It's Friday afternoon, the workday is done and you are driving home to cuddle up with your favorite book…not really! In the real world most of us go out and party from time to time after a long and stressful work week. If you aren't careful, you can destroy a week of good eating habits and exercise. Returning to work Monday morning with a few extra pounds is a good possibility.
The best way to avoid a “weekend blowup” is to have a plan of attack. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Let's say you try to have good eating habits Monday through Friday by eating breakfast, lunch and dinner with a snack in between each meal. You have even managed to workout 3 or 4 times during the week. Friday evening, when the call to happy hour starts to ring, you have to be prepared.
A late afternoon snack or meal is the key to being able to control the urge to splurge on the fattening food at your favorite watering hole. Your pre-party snack or meal should be as close to party time as possible. Having a snack between 3:30 and 4:30 PM or even an early dinner will give you the calories you will need to be in control of your appetite. A pre-party snack will also give you the energy to shake your groove thang late into the night.
When you are out on the town, maintaining control of calories from food is hard enough. When you add the calories and the influence of your favorite adult beverage, the task is twice as hard. Alcoholic beverages are full of carbohydrate calories. But these aren't your typical carbohydrates. These carbs come from ethyl alcohol. Unlike calories from protein, fats and carbohydrates, calories from alcohol do not have any nutritional value and are not something the body needs to be healthy. Alcohol consumption prevents the body from absorbing nutrients from food. The liver converts the alcohol calories into acetate and releases it into the blood stream. Your body loves to use acetate as a fuel source and tends to ignore the fat and other nutritional calories you already have in your system. After an evening of using the fast burning acetate calories as fuel, you will now find yourself at a drive through window at the end of the night. By starting the night with a pre-party snack or meal, you will slow your alcohol consumption, allowing your body to absorb the nutrients it needs to keep you dancing all night.
The next time you are out on the town keep some of these numbers in mind.
8 ounces of red or white wine has about 160 calories. Only 7 of those calories come from carbohydrates the other 153 are from alcohol. One 12-ounce can of beer has about 146 calories and 96 of them are from alcohol. 2 ounces of hard liquor such as: vodka, whiskey, rum or scotch can have as much as 165 calories all from alcohol.
Pack extra food in your lunch or leftovers will do the trick. The key to a pre-party snack or meal is that it must be substantial. A piece of fruit or a candy bar will not give you the long lasting calories you will need. This will only add to the amount of calories from carbohydrates and alcohol you may consume during a good night out on the town.