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Watching your waistline? Avoid these drinks at all costs.

Whether you’re celebrating a promotion, enjoying a girls’ night out or on a hot date, indulging in too many summer cocktails is a quick way to bloating, gas and a distended belly.

Fortunately for us, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans has provided us with a few pointers, sans gut guilt.

For women, experts suggest consuming no more than one drink per day. Men on the other hand can consume up to two drinks per day.

According to the dietary guidelines, “one alcoholic drink-equivalent is defined as containing 14 grams (0.6 fluid ounces) of pure alcohol. The following are reference beverages that are one alcoholic drink-equivalent: 12 fluid ounces of regular beer (5 percent alcohol), 5 fluid ounces of wine (12 percent alcohol), or 1.5 fluid ounces of 80 proof distilled spirits (40 percent alcohol). Drink-equivalents are not intended to serve as a standard drink definition for regulatory purposes.”

Here’s how to pick your poison. Avoid anything loaded with sugar, including:
Margaritas: are loaded with sugar and add up to 600 calories (or more) per serving.
White Russians: are created with heavy cream, coffee-flavored liqueur, and Vodka. One serving is close to 500 calories.
Holiday concoctions: like spiked egg nog is made from eggs, sugar and cream — plus liquor — which comes in about 450 calories per serving.

Instead, opt for:
Mulled wine: which is made with red wine and low calorie herbs aka mulling spices. For just 227 calories, this hot toddy will you warm you up from the inside out.
Sangria: a mix of fresh fruits and wine doesn’t just deliver a healthy dose of antioxidants but your calorie count sits nicely at 115-260 calories per serving, depending on whether you use fruit juice and/or sugar.
Champagne: can keep calories in check, thanks to the champagne glass, which holds about 6 fluid ounces.

Of course, drink selection is just a starting point. Lastly, ask for small glasses as well as your drink “on the rocks.” The ice leaves less room for alcohol calories, so you can enjoy without all the sipping’ shame.

R. Hawkins

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