I completely agree with UNIDENT's point regarding the "healthiest" choice and the "lifestyle" choice. Ideally we would all live entirely on the freshest, most nutritious foods at all times. But honestly, we all take in some less-than-perfect calories here and there. It's just reality.
For me, a cocktail per day would be a lot of alcohol, but I'm not much of a drinker. A couple glasses of wine each month (or something a little harder in certain types of social situations) is enough for me.
I would completely cut out alcohol and find something else to do at the end of the day (maybe go to the gym or something). I'm really, really not a fan of drinking my calories in any way, shape or form. Although red wine has been shown to have health benefits, I'd personally rather eat grapes, which have antioxidants (like in red wine) but which also have other good things in them, like fiber. But, everyone has different preferences.
Fitness Minutes: (11,255)
592 9/27/11 1:31 P
I factor it in. If I'm going to be having more than 1 or 2 drinks at night, I eat lighter during the day.
Fitness Minutes: (5,968)
429 9/27/11 1:17 P
I still enjoy my red wine (malbec, or zin, lately) but I need to limit myself. I can easily drink a bottle..lol 1 glass with dinner, maybe 2 nights during the week.
Red wine has health benefits - and tastes delicious. So I factor it in.
Fitness Minutes: (2,577)
490 9/27/11 11:59 A
I completely understand the dilemma...I go through it myself. I've always enjoyed a cocktail in the evenings - and many times in the past I enjoyed a little more than I should have which I'm sure has been a large contributor of my weight! Here's my plan now...I still allow myself to have my drink in the evening IF I can fit it into my calories while still eating for nutrition and health. I love wine and margarita's and beer and just about anything else that has alcohol in it. So I've found that once you try the Select 55 beer that only has 55 calories, it's a nice alternative to the more full flavored beer...don't think it happens automatically though. It took me a few nights of having 1 or sometimes 2 of them to get over the 'watered down beer' flavor. I also started making a fruity kind of drink that could easily be blended to make into a 'margarita/dacquari like drink...and 8 ounces is only around 63 calories - it's obviously more for the taste and feel of putting it in a wine glass than for the alcohol itself. Here it is: 2 oz Peach Schnapps 4 oz Raspberry Flavored Vodka 1 packet of Raspberry Lemonade drink packet mixed with bottle of water 2 packets of Lemonade drink packet mixed with 1 bottle of water and 1 bottle of seltzer water Stir and enjoy!
I enjoy the occasional cocktail, but a lot less than I did before I was dieting. I limit myself to one now. So one glass of wine, one skinny margarita, one whatever I want that isn't tons of calories. I used to drink at least three nights a week and have 2-3 glasses of wine to relax. Now, I don't drink regularly but when I do, I make sure I leave enough calories to enjoy my drink. For instance, I leave myself 200 or so calories a day for indulgences- such as chocolate or cookies or something like that. If I'm drinking, I'll resist the junk food that day and have the drink in it's place. That works well for me. I'm a firm believer in moderation. I went at dieting non-stop after I had my first and lost 90 pounds. But as soon as I got pregnant with my second I gained 70 pounds, because I was enjoying everything I'd been depriving myself of. I figure this way may take a few more months to reach my goal, but it's more likely to be a life change and lasting if I make reasonable changes.
You didn't mention your goal. Are you looking to lose weight as efficiently as possible or comfortably, without having to make drastic changes and still allowing room for little indulgences? Is your goal weight easy to achieve and maintain or is a "lean and mean fighting weight"? Is a drink your treat of choice or is there something else you'd prefer if you had to choose?
I am a firm believer in moderation, unless one serving leads to binging on a regular basis. I also like a nice glass of wine, and have overindulged at a winefest when I had a designated driver, but it's not something I do on a regular basis. I'll also have a cocktail if dining at a restraunt that offers them, or a rum and coke at home if the mood strikes.
I don't drink often, but have not cut it out entirely.
I have wine every night with dinner. I preplan my meals every morning and put everything into the tracker, including the wine, which is around 180 cals for 8 oz. If I end up snacking during the day and it looks like I am going over my calorie goals, then I either dont drink the wine, or I cut it with water, so that I might only be drinking 5 oz of wine, but it just looks like 8.
Obviously the "healthiest" choice is to cut it out entirely. Alcohol provides nothing at all nutritious, so there's no need to include it in the diet.
However, that doesn't factor in the "lifestyle" component! You gotta be who you are! LOL
I think one drink a day is probably not that big of a deal.
What I would suggest is to always try to make the minimum of your provided Spark range from food. So if you have 1200-1550 for example, make sure you get at least 1200 in food, not 900 in food and a 300 calorie drink.
Then you've got 350 calories in which to fit a drink. If you can, then go ahead. If your drink of choice happens to pack more calories than that, maybe every second day is better. Who said it had to be all or nothing - right?
So get the daily minimum from food first, and try to stay weekly under the weekly max (7 * the daily max). You'll know you're getting at least enough nutrition, and yet staying under a maximum total weekly calorie intake.
Fitness Minutes: (3,140)
297 9/26/11 9:30 P
Hey Brinagu3! It's obviously up to you (I have cut it out a lot due to it being 'empty' calories), but I know how you feel...I too make a wicked margarita :)
What I did for the first two months of SP was cut it out entirely, but as a kind of streak or goal! That way it wasn't that I was missing out - I was just trying to achieve something. It really helped get me in the mindset of not having so many drinks, when I did start incorporating alcohol back into my diet.
Fitness Minutes: (13,614)
369 9/26/11 9:13 P
I am just back to Spark People after falling off the wagon last year around this time. I have made a couple of starts at come back here, doing it for a couple, three days, and then falling away again. I have gained back 18 of the 40 lbs that I lost. In this last week I have lost one of those pounds.
So, to the question at hand - to eliminate the cocktail or not. I enjoy a drink at the end of the day. I make a killer margarita and my husband and I have a nice collection of wine in the house. I have been limiting myself to one. I am thinking, maybe to just jump start things cutting it out entirely. In the last 4 days that I tracked I stayed under my calorie goals, while including the cocktail on 3 days and exceeded my allotment once, but only by 5 calories. I did have one day that I did not track my food.
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