Let's face it. One of the best things about traveling is experiencing the culture, food, and drinks of wherever you're visiting. That's one of the best ways to immerse yourself and really learn what that culture is all about. But what most people don't talk about is that while you're having a great time eating, drinking and experiencing culture, your waistline is steadily expanding. Then you come home, step on the scale and all hell breaks loose. Been there, done that. Bought the flask.
No more! Below are some options when you want to keep your weight under control while traveling:
1. Straight Alcohol
Straight alcohol is always my go-to when trying to stick to a low-calorie or low-carb diet. With about 96 and 97 calories per 1.5 fl. oz., vodka and rum will always do the trick.
2. Vodka Soda
If you can't drink your alcohol straight, a vodka soda is your next best bet. It is also practically zero-carb since it's a clear spirit (darker liquors have more calories because they contain more sugar). Whenever I don't want to drink a vodka soda, I'll tell the bartender to add just a splash of pineapple juice for a sweeter taste. More calories, yes, but life is way too short to be unhappy.
3. Rum and Diet Coke
This drink is the exception to the no-dark liquor rule — although it's dark due to the diet coke, it's a relatively low-calorie drink. Just make sure your rum is unflavored.
4. Vodka Martini
I'm not really a martini kind of girl, but when thinking about low-calorie drinks, there aren't a ton of options out there. Typically a vodka martini will include gin and vermouth, with an olive added or a twist of lemon.
5. Red Wine
There are about 122 calories and 3.4 grams of carbs in a single glass of red wine, which is about 5 ounces. While white wine has few carbs and calories, red wine is good for your heart because it contains an ingredient called resveratrol. Some research shows that resveratrol could be linked to a lower risk of inflammation and blood clotting, which may lead to heart disease. Everyone wins with this option!
6. Light Beer
Beer gets a bad reputation (i.e. 'beer belly'), but light beers won't sacrifice your waistline. Some beers offer as little as 96 calories per 4.1% ABV., which is much healthier than their full-bodied counterparts.
Champagne is another low-calorie drink but it's always my least favorite option (when not in my mimosa or bellini, of course). I always wake up with a hang over but if I have to choose between a hang over and a pound gained from drinking, I'm going with the hangover every time.
I plan to make better decisions when it comes to my (regular) drinking habits. That means when I go out to happy hour or dinner with friends, or enjoying a drink at home, I won't overindulge and make better choices for myself. I still plan to immerse myself into cultures by eating and drinking while I'm there, but I'll be more diligent more regularly than not.