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Diet-friendly summer drinks to keep that bikini body

Sarah Wassner Flynn is a New York City-based writer. She's contributed to magazines such as CosmoGIRL!, National Geographic Kids, Runner's World, Women's Health, Prevention and MetroSports New York. She is also the author of The Book of ...

Drink up And Stay Fit

Summer is here and so are afternoon happy hours (and lots of them). While you sit outside and enjoy your favorite beverage, do you ever wonder just how many calories are in that alcoholic concoction? Probably not. But when beverages contribute almost one-quarter of the calories many people consume, it's important to consider the diet-damaging impact your drink will have on your body. So, from margaritas to mojitos, here is a rundown of the drinks to sip on and the beverages to avoid when it comes to alcoholic drinks this summer.

Summer Drinks

BEER

Sip on…light beer: As the old saying goes, "tastes great, less filling." A bottle of light beer will set you back a mere 100 calories. Plus, light lagers have a lower alcohol content, so you will stay more sober if you go for seconds (or thirds).

Pass on…heavy ales. Drinking darker, richer beers may eventually get you looking a bit, well, stout. Loaded lagers, like porters and cream stouts, can pack up to 200 calories per serving. Plus, they tend to be served in pint glasses as opposed to 12-ounce bottles or cans, meaning you will drink more - and pick up more potential pounds.

WINE

Sip on…white or rose wine. The light and crisp flavors of these wines just scream summer, and the best news is that you can get away with just 110 calories per four- to six-ounce glass. Cut calories even more with a spritzer: Mix two ounces of white or rose wine with four ounces of seltzer for a mere 40 calories.

Pass on…sweet dessert wines. Sure, they taste like liquid dessert, but sweet wines like Riesling offer up just as many calories as a slice of pie. Also, fruity wine coolers may be tasty, but they are extra chockfull of calories (about 210 per bottle). A spritzer is far more diet-friendly.

MIXED DRINKS

Sip on…martinis or mojitos. At just 149 calories per drink, the trendy mojito (a blend of rum, sugar, crushed mint, lime, and seltzer) is light on the lips and easy on the hips. And the ol' standard martini ranks a close second with 150 calories. For an extra boost, have your martini shaken, not stirred. A study published in the British Medical Journal reported that shaking a martini doubles its antioxidant properties.

Pass on…margaritas and daiquiris. Unfortunately, these summer staples aren't the best for that bikini bod. Drinks that come from mixes tend to contain both calories and fat, especially those made from cream-based liqueurs, like pina coladas and daiquiris (which can cost you a whopping 449 calories!). Frozen margaritas run from 300 to 500 calories. But, if you must have one, save yourself 150 calories by requesting yours on the rocks.

Whatever drink you decide upon, be sure to stay hydrated while sipping, especially throughout the steamy summer. Sneak in a glass of water or seltzer between alcoholic drinks, and know your limits. You might feel good while drinking your libations, but nothing ruins a fun time in the sun like a bad hangover.

And if you do happen to overindulge, try these tips to sidestep hangover headaches.

Throwing a summer soiree? Check out these expert ideas on making cocktails for a crowd, or try out some cool and refreshing beer cocktails.

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