Will happy hour sabotage my weight loss efforts?

Zest Nutrition | Happy Hour for Healthy Eaters on Diets

As we role into summer, patios are opening and the rose is flowing. Am I right? Sun-soaked months filled with social events and celebrations are upon us and it feels so good! 

Or does it? For some, it can feel overwhelming trying to juggle the parties with the personal goals for health and wellbeing.  

rose wine

How many times have you, or someone you know, decided to ditch the booze for a month or two in order to drop a few pounds? Although there are many benefits to drinking less, cutting out alcohol all together can have a rebound effect, similar to other "dieting" attempts. If snuffing the sauce for good is your intention, more power to you! But, if you are just looking to find a healthier balance, we have some tips for how to enjoy happy hour while maintaining your healthy lifestyle.

At Zest, we like to stay spirited and enjoy an adult beverage or two with our friends. Whole health incorporates every part of who we are, body, mind and spirit. That being said, too much off a good thing is, well, not a good thing. The key: moderation. (I can hear my Mom cheering form here - she preached "everything in moderation" for years, and I hate to admit it but, she was right.)  

health benefits of beer
 

That brings us to TIP #1: 

STICK TO 1-2 DRINKS. Just like we say when coaching on mindful eating, slow down and savor. Mingle, socialize and sip slowly. Enjoy the experience along with the beverage. So what about my drink gulpers out there?...

 

Intro TIP #2:

NEVER DRINK ON AN EMPTY STOMACH. Fuel your party. Have a meal or snack within an hour of hitting happy hour that includes protein and fiber. When we are hungry, we tend to drink more and faster. Not to mention, being overly hungry after a few cocktails doesn't put us in the best state of mind for making food choices. The chips and french fries start looking a lot better with beer goggles on. You know what I'm talking about. Do you experience food cravings when drinking?

 

Try TIP #3:

FOLLOW EACH DRINK WITH A BIG GLASS OF WATER. Dehydration can actually lead to food cravings because we feel depleted and our energy plummets when we aren't well hydrated. As we are all well aware, alcohol can quickly leave us feeling dehydrated, which, if not remedied, can also leave us feeling less than optimal the next morning. Keep the water flowing as long as the drinks are flowing, then gulp down another glass before bed to keep your spirits high well beyond the happy hour.

Like anything that we really enjoy, when we cut it out completely, we give it too much power. We obsess about it. We idealize it. We feel deprived. Take back the power and let those vices be a healthy part of your balanced life. You deserve to enjoy your favorite things while still feeling your best.


Take home message: MAKE EVERY HOUR THE HAPPIEST HOUR BY CHOOSING TO FEEL GOOD IN EACH MOMENT OF YOUR LIFE!