Alcohol- sometimes you just need it. Most people indulge in the afterwork cocktail to unwind from the day, so when we reach for our beverage of choice just how badly are we derailing our diets?
Alcohol- the theme for this blog post came to me at about 6:15 this evening while my adorable and loving little baby was SCREAMING his head off in my ear. Before you call CPS, let me clarify. I’m not complaining, my husband and I are actually extremely lucky; we can count the number of times Callan’s had a ‘melt-down’ on one hand (and he’s almost 8 months old). However he’s starting to realize he’d much rather sleep in bed with his mommy and daddy than in his big crib all alone- which makes for a fun bedtime and makes mommy and daddy crave a glass (or two) of wine! Night number two of his protests; we stayed strong, didn’t cave, and eventually Callan found his way into dreamland and we found ourselves a nice cabernet.
As you hit happy hour with your coworkers or uncork a bottle of vino at dinner remember that calories from alcohol can derail your diet. The problem with calories consumed from alcohol is that your body is forced to burn the calories from alcohol before it burns calories from stored fat. Scientifically complicated, but just realize that the more you drink the more calories your body has to weed through before it starts burning anything else.
If you’re going to indulge in the occasional adult beverage let’s talk about what drinks are your best options.
The worst options: Drinks made from dairy or cream (drinks with Bailey’s and other coffee type liquors), daiquiris, and any liquor drink mixed with high calorie sodas or juice. These cocktails can have upwards of 300-500 + calories per drink. Just two of these high calorie drinks mean you’d have to work out for more than two hours to undue the damage!
Best options: Clear liquors (gin, vodka or rum) mixed with club soda or low calorie mixes. Add a lemon, orange or lime wedge for flavor but avoid sour mixes at all cost)! Opt for a light beer or wine but remember many bars over pour so be aware of just how big your glass of wine is. I’ve known girlfriends to ask for a clear vodka with soda (or water) and they add their own Crystal Light to the drink for flavor (talk about getting creative). These drinks can have fewer than 150 calories per serving saving you hundreds of calories!
So, turns out you can do happy hour (or unwind after a long day with an infant) without undoing your hard work at the gym! Be aware of what’s in your drink, pause before you order and make smart choices.