Drink Less Alcohol
DISCLAIMER: This Challenge is for participants who are of legal drinking age. We do not endorse underage drinking.
What’s In & What’s Out
- No wine of any kind
- No cocktails
- No beer
- No liquor
- If you slip, no biggie. Slipping means you’re trying, which is what counts! You can get back on track for the rest of the evening.
Why This Is A Good Idea?
Alcohol’s empty liquid calories lack nutrition, yet those drinking alcoholic beverages consume over 15% of their daily calories from alcohol. And since liquid calories don’t contribute to your feeling satiated, drinking alcohol increases your chances of consuming more calories than you really need, without any of the added nutrients. Plus, drinking too much alcohol takes a toll on your liver, heart, pancreas and immune system, and can increase your risk of cancer. Many who have cut back on their alcohol intake have reported better sleep, more energy, more stable mood, improved digestion, and improved ability to concentrate. Not to mention, your wallet will thank you—the average American consumer spends over $1200 a year on beer!
- Check in whenever you a) consciously avoid alcohol by making a checkmark on the check-in screen, or b) drink alcohol by using a slip (aka free pass) on the check-in screen. If you realize you’ve made it the entire day without any alcohol, check-in by making a checkmark at the end of the day.
- Keep a bottle or glass of water with you, and stay well hydrated. You might think you need an alcoholic drink at the end of the day, when really you’re just thirsty.
- Add chopped fruit and/or mint to sparkling water. A minty, cold, fizzy drink with pieces of cantaloupe and watermelon, fresh berries, grapes or orange slices at the bottom is festive, hydrating and refreshing. Add one of those paper umbrellas to mentally bring you to your beach chair =).
- Come up with a go-to alternative order for when you’re out with friends at a bar or restaurant.
- Embrace the mocktail (ginger, lemon, seltzer and mint is a great combo), or simply order seltzer water with lime. And hot herbal tea is great with dinner as it aids in digestion.
- Don’t keep alcohol on hand (or tell your spouse or roommate to hide it for a while). If you’re debating having a glass of wine and a beautiful bottle is staring you in the face, you’re much more likely to imbibe.
- Eat a fulfilling and nutritious meal. You’re less likely to turn to alcohol for evening satisfaction if you are distracted by delicious food. If you need added incentive—when you drink alcohol and food together, your body stops digesting other things so it can focus on the alcohol, leading to poorer digestion.
- Eat plenty of protein and healthy fats which help keep you full, regulate blood sugar levels and help keep cravings at bay. Whole grains, beans, nuts, organic soy products, eggs, hummus, lentils, fish, yogurt, cheese and avocado are all great sources.
- Indulge in a nutritious dessert like fruit and a bit of dark chocolate after dinner if you need a treat to congratulate yourself on another alcohol-free day.
- If it’s your birthday and you do slip, choose wine over a sugary cocktail that spikes your blood sugar levels and leaves you craving more.
- Sparkling water for a festive, alcohol-free alternative. (Or if you want to splurge and invest in a soda maker, go for a SodaStream for homemade soda in an instant!)
- Hit the tea aisle for some herbal tea for the evenings.
- Fresh fruit like melon, berries, grapes, oranges, lemons and limes for your sparkling water. Or use frozen fruit for easy storage and instant cooling.
- Fill your cart with fiber-packed veggies to help you cook a fulfilling (and filling!) meal.
- Your favorite proteins—wild-caught fish, organic tofu, eggs, cheese etc.
- Hit the bulk bins, the mothership of protein-rich lentils and beans, and nutritious whole grains like amaranth, bulgur, brown rice, buckwheat and quinoa.
Smart Things To Read & Watch
- The Last Conversation You’ll Ever Need to Have About Eating Right
- Beverages Pack Calorie Punch
- Alcohol’s Effects on the Body
- Why Does Alcohol Affect Women Differently Than Men?
- Calories Consumed From Alcoholic Beverages
- Here’s What I Wish Someone Had Told Me
- Alcohol Also Damages The Liver
- By how much does light alcohol consumption increase cancer risk
- A Calorie is Not a Calorie
Note: Diet ID is not focused on the number on the scale. Weight loss can be a byproduct of developing healthier eating habits, but if you have questions about your weight, please contact your physician.