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Drink clever and count out the calories

Dry January is over, but if you're still trying to be healthy it's worth swotting up on the numbers when it comes to booze. Sam Wylie-Harris finds out more

We all know that moderation is key when it comes to booze, but if you look forward to a refreshing G&T or glass of white wine at the end of the day, swapping your tonic for 'diet tonic' or your chardonnay for a glass of riesling can save on calories.

According to Alcohol Concern (www.alcoholconcern.org.uk), on average, alcohol makes up 10% of the calorie intake for adults who drink.

If you don't want to abstain completely, however, there are things you can do to make your tipple more waistline-friendly.

As Asda's drinks experts suggest, if you reduce your intake of calorific mixers, or check the sweetness of your champagne, you can still enjoy the social side of drinking without necessarily piling on the pounds.

They suggest choosing champagne which is a great low-calorie option. Make sure you know what you're drinking and look out for 'brut' on the label, Asda's guide adds, which indicates that it's a dry wine with very little added sugar. They also suggest avoiding 'sec' or 'demi sec', which can contain four times as much sugar.

So if you're toasting a special occasion this weekend here are five simple swapsies:

1. GIN O'CLOCK

Opting for diet tonic water with your gin removes 75 calories per serving.

2. A MEASURED RESPONSE

When pouring spirits at home, always use a proper measure. A standard measure is 25ml and will help you keep track of your calorie and alcohol intake. Going for a single shot instead of a double knocks off 80 calories per serving.

3. CRAFTY COCKTAILS

Many cocktails made with sugar syrups can add up to 100 calories a drink, and cream-based drinks will see your calorie intake skyrocket. Steer clear of calorific Pina Coladas (644 calories), Sex On The Beach and Long Island Ice Teas. Mix up a Martini or Cosmopolitan (150 calories) instead.

4. SPRITZ IT

Watering down your white wine with sparkling water gets rid of around 50 calories per serving.

5. SURPRISING STOUT

Beer is high in carbohydrates. Surprisingly, though, Guinness is a good option over many other beers, with fewer carbs and calories, than other varieties.

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