What to Drink When You’re Gonna Drink — Monday Motivation
(This week I’d like to feature one of my favorite posts from the early days of m.e.l.t. While this post is not new, I hope you will find value in the message! JC )
There is nothing like a summer holiday weekend! Sun, hot weather, beaches, pools, and parties packed with friends, fun, food, and… booze. Yeah, I said it. Socializing usually involves alcohol. Now I am in NO WAY encouraging you to drink, but if you’re gonna drink, you should be smart about it–and that does not include doing keg stands or beer bongs!
Being smart about drinking means drinking moderately and watching your intake of those empty alcohol calories.
As conscious as I am of alcohol calories, you’ll never hear me suggesting diet beer! I have to say, “Ultra” beers annoy the crap out of me. First, they taste nothing like a beer, so why call it that? Second, “Ultra” or “Ultra Light” beers are marketed as “healthy,” when in fact a lot of the content is either from alcohol or leftover sugar from the fermentation process.
What’s even worse than the misleading marketing message is that the average beer drinker who switches to an “Ultra” variety is more likely to:
- drink more frequently because he/she perceives there are fewer calories
- drink a larger quantity as these “beers” go down so easily, which leads to a greater calorie consumption.
My thought is this: if you enjoy beer, then have a REAL full bodied beer. At the end of the day, an alcoholic beverage is an alcoholic beverage – you can’t justify it as healthy, so don’t even try!
Now wine drinkers may argue that wine is healthy because it contains resveratrol, an anti-aging compound with documented benefit. But there are foods that contain resveratrol (blueberries, cranberries, and nuts) yet are not loaded with the empty alcohol calories.
Although I’m not a fan of “Ultra Light” beers, it’s never a bad idea to save a few calories while drinking. Here are some suggestions:
- Darker Beers (stouts): Real beer, real flavor; yet these are often lower in relative alcohol percentage and calories and still have a full, rich taste
- Clear Alcohols with Clear Mixers: Instead of using cranberry/orange juice or soda as mixers, use club soda or light (not diet!) tonic water. Fever Tree and Q light tonic waters are naturally lower in calories (they are available at Target). Then go crazy adding orange, lemon, lime, and grapefruit wedges for garnish
- Wine: enjoy as is, but strictly limit yourself. There’s no way to cut back on wine calories unless you drink your wine as a spritzer.
- WATER: for every alcoholic beverage you have, make yourself drink THREE TIMES the amount of water! That’s right: one 12-oz beer means you gotta chug 36 ounces of water.
You’ll take in fewer alcohol calories and prevent dehydration–both very good things!
My general advice about controlled drinking is this:
- drink as part of a social occasion
- drink for the flavor (such as with a nice cheat dinner)
- Don’t drink out of boredom
- Don’t try to justify that it’s “healthy”
- Don’t expect to get and maintain a six-pack if you are regularly drinking more than 1 or 2 drinks a week
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