For many of us summer means regular visits to the pool or beach, bbqs, and of course… refreshing alcoholic beverages. But how are you supposed to enjoy these goodies when simultaneously wanting to look and feel your best in summer dresses, shorts, and bathing suits? Often times alcohol is off limits when you’re trying to be healthy, especially when looking to lose weight, and rightfully so. Alcohol is full of empty calories and sugars, and after a couple margaritas it’s very easy to overeat (endless chips and salsa, anyone?) and make poor choices (like that late night pizza stop…), and very hard to stay true to your healthy vows.
That being said, when we restrict ourselves completely of things that we enjoy, we are left feeling frustrated, irritable, and deprived… and this way of living is unsustainable. Additionally, although there are certain foods I highly recommend removing from your plate to help you look and feel your absolute best, I also fully believe in LIVING and enjoying life. Plus, I love a good glass of wine, so it wouldn’t be right for me so say alcohol is completely off limits ;).
However, this also isn’t your free pass to go crazy all summer long, as there are points to be aware of when drinking that will help you have your cocktail and drink it too 😉 And to help you manage those nights out, happy hours, holiday celebrations, and summer parties, below are my tips for enjoying a nice, refreshing, alcoholic beverage:
1. Hydrate: hydrating throughout the day is extremely important for weight loss, energy, and overall health, but when drinking alcohol it’s extra important to increase your water intake, because alcohol is very dehydrating. So, if you know you’re going to be drinking, be sure to up your water intake for the day and make a point to intersperse a few glasses of water with your alcohol.
2. Choose your alcohol wisely: just like food, some alcohol is better than others. When choosing the “harder stuff”, clear liquor like vodka and gin are best. Additionally, wine, specifically red, actually has some health benefits (antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties) and can be beneficial when kept to 1 to 2 glasses.
3. Choose your mixers even more cautiously: alcohol alone contains a sugar, so when you throw sugary juices and drinks to the mix it creates a sugar overload, which is one of the worst scenarios for your body. Keep your drink simple, and instead of ordering the pretty purple drink or mixing your vodka with cranberry juice (or worse, soda), simply stick to clear liquor with club soda or seltzer along with some fresh lemon or lime juice. This keeps the added calories and sugar to zero. That’s right… zero added nonsense.
4. Get out of the all or nothing mindset: your best bet when drinking (aside from the first 3 tips) is to keep your serving to about 2 drinks, instead of mindlessly downing 5, 6, or more. But, you also don’t have to go cold turkey on drinking. Just keep the number of cocktails down… and of course add in some hydrating water to balance it out (I promise you’ll feel the buzz and it’ll take the edge off).
5. Don’t drink on an empty stomach: although it might be tempting, try to avoid drinking if you haven’t eaten in a while. When there is nothing in your system to help slow down the release of sugar and absorb some of the alcohol, the alcohol goes right to your head and the sugar in the alcohol goes right into your blood stream. Eat a meal or a snack that contains protein and healthy fat prior to drinking to help keep your body nourished and full (not stuffed) and reduce that ugly hangover the next day.
Any other good tips you swear by when drinking? Share below! And of course be safe and have fun! XO