Kris Setting the Olympic Record in the 40yd. Beer Chug.
Being healthy doesn’t mean you can’t go out and have a good time. Otherwise, what would be the point? “I’m fit and feel awesome but have to hide in my perfectly stocked kitchen wearing nothing but Lycra and muscle tees.”
Doesn’t sound like a very healthy lifestyle to me.
But going out also doesn’t have to ruin all your hard work, and one of the biggest things that can set you back is alcohol, alcohol, alcohol.
Alcohol is one of the things we consume that is purely empty calories: it has no nutritional value- just calories and quick burning carbohydrates, and lots of them.
There are a few issues with alcohol: no one ever stops at just one, while being high calorie in and of itself, it is usually accompanied by high calorie mix-ins, and drinking lowers your inhibitions and dehydrates you which brings on those infamous “drunk munchies.”
There is no way around it: there is no diet or low calorie alcohol. The only thing you can do is educate yourself about the calorie content of alcohol and make the best decisions on how you have you drinks prepared.
Well, of course you could not drink at all, but that’s a personal decision.
While I am hesitant to say any alcohol choices are healthier than another, some do contain less calories per volume. In order of least calories for alcohol content, the list goes:
Wine– typically 20 calories per ounce, typical serving size, 5 oz.- 100 calories per serving, 2 grams carbs
ADDED BONUS- wine contains antioxidants, that when consumed in moderation have been shown to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Hard Alcohol-typical serving, 1 shot (1.5 oz)- Gin- 98 calories, 0 carbs; Whiskey- 104 calories, 0 carbs; Rum- 104 calories, 0 carbs; Vodka- 104 calories, 0 carbs; Tequila, 104 calories, 8 grams carbs
Beer-serving size 12 ounces, but this is NOT A GLASS- beer is often over served- especially from a pitcher. Per 12 ounce serving: “Light” beer-108 calories, 6 g carbs; Draft beer- 144 calories, 13.2 g carbs; Lager- 168 calories, 13.2 g carbs; Ale- 216 calories, 13.2 g carbs
Liqueur-typically 103 calories per 1 ounce serving, typical serving size, 1.5 ounces- 155 calories, 17 g carbs
If you are drinking hard alcohol, your mixers and chasers are where most of your calories are going to come from. If you are at the bar, stick to diet soda or seltzer, which add no calories. A step up from there are juices, such as cranberry and pineapple, but steer clear of syrups, regular sodas and drink mixes. They are full of sugar and calories, which can easily turn that 100 calorie shot into a 500 calorie bomb.
If you are at home, you have a few more options to healthy up your drink. Along with diet sodas and seltzers, you can use zero calorie drink mixes, zero calorie flavored waters, iced tea, or sparkling flavored waters.
Most juices at the bar are made from concentrate because its cheaper, but there is barely any juice in them at all. Use 100% real juices, or slice up some real fruit to add freshness.
As I said earlier, alcohol dehydrates you. When drinking, make sure you alternate with water to keep from getting a killer hangover, and mistaking that dehydration for hunger. Drinking lowers your inhibitions, so that coupled with dehydration/hunger leads to a lot of mindless eating.
Most importantly- have a good time! Just follow these tips and you won’t be regretting anything in the morning.