Most adults admit they turn to alcohol to help them cope after a stressful day.Even though it might seem like a few drinks can relieve the pressures of the day, in the medium to long term it can actually add to them – whether they’re work, financial or family related. Stress can also be an excuse for people to drink more than they should, especially if they don’t realize the negative impact it can have on their health and well-being.
Here are 6 tips for mindful drinking :
- Eat first and eat enough.
By the time most people get to a happy hour, they’re starving. Ordering a platter or salad is always a great option because it has fiber and protein and won’t lead you to consume tons of fried or junk food.If you are still hungry after an appetizer, order a regular meal. You are likely to be more satisfied and end up eating fewer calories than if you were to just snack on tons of things around you.
- Pace yourself with water.
It’s easy to pound two or three drinks quickly, especially after a long day. To limit your alcohol intake, start with a big glass of water and lemon and order a sparkling water in between drinks. This will force you to stay hydrated and limit going overboard on booze.
- Skip the mixing and fruity stuff.
Stay away from mixed drinks. They’re high in calories, but not satiating. Don’t switch from beers, to shots, to liquor, to margaritas, to whatever. Bad idea. Don’t start with beer and then switch to hard liquor either. You’re already drunk so you won’t be able to tell how much liquor you’re consuming, which is when things go downhill quickly. Pick something and stick with it.
- Keep count
Drink in moderation, of course. More than four drinks in a sitting for women, or more than five in a sitting for men is considered binge drinking. Remember tip number 2— sipping water between alcoholic beverages is a great way to slow down the count.
- Day-drink wisely.
Weekends can mean prolonged drinking over the course of the day. Choose drinks that are lower in overall alcohol content like beer, wine, and wine spritzers to avoid overconsumption and allow you to stay in the action for the whole day. Don’t forget to get some high quality calories from your meals and consider a break for an hour or two without alcohol throughout the day.
- Rest up, before and after.
Don’t drink after strenuous physical activity or after a night of poor sleep. And be sure to get a good amount of sleep after a night of drinking. Alcohol can lower blood sugar levels, and hitting the bottle on an empty stomach or after a tough workout only depletes those levels further.
Megan Alder says
My best friend loves to go out for a good drink and the bar, but I’m not much of a drinker. I think that I’d definitely stick to the fiber and protein salad. My friend might even want to go out for drinks tonight, but I don’t know how I’m feeling about it yet.