I know I'm not alone in saying that I like my alcohol. Whether it's college students who want to avoid the Freshman 15 (and the Sophomore 15 and the Junior 15 and the Senior 20), or individuals who just enjoy some beer, wine, or mixed drinks - there are a lot of people who want to be able to enjoy a party, enjoy the holidays, and not pay for it with unhealthy weight gain. While there isn't any true "diet" alcoholic drink, there are many small decisions that you can make to minimize the potential damage of a few too many nights out on the town.

While "low calorie mixed drink" is somewhat of a misnomer, there is a huge difference between say a vodka and cranberry and a pina colota. If you're going to drink ten to twenty of anything, you're going to have to exercise later to work it off. That said, there's a lot less running and cardio that needs to be done if you follow these steps to make sure you're drinking lower calorie cocktails.

Tip #1: Avoid any frozen or creamy drink. All of these drinks are loaded with a ridiculous amount of sugar and calories in addition to the alcohol. In fact, a large pina colada can have more calories than a Big Mac from McDonald's. You would have been better off (from a calorie stand point) with five rum and cokes or whiskey and cokes rather than one of those gut busters.

Tip #2: Change diet soda for regular. Changing out regular soda for diet soda in a mixed drink can change the calorie count by up to 75 calories per drink. While this article does not advocate having ten drinks in a night, realistically a lot of us do when it's party time. That's a 750 calorie difference by switching to diet.

Tip #3: Drink one glass of water for every low calorie cocktail. Not only does this help the body process the sugars in the alcohol, but it helps you stay fuller, and many people drink too much after having too much alcohol at once - and thus completely busting their diet. The water can help keep a drinker's level of cognizance a little bit higher to help avoid making the mistake of "those last four drinks."

Tip #4: Often times martinis, spritzers, or variations of the two, will be among the lowest calorie cocktails you can drink. There's no question that among common low calorie mixed drinks, most of them at the top of the list will be some type of martini or spritzer.

Tip #5: If you enjoy wine, go with a glass of red. Not only is moderate red wine good for your health, but you sip it and enjoy it, and red wine will save you a ton of calories over even the lowest calorie alcoholic mixed drinks. So go for the Merlot, if that's your preference.

Follow these 5 tips and while you can't eliminate the dietary damage from a few too many drinks, sticking with the low calorie cocktails will definitely help you to minimize the damage and keep you in the ring fighting the good fight against that annoying stomach bulge.