Enjoying a drink (or 2) is an important part of how we socialise & celebrate but unfortunately the energy in alcohol can drastically set back weight loss goals. Try these 7 tips to lower energy intake while drinking alcohol for better weight control over the Christmas & New Year's party season.
1. Drink less
This is simply the best bit of advice for reducing energy intake while drinking. Set yourself a reasonable limit & have the self control to stick to it. If you drink less, your energy intake from alcohol will be less... simple.
2. Space out your drinks
Have a glass of water or other low energy drink such as soda water & lime between each of your alcoholic drinks - they call this the spacer. This will slow down your alcohol consumption, reduce the total amount consumed & lower your energy intake (and help you feel a lot better the following morning too).
3. Mix spirits with low energy drinks
Mixers significantly contribute to the total energy value of alcoholic drinks. Use soda water or no mixers if possible and if you absolutely need to add flavour choose 'zero sugar' soft drink such as Coke Zero or diet lemonade.
4. Dilute beer & wine
Try diluting your alcoholic drinks with low energy drinks - this is not for everyone but it can't hurt to try it, right?!?. Dilute wine 50/50 with soda water or chilled water and dilute beer 50/50 with diet lemonade. This effectively halves the energy value of your drink. If 50/50 sounds a bit tough give 75/25 a try and see how you go.
5. Drink less alcoholic options
The lower the alcohol % of the drink, usually the lower the energy. Light beers have less energy then heavy beers, half nip spirit mixes have less energy then full nip mixes. Choose drinks that are lower in alcohol to effectively lower the energy intake of your night out.
6. Choose low carbohydrate beer
Low carb beer is slightly lower in energy than regular beer however the energy in beer comes from the alcohol content too, not just the carbohydrate. The difference in energy between low carb and regular beer is not as significant as you may think but it's still a worthwhile strategy to reduce energy intake, particularly when a number of beers are involved.
7. Eat with your drinks
Eat a healthy, filling meal before or while drinking. This will help to space out and slow down your drinks & hopefully prevent you from making unhealthy food choices at the end of the night. Foods that you wouldn't even consider normally start to look like great options when your hungry after drinking, kebab/KFC/McDonalds anyone?
Try 1 or 2 of these tips next time you're celebrating but not at the expense of taking the enjoyment out of the occasion. After all, you work hard so you can enjoy these things so make sure you do!
David Eggins | Personal Trainer at Drive Fitness in Brisbane | firstname.lastname@example.org