If there is a question I get in the Summit Nutrition office most, it is, "What about alcohol? Can I have it?"
Yes you can have it, but it is just like any food or drink that is not nutritionally the most beneficial; in moderation is always fine, but how quickly do you want to reach your goals?
If you want to lose 10 lbs. in 3 weeks, you probably are not going to be eating a 12" pizza follow by an ice cream sundae every night, right? -Probably not.
But does it mean you can NEVER have pizza? No! The same goes for alcohol. It can fit into a healthy diet all in moderation.
Just like carbs and protein have 4 calories per gram and fat has 9 calories per gram, alcohol has it's own nutritional break down too. Alcohol falls right in the middle with 7 calories per gram. So what are the Nutrition Yoda words of wisdom when it comes to having alcohol and maintaining a healthy diet? Listen up you will 👇🏽
If you are a night wine drinker (aka HAVE to have a glass nightly to wind down), I suggest one of the following:
Either lower carb serving at dinner time and load up on protein and veggies
If you are normally a night snacker, count that as your snack instead.
Find low calorie mixers for hard alcohol. My favorite is Zevia.
You can also flavor with fruit or coconut water. Very refreshing in the summer time.
Challenge yourself. If you normally have four drinks when out with friends, do two. This will not only make you successful on the drink side, but probably the food side as well.
Poor food choices are definitely side effect of too much alcohol..
When socially drinking with friends, choose "sippers". What are sippers? Drinks that take a long time to get down.
Wine, soda water vodka, lower calorie beer, Seltzers like Truly or White Claw, skinny margarita.
Lastly, drink enough water throughout the day. You can be food full and liquid full. When you have not had enough water in your day, the craving for both strikes; the body needs food and hydration! Whenever you have a night planned with friends drinking, that is already setting you up for failure. So water, water and more water!
What makes a healthy diet so appealing is making it a lifestyle; one that is sustainable. If you know anything about Summit Nutrition, you know that is our motto- "Teaching lifestyles, not diets." We are not about cutting out food groups and for some, alcohol is definitely a food group. 😉
The way to incorporate some adult beverages and still achieve your health goals is to go in with a plan. If you are going out to a restaurant with a drink indulgence in mind, even plan out your meal; don't let some liquid courage determine your meal. Go in with a game plan so you are not affected by social pressure too. I know we are all 21 and up, but trust me, food and beverage peer pressure is a thing! Adults are pushy and unlimited baskets of chips & salsa don't even need the peer pressure.
Part of the healthy change can also be changing your drinking habits. Don't eliminate them, just adjust them. Cheers I shall give and drink responsibly you will.