Is alcohol part of a healthy lifestyle?

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Alcohol is a double diet whammy. Uncounted calories go down smoothly and  drinking can easily lead to other questionable choices, including late-night binge eating sessions.

After a couple of drinks you are  “dis-inhibited,” as  Dr. Pam Peeke, medical researcher and author, put it.

Peeke’s advice?

Along with your plan to drop a few pounds, include a plan to exercise, eat wisely and get a good night’s sleep (without a night cap).

For every glass of wine – avoid liquor at all costs – drink two glasses of water, even sparkling water, she advised. Better yet, “just bag the whole alcohol thing” and carry a glass of sparkling water with a lime around the party or at the bar, said Peeke, Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland, and author of The Hunger Fix, which is a  New York Times Bestseller.

Her top three tips for trimming down:

  • Be mindful of every mouthful. “Stay in the present, pay attention. What’s most important with this, is getting yourself focused.”   Before heading out for an evening, snack on a combination of protein and fiber. She suggests peanut butter, Greek yogurt or carrots with hummus. A piece of broiled chicken breast is very satisfying because it provides protein and a little fat.
  • Carry a two-ounce plastic bag of almonds. “It’s a great way to go,” said Peeke. Or a raw energy bar. Beware the pretenders on the market, which the researcher called “processed junk.”
  • Meditate, keep a journal and get regular sleep.

In case you’re still tempted to indulge this weekend, here’s the calorie countdown based on one typical serving of a 12-ounce beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or a cocktail, according to the National Institute of Health:

  • Beer: 153 calories
  • Red wine: 125 calories
  • White wine: 121 calories
  • Martini:   124 calories
  • Cosmopolitan: 146 calories
  • Margarita:   168 calories
  • Manhattan: 164 calories
  • Pina Colada: 490 calories

 

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