I’d Rather be Drunk and Hungry than Fat and Sober: How to Booze it Up Lowcal Style

You read that right. Politically incorrect and controversial, but right.

Let’s face it: you’re in college. You’re drinking. But no one’s calling the RA or your parents. I’m not here to give you a lecture about how alcohol destroys your liver or how you need those precious brain cells to do well on that midterm. Those detrimental factors may be true, but today we’re going to set those consequences aside. Today’s goal is how to booze it up on fewer calories; because secretly, we’re all looking for a way to avoid the freshmen 15.

The key to cutting calories when drinking is cutting the high-sugar mixers. I realize that pounding shots all night with no chaser is a bit too ambitious of a tip. But I CAN tell you that using calorie-free mixers like club soda are a great way to cut back on the calories without sacrificing taste.

Why don’t I mention diet soda or diet tonic waters? These elixirs, along with juices from concentrate, are full of artificial preservatives and ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, and even sodium. Stick to club soda and fresh juices as mixers and you’ll still have a ton of fun minus the calories!

Simple Drink Recipes for a Night on the Town

Not sure what to order at the bar? Try these four awesome cocktails that will make you the trendiest drinker of the night:

Low-cal Vodka Sour

2 oz vodka

vodka sour

1 oz fresh lemon juice

1 oz club soda

2-count pour of simple syrup

Directions: Sour mix is pretty much the death of all drink mixers. It might taste sour, but it’s full of sugar! This lower calorie version has only 200 calories compared to the original 370. When at the bar, simple say, “I’d like a vodka soda with a ton of fresh lemon squeezed in and a little simple syrup.” Most bartenders will know what you’re talking about. And if they give you a weird face, who cares! It’s your body and it’s your drink. You should be able to order what you want. It’s their job that night to make it.

Tom Collins Makeover

tom collins

2 oz dry gin

1 oz fresh lime juice

1 oz club soda

Dish of brown sugar

Directions: Rub the sugar around the rim of your cocktail class by dipping it in the dish upside-down. Mix all other ingredients and pour into your sugar-rimmed cocktail class. A typical Tom Collins made with sour mix packs over 315 calories. This low-cal version has only 175!

 Skinny Bay Breeze

2 oz vodka

bay breeze

2 oz club soda

Splash each of cranberry juice and pineapple juice

Directions: This is an easy and tasty drink to order at the bar. Ask for a vodka soda with a splash each of cranberry and pineapple. Most bartenders won’t mind this request, as it’s not a super complicated drink. You can also make this at home, as it has relatively few ingredients. Normally, a bay breeze can cost you 360 calories. This version only has 180!

Tequila Sunrise on a Calorie Budget

2 oz white tequila (I know it costs more, but it’s fewer calories and you’ll have less of a hangover the next day)

tequila sunrise

1 oz orange juice

 1 oz club soda

A drizzle of grenadine

Orange and cherry for garnish

Directions: Ask your server for a white tequila soda with orange juice and a dash of grenadine. The grenadine in a typical tequila sunrise can make the drink an astounding 420 calories. This slimmer version packs only 220. If you want to cut calories even more, ditch the grenadine and add 2 more cocktail cherries to still get that cherry flavor. This will cut another 40 calories from your drink!

Try these tips and recipes for a fun night on the town without waking up the next morning and regretting what you did! Having drinks with your friends or at the bar is an absolute blast, just make sure to keep your calories and health in check.

Photo credits:
Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash
Picture 1: My Recipes  Picture 2: Fine Art Bartending  Picture 3: Liquor. com Picture 4: iFood
The views and opinions expressed within this article are solely those of the contributor. These views and opinions are not representative of Unwritten.


  1. This is offensive and perpetuates terrible body image. If you actually care about health and fitness, you should instead be promoting a healthy lifestyle that would encourage food and drink in moderation and exercise instead of binge drinking and not eating.

    • Thank you for taking the time to read my post! Clearly it compelled you enough to leave a comment, and healthy dialogue is something we totally encourage at Unwritten. I do, however, feel that you may have misinterpreted some of my claims. By no means do I promote behaviors like binge drinking and abstaining from eating. In fact, I don’t think I even mention any of these terms or behaviors. The National Institute of Health recently put out a study that over consumption of sugar is one of the leading causing of obesity in the United States. My article’s focus on cutting excessive calories through decreasing sugar intake follows suit with this contention. If you check out my website http://weretalkingaboutfood.com/ you will see that I take great care to show my readers plenty of ways to achieve an active and healthy lifestyle. I realize however, that many men and women are going to consume alcohol despite its potentially detrimental effects on the body. This article aims to teach readers that if you’re going to drink, there’s still a way to be health-conscious about it. Hope this answers your concern!

      • Why the FUCK is your article named “I’d rather be drunk and hungry than fat and sober” then? Jesus.

        It’s “politically incorrect”, yes, also just plain bitchy. If you really care about health, you’d take into account the mental health of thousands of women who are struggling with their body image and not use disgusting, gimmicky titles to gain attention.

      • I totally agree with you, Maggie. This article is awful and offensive. Taji, you should be embarrassed to have your name associated with an article that says “I’d rather be drunk and hungry than fat and sober.”

  2. As a senior in college who has struggled most of my life with an eating disorder that has ravaged me, I can attest to how hurtful and damaging articles and specifically article titles like this can be. I would love to be able to peruse articles and blogs without someone telling me I should go hungry in order to fit in. Shame on you.


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