5 Healthy Alternatives to Alcohol

We’ve all been there before, you’re on your diet, things are going very well and you’re sticking to your meal plan and dropping weight. You’re eating the right amounts of proteins, carbs and veggies to turn your body into a lean and powerful machine and just when you think you’ve mastered your daily workout regiment and eating routine, you get a call from one of your buddies letting you know they’re having a drunk and rowdy bachelor party.

Drinking alcohol is one of the easiest ways to slip off your diet plan. Why? There are many reasons.

First off, alcohol, no matter the kind, packs calories.

The average beer has about 200 calories, and even a light beer is usually around 150 calories, and these calories are made up of  bad sugary carbs. Even liquor, which is made of “no carb” sugar alcohol, still has plenty of calories and can lead to dehydration. When we are dehydrated, and when we’re drunk, we tend to over eat because our brains think that we’re hungry when our bodies are actually craving water.

Yes, and after a few drinks, we also tend to loosen up and lose our judgment. So when we’re a bit tipsy, eating that Chipolte burrito which is packed with 50 grams of fat and 1000+ calories seems logical. You know, to soak up the alcohol so we don’t feel so bad in the morning. Not to mention that alcohol abuse can lead to impotence … and you don’t wanting to be popping viagra at the gym in between your NO2 and creatine fixes!

In an effort to bypass this horrible spiral of dehydration, over eating, over drinking and then waking up in the morning with a hangover so bad all I want to do is sit around and watch TV … I have consisted a list of drinks I will be ordering at my friend’s bachelor party next week.

  1. Tonic Water with Lemon. First off, don’t kid yourself. If you show up at the bar ordering Shirley Temples or Diet Pepsi your friends are going to not only make fun of you all night, but they’ll probably also pressure you to drink. Take a moment to talk to the bartender, tip him a little and make sure he keeps you full or Tonic Water & Lemon all night. Your buddies will think it’s a Gin & Tonic or Vodka Tonic and won’t give you much lip.
  2. Diet Soda. I tend to not drink diet soda because of the dehydration factor and bad chemicals, but will treat myself every once in a while to a diet A&W Rootbeer or a Sprite Zero. So, why not treat myself when I’m out at the bar? Ordering a diet soda (again, whisper to the bartender) with a lemon will also make it look like its a mixed drink, to avoid the hassle from the guys. Energy Drinks like Red Bull or Rock Star will of course, give you that added kick!
  3. Bottled Water. Ok, this is probably the corniest of the bunch, but drinking bottled water all night will kind of set you aside from the pack a little or maybe alienate you, but you will be extremely hydrated throughout the evening. So hydrated in fact that if you catch yourself throwing back a shot or two of Patron for celebratory purposes, you more or less won’t feel the effects of the alcohol that night or the next day. Beware though, too much water will keep you in line to the bathroom for most of the evening.
  4. Coffee. Coffee. Um. This may be a harder one to get away with at a party, but drinking coffee or iced coffee will keep you alert and your hands and mouth busy at the bar while you’re craving a beer or cocktail. The coffee high may also put you in the mood to party a bit more than you may normally do, or throw down a bit, so this could be an added benefit. Like the water however, this could have you going back and forth to the bathroom.
  5. Near Beer. Here’s another tip I learned from a bartender. If you’ve had a beer ortwo, and want to relax for the rest of the night, drink an O’Douls or Non-Alcoholic Corona. Most bars will have bottles of this faux beer waiting for you and sometimes at discounted prices as the beer companies like to push responsible drinking and bartenders may mistaken you for the designated driver, whom they like to take care of. Here’s a tip, have the barkeep open the bottle then pour it in a mug or pint glass. Sure, you’re still woofing down the calories, but not the negative effects of alcohol.

Ok, if you’ve made it this far you’re probably thinking to yourself how idiotic I may sound, but trust me, sometimes its better to deceive your friends or colleagues into thinking you’re out with them getting hammered rather than show up and announce that you’re “not drinking any alcohol tonight because of my dieting program”.

Best case scenario, you’re the only sober one in the bunch and if you meet a hottie, you’ll probably have the best chance. Also, if you do have a couple of drinks, keeping it at a couple will give you that buzz you desire, and you’ll still be able to get up in the morning and get right back into your routine.

Janna Baker

Janna Baker is a fitness and workout enthusiast.

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