Put the Brakes on Holiday Booze

Happy drunk businessman wearing a santa hat with tinsel around his neck in a blue business shirt and blue tie holding a bottle and glass of champagne drinking sitting in a business office chair at his christmas party on white background

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The holidays are full of rich foods and tempting goodies. But we tend to forget about other temptations – booze! Somehow the holidays give the green light to imbibe … night after night.  This takes a toll on our energy levels, motivation to exercise and eat healthy as well as our weight and overall health. With 4 holiday parties behind me this weekend and a few more coming up,  I thought it was an appropriate time to talk about putting the brakes on holiday cheer.

When I meet with clients in my private practice, we usually strategize how to handle upcoming problematic food situations. But this week, I spend just as much time discussing booze control. Office parties, meeting friends for holiday drinks, Christmas and of course, New Year’s Eve are all potentially problematic when it comes to alcohol. While we only have 10 more days before  we ring in the New Year, there is still plenty of time to “get into trouble”. 

The potential problemsIMG_0370
– It’s in front of you. You are handed a glass of champagne as you walk in the door
– Peer pressure. The social pressure to drink in our society can be strong. This is especially true around the holidays. 
– You want to fit in with the group. Your co-workers immediately head to the bar. 
– Feeling anxious. Maybe you don’t feel comfortable with the group of people you are with so a drink is an easy way to relax.
– Having fun … getting caught up in the moment
– Thinking “I’ll deal with the repercussions later” (calories and/or hangover)

Tips to moderate your drinking
Since I love my glass of wine AND I’m very realistic in my approach, I don’t place alcohol on the “off-limits” list.  After all it has some health benefits. But moderation is the key word here as all the health benefits go out the window with excess. While some people have no desire to have more than a drink or two, others find it more challenging*. And keep in mind that we don’t metabolize alcohol as well as we age (so sad!)  Those 2 glasses of wine can lead to a massive headache the next day. In addition, the calories add up and alcohol is  a risk factor for breast cancer as well as many other diseases. 

Here are some tips to practice moderation:
1. Choose your number of drinks ahead of time. Decide in advance how many drinks you will have and stick to it.

2. Drink slow and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.  See my pic below.

3. Arrive late and leave early. This will cut down on actual drinking time.

4. Book a Flywheel class early the next morning. Is that extra glass of wine worth losing $35 due to not getting out of bed for the class?

5. Hold something in your hand – clutch, work bag, or non-alcoholic drink. Sometimes we just want to have something club soda vs wine
to do with our hands, so sipping on a club soda can be a good substitute.

6. Order your non-alcoholic drink in an interesting glass. Sparkling water in a rocks or wine glass with a twist is more festive than a plain glass of water! See the glass on the right? Club soda with a twist served to me at a holiday party last night at Vinus and Marc. And I alternated with wine and club soda! 

7. Remind yourself that the goal of the get-together is not to drink excessively
. Holidays are a time to spend quality time with family and friends.

8. Think about the repercussions. Remember how you felt two days ago with that massive headache after your holidaymy man party? Is it worth it to feel that way again? (Pic credit) And don’t forget about the calories in alcohol – see my previous post on Calories in Alcohol. 

9.  Just say no. If you really don’t want to drink, don’t let others pressure you!  If anyone pushes you to drink, they obviously have a problem, not you.

See my previous post on  How to Deal with Food Pushers


*if you really find it difficult to control your alcohol intake, consider getting professional help.









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