A while back at my company outing, while standing in line to get a drink someone came up to me and said “what does a healthy person like you order at the bar?”. I had to laugh to myself because my immediate response was “whatever I feel like drinking!”, but when I thought about it a little more, I understood what she meant in her question. If health and fitness isn’t a passion of yours, making “healthy” decisions and choices may not come as easily or naturally to you. In fact, it may even be totally overwhelming for you. I’m not saying they have always come naturally to me, but at this point after all of the articles and blog posts I’ve read, choosing the healthier option generally comes pretty easy to me.
So, with that in mind, I responded saying that I normally drink wine, well, #becausewine 😉 But I also said I drink whatever I’m feeling… in moderation. I’m not going to go out and have 5 glasses of Sangria or 5 margaritas because those can be laden with sugar and calories, but one or two? Not going to erase all my hard work. A few beers? Same thing. If I’m going to have drinks, I want them to be something I ENJOY (again, which is usually wine!). I’m not going to drink straight tequila just because it’s supposedly the “healthiest” alcohol (Paleo approved! It’s got to be good for you! <– hope you can sense my sarcasm…). And I’m not going to slay back beers because everyone is doing it- I was the girl in college ordering wine at dive bars when that totally wasn’t the “thing” to do 😉
But, as long as I’m enjoying what I’m drinking and being mindful about my decisions, I’m not going to worry about it or regret it… well, unless I have one too many of whatever I’m drinking! Here are some tips to help me make healthier choices at the bar or restaurant:
- Think about what I feel like: If it’s a hot, summer day, I’ll probably want a cold, refreshing beer. If it’s a cold winter night, a nice glass of red wine. If I’m at a Mexican restaurant- hello margarita! Cocktail hour- usually white wine. Out at a bar at night- definitely white wine- way less stains that way 😉
- Order a water with your drink: alcohol can cause some serious dehydration and because it tastes so refreshing on a nice, hot day, you will probably drink more than intended in order to quench your thirst. However, if you drink water consistently while you’re enjoying your bevvies, you’re likely to drink less and feel less of the effects the next day.
- Pick one “fun” drink and then switch to something lighter: If you’re really craving a daiquiri or margarita or something else like that, have one! … but then switch to something that’s maybe not going to be filled with so many calories.
- Don’t let others drink choices or drink quantities influence you to do the same: I get it- you’re out getting drinks with friends or coworkers and every time your drink gets low it seems someone is ordering another round. It’s so easy to get caught up in that and then next thing you know you’ve thrown back 4-5 drinks in a short amount of time. Not only is that possibly a recipe for a hangover, but it’s also going to up your calorie intake and if you’re looking to monitor that, you might want to skip out on a few rounds of drinks.
These may not seem like earth shattering tips, but sometimes the simplest of tips/tricks to making healthier decisions can be exactly the ones that often get forgotten. Being healthy and making healthy choices doesn’t have to be boring and doesn’t have to be all about sacrifice. Sometimes it’s more about making small compromises in order to get the best of both worlds- consistency and splurging. And lastly, even if you don’t make the “right” decisions all the time and have a night where you throw back 6 margaritas, it’s ok. If you had a blast of a night then there’s no need to fret- you can always get back on track tomorrow!
Questions for you: What’s your “go-to” drink of choice? Do you prefer simple or do you order fancy drinks? Do you have a tip to help you drink and enjoy your night mindfully?