I know from experience that when it comes to losing weight, it's best to give up alcohol completely. This, however, is easier said than done. If you are changing up your diet for the long term (which most of us are!) it's best to know the facts when it comes to alcohol and the effects that it has on our goals!
With summer coming up, there isn't a doubt in my mind that I will be frequenting beer gardens on those rare "hot" Irish summer evenings and going out a lot more frequently than any other season. This not only makes me excited to get home, but it also terrifies me when I think about how far I've come. I'm scared that if I start going out all of the time it will ruin all of the hard work I've been putting in over the past few months.
So, here are my tips to you and to myself:
1. Choose low calorie drinks: Hard alcohol like vodka, whiskey (yuck!) and gin (double yuck!) are the best options if you want to stay diet friendly while drinking. In a 35ml shot, vodka contains only 70 calories. Another great thing about drinking hard liquor is that you decide what you mix with it. A good option that I tend to go for is vodka and soda water with a tonne of limes (or lemons or whatever you want! I just hate the bland taste of soda water!!). Plus, when you drink hard liquor, you tend to not need as much before you reach your limit!
What you should, sadly, avoid are cocktails. They're full of sugary mixers and can have 400+ calories per serving!!! According to Livestrong.com a Cosmopolitan is a safe option as it only has 130 calories per serving! So, although I love cocktails, especially on a nice, summer evening, I will definitely be avoiding them!
Unfortunately, wine is another option to avoid. 5oz of wine has around 100 calories. So for every bottle you drink, you are consuming around 600 calories. Yikes.
2. If you are just dying for a cocktail, make your own! This is a great way to limit the calories going into your drink! Personally, I love making homemade strawberry daiquiris! They're so easy and even more refreshing! Skinny Taste also has a few low calorie cocktail recipes up on her blog, including this delicious watermelon martini that's only 90 calories!!
3. Avoid drunk binge eating! I know, I know: "But, Chrissy, the chipper/Eddie Rockets/Kebab Shop is just calling my name, I have to have something!!". Trust me, you will regret it in the morning. Just try and think to yourself, would I eat this if I wasn't drinking? The answer is probably no.
4. Choose healthy hangover options! Hangovers are definitely the worst time for me and food. I want anything greasy, carby and salty. However, what your body is actually craving isn't grease and salt. It's craving water and nutrients that it's now lacking thanks to your homemade daiquiris! Instead of scoffing a breakfast roll, have some yoghurt and fruit and drink as much water as you can. I promise, the grease isn't going to get rid of your headache, but water just might!
5. Drink water before, during and after your night. Doing this makes sure that you are staying hydrated (and prevents hangovers) plus it can limit the amount of alcohol you're drinking!
6. Attempt some sober fun! Who said you have to be drunk on a night out to have fun? Maybe opt to be a designated driver to save your friends some taxi fare and dance the night away with no worries!
I hope you found these tips helpful and let me know if you have any tricks for staying on track when the beer gardens are calling!