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The Best Drinks for Dieters
Tired of wine spritzers but wary of eggnog? Raise a glass filled with one of one of these lower-calorie cocktails instead.
Martini with hot pepper
What You Want: A Dirty Martini
(220 to 330 calories*)
A better choice: Hot-pepper-infused vodka over ice with an olive (105 calories)
Like the suave gentleman who bought this for you at the bar, martinis can be sneaky. A 4-ounce drink has around 220 calories, and many generous bartenders serve martinis in larger glasses. "The bigger a drink, the more alcohol it has and, therefore, the more calories it has," says Stephanie Clarke, MS, RD, a Best Life nutritionist and co-owner of C&J Nutrition in Manhattan. The addition of olive brine in a dirty martini only adds about 20 extra calories, which isn't a big of a deal— but the sodium is, says Clarke. "It can increase your thirst, which you may try to quench with more alcohol, and can also make you feel bloated the next day." The pepper in this drink is subtle; it's not like drinking a bottle of hot sauce. At home, try infusing vodka using this recipe from Emeril Lagasse.

*Calorie sources: NIH Alcohol Calorie Counter, USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference