Friday Five: Healthy Holiday Drinking

Cheers to the weekend!

Whilst healthy living might not be the first thing on your mind as we hit 5.30 this evening and head into the Memorial Day weekend, there are ways to let your hair down and enjoy time with friends and family, without derailing your wellness goals and feeling terrible the next day!

One question I get asked from my clients all the time is ‘can I still have alcohol?’ and this week’s #FridayFive is all about how you can enjoy a glass or two, whilst staying on track with your goals:

1) Choose Quality, Not Quantity: if you only follow one of these tips, then make sure it is this one. So many of the negative effects of drinking come from the additives and toxins in our alcohol (in the US wine producers can use up to 76 additives without disclosing on the bottle), but this can be avoided by choosing higher end organic products. Purchase your wine from an independent retailer (rather than a liquor store) and tell the staff that you are looking for an organic wine. Often European wines are made using organic processes (or as close to organic as possible ) but do not hold an organic certificate. If purchasing online Dry Farm Wines and Fit Vine Wines are two great options.

2) Go Low (Sugar): alcohol is one of the least nutrient dense substances out there, and spikes blood sugar and insulin levels whilst containing barely any nutrients (yes, some red wines contain polyphenols & antioxidants, but the bad still outweighs the good), so choose low sugar options such as champagne or prosecco, red wine, or diluted clear spirits (such as gin and tonic, or vodka and soda).

3) Food First: keep blood sugar levels stable by eating a #PFFFormula (Protein, Fat Fibre) meal or snack before you go out. This will help prevent blood sugar spikes and help your body metabolize acetaldehyde (one of the toxic byproducts of drinking that causes a hangover) more quickly.

4) Work Out The Next Day: when there is alcohol in your system the body will prioritize burning this first over your fat stores, as it sees it as a toxin that it needs to get rid of. So, if improving your body composition (lean muscle mass to body fat ratio) is one of your goals, drinking will hinder your progress. To speed up the process schedule a workout for the next day – and even try working out fasted. Drink a ton of water, and hit the sauna afterwards to maximize detoxification.

5) Spritz! If rose is your thing (#roseallday) then lower the sugar content by mixing with club soda and citrus fruits – just be considerate of the number of glasses you are having as this can make it very easy to drink!

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