“You can live to be a hundred if you give up all things that make you want to live to be a hundred.”
So said Woody Allen. But what if you could live to be a hundred and do all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred too? For instance, party hard and not have to worry about health setbacks? Well, this article might help you because I shall give some handy tips on how not to gain weight while partying!
Let’s talk about the social drinkers first. One of the most frequent questions I get to hear from my clients is, “Food I will control, but which alcohol can I sip on without fear of going off the track?” Sadly enough, the answer to that is none.
Once this fact is accepted, let’s talk about why you should or should not consume alcohol on or off the diet.
Alcohol contains 7.1 calories per gram. Didn’t know this, right! It’s ok! Not your fault, it’s never mentioned on the nutritional label, or wait …Duh! There is no nutrition label on alcohol bottles.
But if you just had a minor heart attack with this piece of news, don’t worry, there is a silver lining. The calories from alcohol are not stored as fat. Your body places consumed alcohol first on its metabolic priority list, because after all, it’s a poison only. And therefore, it tries to eliminate it from the system. Yes, our body is a great self-cleansing mechanism!
But that does not mean you go gung-ho about your whiskeys and rums.
Consuming alcohol shuts down the regular fat burning process going on in a body. So on the days that we drink, the food that we eat is much more likely to be stored as body fat. (So that’s where the fat comes from, eh?)
And of course, alcohol is definitely has its own side effects too.
For a detailed research article on the effects of alcohol on metabolism, take a look at the brilliant article we have here: “Cheers to Good Health? Really??”
So, although I would suggest your best bet would be to completely avoid the alcohol, but still if you do choose to drink up, keep it in limits and try to follow the points in the next section.
Coming to the food part, people who don’t drink (or even those who do), are concerned only about one thing when it comes to partying – Show me the food. In my work as a fitness coach, many of my clients are business professionals or socialites who are diligent about what they eat on weekdays, but they find it hard to resist the endless buffets at various social dos.
To cut to the chase, here’s what you do:
- Don’t go hungry – This is the most important tip.
- Fill up on healthy foods before you leave home. When we are hungry, we tend to make poor food choices, or gorge on whatever is at hand.
- Hunger, like anger, can be dealt with wisely with a little deep breathing. Count to ten before reaching out blindly for the hors d’oeuvres.
- Say no to that guy who keeps coming at you with trays full of this and that.
- Choose some filling foods from the options you have. A little bruschetta instead of deep fried baby corn perhaps. My personal favourite is warm comforting broccoli soup. It keeps me full for a longer time.
- Know your options – Loop around the food table once or twice instead of picking the plate and standing in the line right away. It’s good to know your options so that you can make better choices.
- Place limits – Biggest mistake I have seen people making is having snacks as well as a full-fledged main course. Go full on one of the two. Remember – everything has calories, everything! I prefer to go with the snacks as these have wider options with most of the stuff being grilled or barbecued. So if I am not hungry by dinner time, I skip the main course. Simple!
- Drink up! – No, not the kind of drinking you had in mind, though! Drink as much water as you can. Keeps you hydrated and you won’t have silly cravings. Next time you’re eyeing that pile of crumb fried fish, first go to the water chiller and down two glasses. It will definitely take the edge of that craving.
- Skip accompaniments – Any sauce and ketchup fans here? Ever flipped your ketchup bottle at home and read the nutrition label – No, right? Mayonnaise, ketchup, etc., have a lot of calories. Stick to your regular mint chutney if need be.
- Don’t drink up – Lol, now this is the proviso for the kind of drinking you probably had in mind. I have already taken up this in detail – so make a wise choice at the bar counter.
- Eat clean on weekdays – Just try to eat healthy most of the week, and a little here and there at social gatherings should be fine. This is what I abide by. Now you can’t be following a structured diet 365 days a year. Eat clean on the weekdays and weekends one favourite meal – that is my personal mantra too when I am not on a diet.
Hope these little tricky tricks will help you decide better at your next social event. To read up more about controlling your cravings, you can visit: “How to Outsmart your Cravings”
Party hard but party wisely, for life is short!
Yours, in fitness!
Article Credits – Swati Sodhi