We hate to break it to you, but the calories in booze count.
According to Alcohol Aware, the humble pint contains as many of them as a large slice of pepperoni pizza.
Cocktails often have the highest level of calories because of the sugary goodness that make them taste so delicious—a Manhattan has around 160 calories per drink and a Cosmopolitan around 200.
Your favorite beer isn't far behind either, with an average of 149 calories per serving. Don't forget also that when we drink our blood sugar levels struggle to stay balanced so in addition to the booze you'll probably want to devour something nasty on the way home. And this is on top of the calories you consume for the same reason whilst hungover. Life is hard.
But fret not! You can still get smashed without consuming the equivalent of 14 Krispy Kreme, you just need to know the ways how. And here they are.
TAKE YOUR SPIRITS WITH LOW-SUGAR MIXERS
Unsurprisingly, straight spirits contain the least amount of calories as are nearly entirely ethanol without added sugar. Gin, rum, vodka, whisky, tequila, brandy and cognac all come in at around 65 calories per shot. That said, you need to ensure you don't mix your spirits with high sugar mixers like Coke, Red Bull or lemonade which you can get through at a rate on a night out without realizing you're drinking hundreds of calories.
If you can't face endless shots of vodka then substitute your soft drink mixer with soda water or diet tonic which have very little sugar. Even water if you're feeling particularly bulgy post-dinner.
Prosecco is around 70 calories compared to its more glamorous cousin Champagne which comes in at roughly 95 calories per glass (it's cheaper, too). Prosecco or champagne cocktails usually mask the sharpness of the sparkling wine with sugar, so avoid these and just drink the bubbly good stuff on it's own.
AVOID SWEET WINES
Wine varies depending on the sweetness of the grape you choose, but a glass of red or white wine ranges on average from 84 to 90 calories. Dry wines contain minimal sugar and commonly have less than 1 gram of sugar per ounce. Comparatively, sweeter wines can be in excess of 2g per ounce so will make a difference if you're picking a bottle. Or three.
Dry red grapes include Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Dry whites include Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio.
SWALLOW YOUR PRIDE AND BUY LIGHT BEER
If you can't resist a cheeky pint (you #lad) then light beer is on average around 100 calories per can. This retains some of that flavor whilst saving about 50 calories compared to regular beer. However, a lot of diet beer also cuts out the alcohol meaning you need to drink twice the amount the get the same buzz—a fairly pointless idea. Check the alcohol percentage on diet beers don't drop off dramatically or you may end up consuming more calories by drinking more quantities. If you can't bring yourself to order a diet beer, Guinness is only 126 calories—slightly less than other beers which are usually around 150. Food for thought.
HIGH ALCOHOL/LOW SUGAR COCKTAILS
Feel like treating yourself but don't want to blow the six-pack plan? Not all cocktails are created equal. Get to know the ones which are either short and strong so have a high percentage of alcohol with few sugary additions or those which you can substitute the sugar added for lower calorie options.
A mojito without sugar or sugar syrup—just soda, lime, mint, and rum—is better for you. Good options for strong low sugar cocktails include a martini, an old fashioned or a negroni.
Just make sure you eat something first.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.