THE BOOZE BIN
Guest Post By Lauren Heilman (@mslaurenheilman)
Three words – bathing suit season. Yes, it’s that time of year again; but even if you aren’t ready, I can assure you alcohol companies and their marketing teams are.
Now that summer has finally arrived, the push for convenient, low-calorie refreshers is on the rise. Whether you prefer flavored light beers (MGD 64 lemonade) or skinny spirits (Firefly Skinny Tea, Skinnygirl Margarita), there’s definitely a guilt-free beverage waiting for your consumption.
While mostly targeting a young, female demographic, marketers are going out of their way to make us regret that delicious Blue Moon we had after work (not to mention that extra 15 pounds that crept up on us over the winter – if only we had stuck with our New Year’s resolutions). Marketers want us to embrace their product in order to achieve our weight-loss goals.
For me, the best way to manage the whole alcohol-calorie dilemma is to simply drink less (or just eat right, exercise regularly and drink what I want), rather than relying on water-flavored beer and less than harmless alternative sweeteners (i.e. Sucralose, Aspartame, Truvia).
Unlike food, which is a necessity, alcohol is a treat reserved for enjoyment and relaxation; why skimp when the pleasure of your drink lies in its content? I like being healthy just as much as the next girl, but shouldn’t we simply drink less of what we love instead of compromising taste or quality?
Here are just a few statistics for thought (all servings 12-ounces):
- Bud Select 55 – 55 calories, 1.9 g carbs, 2.4% abv
- MGD Light 64 – 64 calories, 2.4 g carbs, 2.8% abv
- Bud Light– 95 calories, 6.6 g carbs, 4.2% abv
- Skim milk – 129 calories, 17.9 g carbs
- Orange juice – 168 calories, 28.2 g carbs
For a few extra calories, why waste your time and sacrifice flavor?
Skim milk and orange juice are rather healthy and we might not feel remorse consuming one (or both) on a daily basis. But when compared to a Bud Light, the calorie and carbohydrate count is interesting to note.
How can we enjoy ourselves (responsibly) with so much pressure placed on the caloric content of our booze? I know we’ve all seen the MGD 64 commercial with the stein-guzzling guy drinking Michelob Ultra. Very unrealistic, but we get the point.
Honestly, whether I like it or not, the “Thin-dustry” is here to stay. Every day, our world is shifting increasingly toward portion-control and healthy lifestyle choices – which is obviously a great thing considering the obesity epidemic in the U.S. – but where do we draw the line and recognize that sugar substitutes may not actually be healthy?
Yes, we should all be more health-conscious, but sometimes, it’s okay to indulge in moderation with a real-deal drink. The thought of one day seeing a bottle of Patron with Splenda on the label or a 55-calorie version of PBR turns my stomach. Literally, Jack Daniels would roll over in his grave. Next thing you know, Weight Watchers will be promoting a low-calorie Fruity White wine. Oh wait…