Alcohol: Where Does It Fit With a Healthy Lifestyle?
Most of us enjoying being social on weekends or during the festive season. A lot of people when embarking on challenges or quick fix diets will cut alcohol completely only to binge drink after during the challenge and think they ‘ruined’ it or as soon as the challenge is over, binge drink regularly. So why do we need to be mindful of alcohol and is there a way to include it?
Alcohol has no nutritional value yet it’s very calorie dense, paired with sugary mixers or knock back a few cocktails and you can be thrown into a calorie surplus , potentially making you gain weight. Where many people come unstuck is when one drink turns into two, three, four… or a bottle; or a weeknight drink turns into a daily ritual with little dietary compensation to counteract the effects.
The key: Balance and moderation. If you cut something entirely it won’t be long until it’s the cause of relapse. So instead learn how to incorporate it within your diet without weight gain.
PREPLAN: Prepare in a way that you know will ensure you stay on track, so whether that be getting your other meals ready for the day, limiting yourself to a number of drinks etc just plan ahead of time to stay ahead of the game. Saving some calories can be the best way to enjoy a night out.
CHOOSE YOUR ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE WISELY: Reach for lower calorie drinks if you plan on having a few or drinking more than once per week.
Here are some below:
3. MAKE WISE FOOD CHOICES FOR THE REST OF YOUR DAY:
Food options: Omelettes – just using egg whites , Chobani FIT / YoPro yogurts, smoothies, salads, light dips and water crackers or veggie sticks, salads, light wraps, lean meats/fish and vegetables, rice cakes with deli meats and salad, fruit.
The bottom line is to understand the calorie density in your choice of beverage which STILL COUNTS, even being liquid. Our body recognises your intake on a periodic basis which is why no matter whether or not it’s the weekend or how ‘clean’ you ate during the week – your alcohol-fueled weekends or binges can counteract your dieting efforts and maybe the reason you are maintaining/not losing weight. With alcohol, just like your favourite dine out meal, chocolate, ice cream etc the key is to maintain a more balanced approach and incorporate these as part of a balanced diet as opposed to a complete blowout, enjoy it in moderation. A calorie surplus whether from junk food or alcohol will still equate to fat gain so aim to control your calorie intake and eat accordingly on the days you choose to drink.
Blog Reference: Georgia Wendt Nutrition