For some of my clients, alcohol is the biggest obstacle holding them back from dropping a dress size or two. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, alcohol not only contains calories, but it can seriously stimulate your appetite. One of my clients recently told me, “I’m good until the alcohol starts to hit me, then all my healthy eating intentions fly out the window.” I get it. I think we’ve all eaten something while under the influence we wouldn’t have touched when we’re bright eyed and bushy tailed.
This is such a common complaint it was the topic of one of my first blog posts here on Shape.com (check out here). And because I hear this so often, I wanted to offer some additional advice.
For a lot of my clients, the strategy that’s had the greatest impact on their weight loss results has been switching up their social scene. In other words, schedule more alcohol-free evenings.
It’s easy to get into a rut, whether it be with friends or your partner: happy hour on Friday night, drinks and dinner (which may include more drinks), hanging out at home with a bottle of wine or two…
I love wine and I’m very fond of tequila, but I follow the advice I dole out to my clients and seek out plenty of tea toddling activities. Mixing it up can be a fun way to learn more about your friends or even fall in love with your significant other all over again. When my hubby and I hung out at an indie record store one night (instead of going to a concert at a bar) we ended up sharing a bunch of music-related stories with each other, like the first concert we each went to, the bands we loved and loathed in high school, etc. - stuff that just never came up even though we’ve been married for years.
Here are 10 suggestions for a fun alcohol-free evening:
- Visit a local museum. Even if you’ve been before, there are always new exhibits and going with a different person can be a whole new experience.
- Go to a vintage or thrift store and rummage.
- Take an art class. In most cities you can find something, from mosaic or jewelry making to drawing nudes!
- Find a dance class (salsa, hustle, ballroom…).
- Volunteer at a shelter, soup kitchen or animal clinic (I once volunteered at a bird sanctuary and got to feed tiny baby owls with tweezers!).
- Do something active you’ve never done before like kayaking, or renting a tandem bike.
- Challenge yourself - find a ropes course, indoor rock climbing facility or trapeze school in your area (I have always been afraid of heights, so even with a harness I was terrified of walking across the beam at a ropes course, but I felt exhilarated afterward and now trapeze is next on my list!).
- Go to a pick-your-own farm or visit an ethnic grocery store and try something you’ve never tasted before.
- Check out an indie book, music or movie store and browse together.
- Head over to your local library – it’s a great place to plan your next vacation or learn about local history.
So what do you think? Do you suspect that finding new ways to spend time with your friends may help you avoid excess calories? Please share your thoughts!