Alcohol comes up often in discussions of health and healthy eating.
Is drinking ok? What should you drink? Is there a certain amount you should drink? If you want to be healthy and lose weight should you drink?
While I believe that alcohol can be a part of a healthy diet, moderation must be exercised.
Here are the guidelines I follow when considering if, when, and how much alcohol to include in a healthy diet.
- Alcohol, in general, is empty calories, which isn’t exactly helpful when trying to lose weight. Yes, wine does have antioxidants, but it is not a necessary, nutrient-dense food. So if your goal is weight loss, you want to keep the alcohol consumption to a minimum. However, if you really enjoy a glass, don’t deprive yourself for so long that you end up binging. Just do not binge on alcohol.
- Do not let alcohol interrupt your schedule. Binge drinking and the hangover the next day really throw your body off and generally interrupts your diet and exercise routine. If you want to stay on track, binge drinking is not recommended. Enjoy a drink or two but be moderate. The pain and horrible feeling the next day really aren’t worth it. And they really do nothing to further your goals, let alone make you feel good.
- If you can, make healthier switches. While a strawberry daiquiri or frozen blended margarita may be delicious, it probably isn’t the healthiest choice. A great indulgence but not a healthy every day drink. Make simple switches and choose healthier options. Wine and even certain hard alcohol drinks (with out the sugary syrups) can be good in moderation.
- A healthy diet should make you feel GOOD. If your alcohol consumption isn’t making you feel good, it is way too much. If it is hindering you from reaching your goals, it is too much. There is no set number, no exact right amount of drinks. Just really consider whether or not it is helping or hurting you.
- Do not drink alcohol before food right after a workout or competition. The alcohol will prevent the absorption of nutrients your body needs and reduce your ability to recover.
Alcohol CAN be a part of a healthy diet but only in moderation. It can be enjoyed but should never leave you feeling anything but refreshed the next morning.
You want to eat and DRINK to support your goals.