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.
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