Tis the season for celebrating and with Christmas parties, New Year’s gatherings and friendly get-togethers it can be hard to resist an alcoholic drink. It can be easy to overdo it and often we quickly blow out our previous healthy lifestyle efforts and can feel sluggish and unmotivated the next day.
I advocate a balanced diet and lifestyle enabling my clients to enjoy life and not feel too restricted (while sticking to certain guidelines MOST of the time). Whether this be an occasional pizza, a big chocolate dessert or a few drinks now and then, the choice is yours. However, it is important to keep alcoholic drinks to a minimum (2 drinks per event no more than 3 times per week is preferable) and certain beverages are better for our waistline then others.
Keeping your drinks to 2 enables your body to process the toxin without affecting how your food is processed too much. The more you drink, the more your body tries to rid the alcohol and focuses solely on that, leaving any food in your system to be stored as fat. Alcohol also affects our liver negatively and can lead to headaches and fatigue among other things. Not to mention the food cravings and lack of discipline while drinking and often the next day.
If you do choose to indulge in a few beverages here are my top tips:
- If drinking spirits, choose the clear ones such as vodka or gin. Avoid mixing it with soft drinks and choose soda water and fresh lemon or lime. Avoid tonic water – it is not the same as soda water and has a whopping 22.5g sugar per cup. Yikes! Soda water contains 0g sugar however does contain salt. If you have the option sparkling water is the best choice.
- Avoid cocktails unless made without added juice and soft drink. If they are straight alcohol be aware to drink very slowly or add some soda water.
- If organic wine is an option – choose it! It will contain less preservatives which often leads to less of a hangover.
- Choose red wine over white or champagne. It has antioxidants and can be beneficial for heart health (in moderation) and contains less sugar than the white varieties.
- Consider what you are eating while drinking. Often our inhibitions are lowered, and we don’t even think about what food we put in our mouth. If possible, take your own healthy snacks along to the party so you know you have a healthy option. Eating before you go can also help you feel fuller and prevent unhealthy eating/snacking. If you are at a restaurant avoid the breads and opt for meat and veg/salad main meals.
- Drink a water in between drinks to stay hydrated and give your body time to digest the alcohol.
It is important to have a good time and if alcohol is part of your lifestyle then you can still include it every now and then. Just make sure it is an occasional and not regular part of your diet. When you do indulge, keep the tips above in mind. Most of all ensure you enjoy yourself this Christmas 😊
Kasey is available for Nutrition Consultations at ProMed Podiatry. Book your appointment by calling 5522 1230.