What we drink can easily set off all the hard work you have put in to try to be healthier and maybe lose weight. Many calories in your drinks are unnecessary and can be avoided. These tips are especially helpful at social events or busy social seasons like Christmas.
How do we trim down drinks?
1. Start off well-hydrated
A common mistake is to go straight for alcohol or cold drink the minute you arrive at a social event. Rather, relax and first finish a glass of still or sparkling water before you place your first drink order. This will hydrate you and prevent you glugging your first drink quickly to quench your thirst. During a long social event, drink a glass of water in-between alcoholic drinks.
2. Cut down on sugar
Drinks are often high in sugar. Excessive sugar intake can contribute to metabolic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease as sugars promote inflammatory processes in the body. One way to reduce the sugar content is to dilute your drinks with water or ice if suitable.
Be careful of drink mixes that contain a large amount of sugar. For example, in a small can (200ml) of tonic water there are 6 teaspoons of sugar. Look for sugar-free alternatives such as Woolworths sugar-free tonic water, Sprite Zero or Coke Zero. You can also try sugar-free cordials available in many flavours that you can add to water or soda water such as Brookes Low-Cal or Slimsy Squash.
3. Add something natural
Adding fresh herbs, fruit and vegetables to your drinks to provides a different interesting flavour and reduce your need for sugary mixes. Examples are fresh mint leaves, lemon slices, cinnamon sticks, cucumber, pear, pineapple, thyme, strawberries, basil, oranges etc. Steep still or sparkling water with the food item or herb of your choice for at least 30 minutes to infuse it with the flavour.
4. Choose wisely
A single beer, two tots of whiskey and a 200ml glass of red or white wine contain approximately the same amount of alcohol (20g) and energy (600kJ) per drink which is equivalent to the calories of 2 slices bread. The amount of drinks we enjoy at social events is often linked to the length of the event. Choose lower calorie drinks such as a “lite” beer or wine or order a single instead of a double whiskey mix with water or soda water. Ordering alcohol free and sugar free drinks in addition to your alcoholic drinks goes a long way to consume less. Be careful of cocktails as they tend to contain the most calories as they are very high in sugar from the syrups used.