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Diet Solutions: Drinking and going out

Worst/Best Mixed Drinks For Summer
by ShaunaS

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   (51 votes)

The mercury is rising, vacations are in full swing and patio happy hours are bustling – what do all of the above have in common? Frosty, refreshing cocktails!

It sure is tempting to order that frozen margarita or mai tai – but did you stop and think how it might be thwarting your diet efforts? If you’re not careful, cocktails can add thousands of calories to your week and if you are a frequent happy hour participant, this can be enough to slow your progress.

The good news? It is possible to enjoy a refreshing cocktail!

Just choose high calorie drinks in moderation and choose lower calories ones as your drink of choice. Compare the following cocktails and you be the judge!

Skip these Sips!

Margarita – that sweet slushy stuff isn’t too good to be true – it’s packed with calories! Calorie count: 500.

Long Island Iced Tea – what do you get when you mix five different kinds of liquors with sweet and sour and soda? A calorie count comparable to a Big Mac! Calorie count: 700.

Pina Coloda – this island favorite gets most of its calories from high fat coconut milk, save the coconut milk for an occasional curry dish instead! Calorie count: 625.

Chocolate Martini – it is made with chocolate and cream after all! If this is your dessert, that’s one thing, but I’d rather have a piece of chocolate cake! Calorie count: 450.

White Russian – are you a brunch libation kind of person? Skip this rich and creamy drink for special occasions. Calorie count: 300.

Savor these Sips Instead

Tequila Sunrise – you still get the tequila with a sweet touch but with more than half the calories! Calorie count: 200.

Greyhound – this simple drink of grapefruit juice and vodka packs a flavor punch but keeps the calories low. Calorie count: 200.

Mojito – now this is an island drink you can feel good about! And, fresh mint and lime will leave you feeling refreshed. Calorie count: 160.

Cosmopolitan – if martinis are your thing, don’t shy away from this trendy drink. Calorie count: 150 calories.

Bloody Mary – add another serving of veggies to your brunch (or lunch or dinner!). Blood Mary’s are slim and trim! Calorie count: 150.

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July 28, 2008


Liquid Calories: The Scary Bottom Line
by DrDiet

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   (43 votes)

“Think before you drink!”

Great advice that no longer applies to just the act of driving after drinking alcohol.

A Washington Post feature issued that same warning after revealing the high calorie level of some coffee drinks, fruit smoothies, soft drinks and shakes.

Even though warm weather can make you thirsty for a refreshing, cool drink, think twice before sipping a drink that packs upward of 600 calories.

That’s a price I’m not willing to pay to quench my thirst!

As a nutrition expert, I’m well aware of the problems that excessive liquid calories can bring. But this article got me thinking about how our bad economy could also be impacting our drinking habits.

The financial costs of coffee drinks, fruit smoothies, soft drinks, shakes and alcoholic beverages have been rising along with food costs and gas prices.

Collectively, these extra costs (both in calories and cents) should give dieters pause at fast food counters, restaurants, bars, Starbucks, ice cream shops and the like.

No one likes to live under budgetary constraints but I do think that money speaks louder than calories in helping us make good decisions.

For many people, changing drinking habits will go a long way toward helping them better manage their weight – and their pocketbook.

Consider using the money saved toward the purchase of a tap water filter which will mean less money spent on bottled water.


July 8, 2008


11 Portion Control Strategies That Work!
by ShaunaS

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   (11 votes)

When it comes to weight loss – how much you eat matters more than what you eat. Now, that’s doesn’t mean you should live on chocolate and chips; what you eat still determines how satisfied you will be and how healthy you stay.

So, let’s get acquainted with some portion control strategies and you may just meet your goals faster!

--Portion tempting foods or “empty” calorie snacks into snack sized zip lock baggies. Use the food label for nutrition and serving size information and a measuring cup for accuracy.

--Leave the container at the counter! Sitting down in front of the TV with a bag of chips or carton of ice cream can lead to mindless eating. Its okay to indulge in your favorites, however, moderation is key. Put a serving on a plate or bowl and take it with you and enjoy!

--Downsize your dinnerware! Using a smaller plate or bowl offers instant portion control. Studies show we eat more when we’re served more regardless of hunger level. You probably won’t even notice your plate is smaller because typically we’re happy when our plate if full! My favorite portion control trick is to use a small (6-8 ounce) tea cup or coffee cup for ice cream.

--Portion your plate without measuring. We often talk about using the “picnic plate method” and with good reason – it is a simple and effective tool for portion control and balance and keeps you satisfied at the same time. Fill half your plate with veggies, one quarter with whole grains and the other quarter with lean protein. If you need more prompting, check out for a real version you can use at home.

--Measure foods a couple times per week to reconnect with what “normal” portions look like. It is easy to lose sight of what’s “normal” when portions are ever growing.

--Don’t worry about portioning veggies like lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, cauliflower, squash, etc. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone overeat on veggies.

--Order smaller portions when out. Don’t be tricked into “value” meals, there is no value for your health! Try a kid sized meal from a fast food restaurant, order off the a la carte menu or appetizer menu and take some food home with you.

--Individual portion sized products are convenient if you have a hard time portioning. Try 100-calorie snack packs and frozen entrees to retrain your eyes and stomach.

--Skip buffets! Again, when faced with more food, we usually take more food. If you can, choose a restaurant where you have more control such as a sandwich shop.

--Ask for high calorie condiments on the side so you can decide how much you want (or skip them all together). A tablespoon or two of salad dressing can cover a lot of salad when tossed!

--Use common household items to identify standard portions. For example, a baseball or small fist is about a cup of rice, chopped fruit or veggies, a deck of cards is about 3-4 ounces of meat, a golf ball is about 2 tbsp of peanut butter and a cupcake wrapper is about a half-cup of ice cream.


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June 18, 2008


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