hearted Chardonnay, or Stoneleigh Lighter Sauvignon Blanc. If you’re a red wine drinker, try FitVine Cabernet Sauvignon or On Point Smooth Red.
Cheers, to your health!
- Coach Shan