If you’re following a weight loss plan, you’ve learned that empty calories (foods that contain little to no nutritional value) are not your best friend. Items like alcoholic beverages should be eliminated from your new eating plan, or you should at least cut back on them drastically. It will be difficult to get all the nutrients necessary for good health, if you’re “spending” too much of your calorie budget on drinks.
Plus, even if you’re not trying to lose weight, there are plenty of good reasons to give up alcohol. While a glass of red wine is said to be acceptable, and some people even believe it to be beneficial, a moderate to excessive amount of alcohol consumption is linked to numerous chronic health problems. You also raise your risk of addiction if you keep the habit.
So, either way, giving up alcohol is a common resolution around this time of year. But how can you make it easier on yourself?
Invent your own “mocktails”. You’ll still want to watch out for sugary drink mixers and syrups, of course. But experiment with carbonated water, fruit infusions, and herbs like mint. Pop a cute umbrella in the drink, or serve in a fancy glass. Sometimes having a drink is more about giving yourself a treat.
Surround yourself with the right people. Invite a teetotaler friend along for dinner and movie dates, or other social functions. It’s no fun to feel like the only one who isn’t drinking.
Calculate your spending, and reallocate that cash. Figure out how much you used to spend on drinks each month, and devote that part of your budget to a new, rewarding goal.
Take an “after” photo. After a month or two of abstinence, take a selfie. You might notice that your skin and eyes are more clear and bright. You might also be feeling better, and you’ve probably lost a few pounds as well.
These tips are geared toward the average person, who simply wants to develop healthier habits. If you experience serious difficulty giving up alcohol, please talk to a licensed mental health counselor or your doctor. Attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting might be helpful too; addiction doesn’t always look the way you think, and plenty of people have been living as “functional alcoholics” without even knowing it.
As always, give us a call if you need to discuss your weight loss plan, set a daily calorie goal, or need more tips on cleaning up your diet.