Between boating, beach-going, cookouts, outdoor concerts and camping, summer is when the drinking is easy.
I recently returned from a semi-vacation in northwestern Michigan where I grew up. It’s a tiny summer resort town that swells during the summer with Midwesterners seeking some R&R on the sugar sand beaches of the Lake Michigan shoreline. The thirst for adult beverages in Michigan served as inspiration for this post.
[sws_pullquote_small align=”sws_pq_center” textalign=”center” linecolors=”b3b3b3″ fontstyle=”normal” textcolor=”356e1b”] I’m all for chilaxing and I don’t want to make anyone’s happy hour sad, but I couldn’t help but notice how many cases of beer and bottles of liquor are flying out of the convenience stores and supermarkets. Is alcohol a necessity for campers…like a Coleman stove or sleeping bag? Can’t anyone in Michigan go fishing or boating without a cooler full of booze? [/sws_pullquote_small]
Alcohol & Your Diet
A few things to understand about drinking alcohol is that it is entirely empty calories. You will get some antioxidants from red wine and dark beer but having some fruits or veggies is the preferred way to get your antioxidants.
People who drink modest amounts of alcohol (1 drink for women; 2 for men) do have improved risk factors for heart health but no one recommends drinking for your health’s sake.
As a dietitian, there are a few issues I have with drinking alcohol when you want or need to stick with a healthy diet or want to lose weight. Here’s the three key ways alcohol acts as a diet sabateur.
3 Ways Alcoholic Drinks Can Destroy Your Diet
1) Calories. All alcohol is calorie-rich and provides little, if any, nutritional value;
2) Alcohol stimulates your appetite;
3) Adult beverages decrease your inhibitions so the French fries, burgers or pizza you’d never normally eat seem like great choices. [/sws_green_box]
Summertime Drinks Weigh In
Use this guide to help choose an adult beverage that won’t ruin your waistline. The best calorie bargains are the ultra-light beers like Michelob Ultra and MDG 64. Remember that mixers like tonic water, fruit juices and soda weigh down your sips with lots of added sugars and empty calories. If you’re going with a mixed drink, ask for it to be mixed with diet soda, seltzer instead of tonic water. Avoid the Costco-sized “specialty” cocktails that at commonly served at bars and restaurants in the summer. They can top more than 500 calories.
|Ultra Light Beer (12 ounces)||55-65 calories|
|Light Beer (12 ounces)||100 calories|
|Rum and Diet coke (1 shot distilled spirit)||100 calories|
|Wine (5 ounces)||120 calories|
|Wine Cooler (10-11 ounces)||120 calories|
|Vodka and Diet Cranberry Juice (12 ounces)||140 calories|
|Rum and Coke||240|
|Cosmo (5 ounces)||270|
|Daily’s Frozen Lemonade (10 oz)||280|
|Strawberry Dacquiri (6 ounces)||300|