Summer “officially” kicks off today…Woo-hoo! I love summer for so many reasons – the warm sun, lighter clothes, hanging at the pool, vacation, get-togethers with friends and family and the feeling of a little more freedom.
And just because I live a healthy lifestyle does NOT mean I give up on my freedom of enjoying the food and drinks now and then that come along with this fun-in-the-sun season.
When I have an initial conversation with a new client, I always have them go through a typical day of eating so I can see where our starting point is and how I can best tweak it for them. But, as the conversation unfolds, I don’t only ask what they are eating, but I also ask what they're drinking. And, this includes questions about how much water, sodas, and alcoholic beverages they are consuming day to day.
It’s funny how many times I’ve heard, “I know I need to cut back, but I drink X glasses per week. I just need my wine.” Ha ha! No judging from this coach though, as I’d be a hypocrite if I said to cut it out completely, as I do not.
Now, I’m not saying that if you currently abstain or are not a big “drinker” to pick up this habit by any means. But, if it IS part of your lifestyle, I want to help you keep it in check and save as many empty calories as you can from your waistline.
Because let’s face it -- alcoholic drinks ARE essentially empty calories we are putting into our bodies with not much nutritional value. One of the few exceptions to this being red wine, which contains antioxidants and flavonoids like quercetin and resveratrol. These antioxidants have been found in research to promote heart health and longevity.
The key to let your alcohol intake work for you instead of against you is to drink in moderation. The problem is that many go WAY over what the guidelines are for moderate alcohol consumption. According to the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, drinking in moderation means up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men.
In the United States, one "standard" drink contains roughly 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is found in:
12 ounces of beer
5 ounces of wine, (about 2/3 cup)
1.5 ounces of distilled spirits
When you are on a weight loss journey, one of the biggest offenders of hidden calories is in alcoholic drinks. Sweet cocktails, frozen margaritas and those fruity umbrella drinks can quickly send your daily (or even weekly) sugar and calorie intake through the roof.
Looking to stay clear of a sugar crash and an awful hangover? Here are 3 common cocktails I suggest you AVOID:
Piña Colada: The average 5-ounce Piña Colada is 245 calories and 31.5 grams of sugar. I don’t know about you, but the piña coladas I’ve had are usually served in a 9 oz. glass with a cute little umbrella, so nearly double these numbers!
Long Island Iced Tea: An 8-ounce Long Island Iced Tea contains roughly 275 calories and 33 grams of sugar.
Frozen Margaritas: Holy Guacamole – A 32-ounce frozen margarita – the kind you get in one of those BIG Mexican style glasses has 600 calories and 156 grams of sugar! I do love my margaritas, but I stick with a fresh, on the rocks version sans a sugary mix.
Now, you all know I am a HUGE believer in a non-restrictive lifestyle, so with that said, let’s see if we can still KICK-OFF summer with some better alcohol options. I recommend sticking with just one or two drinks a few times per week instead of every day. Here are some healthier options:
Iced Green Tea and Vodka: Add a packet of Stevia if you want a sweet tea.
Spiked Sparkling Water: My new favorite! Fresh, hydrating and the sparkling water keeps you filling full to help you avoid over drinking. Try Smirnoff™ Spiked Sparkling Seltzer or Truly Spiked Sparkling for low-carb/low-calorie options.
Here’s a bonus drink option with a recipe to try:
Skinny Coconut Mint Mojito
6 packets of Stevia (NuNaturals or SweetLeaf)
1-oz. Malibu Coconut Rum
5 mint leaves
Make skinny simple syrup by boiling 1 cup of water and dissolving 6 packets of Stevia until melted. Let cool and store in a glass container in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.
Cut the lime in half. Squeeze half of the lime into the bottom of a glass.
Place mint leaves on top of the lime juice and muddle with a wooden spoon until you can smell the mint.
Add 2 oz. of the skinny simple syrup and 1 oz. rum.
Top off with some soda water, and garnish with a lime wedge.
No matter what you drink... Savor it slowly, drink in moderation and above all else – cheers to a healthy summer!
Let’s get FIRED UPP,