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Best ways to cut calories at your patio party

Let’s face it, nothing beats an awesome patio party — cold drinks, good food and the company of our best friends. What’s not to love? But amid the fun, there is one thing that tends to slip our minds when hosting or attending one of these fun events — our calorie intake.

Sparkling flavored water

And since you’ve been spending these past few months working hard in the gym to perfect that summer bod, do you really want to throw all that hard work to waste with just one party? We didn’t think so.

So before the weekend rolls around and you and your macaroni salad head out to relax at that patio party you’ve been looking forward to all week, take a look at some tips Cheryl Najafi, author and home entertaining expert, gives us on low-cal summer entertaining.

Sparkling water

Infusing water in a glass jar or drink dispenser is a fun way to a creative touch to your party. “Drink dispensers are all the rage this summer, and nothing is more refreshing than a cool glass of water on a hot day,” Cheryl says. She suggests adding sweet peppers, lavender, lemon, basil and grapefruit to water pitchers: “Your guests will feel like they walked into a spa or decadent restaurant.” Added bonus: These items are inexpensive and have absolutely no calories!

Bite-sized portions

Forget about filling up every square inch on your plate with food. To save calories at your next patio party, serve food in bite-sized portions. Cheryl says that serving food in drinking glasses allows you to prepare summer favourites in small, single-serving portions. She suggests serving chopped salad in a martini glass, chilled gazpacho in a champagne flute or classic summer must-haves like BBQ beef in a shot glass.

Cool off with ice cream

What better way to cool off on a hot summer night than with some ice cream? But what if we promised you and your guests low-calorie ice cream? Simply scoop your favourite low-calorie ice cream into melon-sized balls and serve in Dixie cups alongside healthy toppings like sliced strawberries, kiwi or pineapple. The key here is to serve snacks in vessels perfect for a bite-sized treat, providing your guests with a classic summer treat without the guilt!

Go light with the alcohol

Summer and drinks with friends go hand-in-hand. But did you know that sipping on some of your favourites may actually be packing on the calories faster than you know it? Rather than serving your guests something that’s packed full of sugar, opt for Molson 67, the beer with only 67 calories, which is about half the calories of wine or mixed drinks.

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