By Julie White
Your top 4 vices and how to enjoy them the right way!
If you’re on the first week of the program try not to have any at all. From the 2nd week onwards though we think 1-2 days a week is fine, with a maximum of 1-2 drinks.
You must remember, alcohol still contains calories and too many calories in and not enough out will mean you won't lose weight, or worse still… you’ll gain weight. The body also stores fat more readily when alcohol is present.
Also important to keep in mind is that after a few drinks your resolve weakens. That packet of chips you wouldn’t normally dream of having have been swallowed in one gulp and haven't even touched the sides before you’re frantically searching for the next packet.
So make sure you Weigh it Up - you can have that glass of wine, but do you want to waste the calories and risk undoing all the hard work you've done? It’s your choice.
Best alcohol choices include:
Spirits (mixed with soda water, diet tonic water, or diet lemonade. Fresh lemon or lime juice is great too). NB: Fruit and veggie juices can be good choices because they are lower in calories than some other mixers and also contain disease-preventing antioxidants. For even better results mix juice with soda water and the calories are halved.
Dry white wine. To cut the calories here add some soda water or an ice cube and make it a wine spritzer.
Black Tea & Coffee:
Absolutely enough withdrawals happening as it is, let alone taking away the sacred bean or leaf!
First rule – always use skim milk. If it’s a Latte or Cappuccino you love, then limit yourself to 2 per day. Otherwise it’s unlimited, within reason.
For coffee lovers - Try a long black with milk and gradually reduce the amount. Just remember 1 cup of normal milk has 9g fat, low fat 2.5g and skim 0.25. You can wean yourself off full fat milk and gradually change over to skim. It's worth it.
For tea lovers – Skim milk is your number one rule. Black tea is even better, but if you prefer milk, make it skim.
For lovers of both – sugar is a killer in tea & coffee! If you must have sugar, limit yourself to half a teaspoon. This can be hard to start with so gradually wean yourself off what you’re used to. If you have 3 teaspoons, try weaning down by one each week until eventually you are happy with half a one.
With choccie we must always remember it’s a fine line between pleasure and pain.
Studies show a little chocolate makes you feel good and can have a positive effect whereas overindulge and it’s the opposite - we feel guilt and remorse for a long time after.
So, my number 1 rule - limit yourself to one row of chocolate (the short side), about 25g. Make sure it’s dark chocolate without all the sugar (which masks the real flavour). Eat it slowly and enjoy the actual taste of the cacao, which is where all the healthy antioxidants are.
Some facts: Dark chocolate is made from plants, which means it contains many of the health benefits of dark veggies! These benefits all come from antioxidants which help to protect the body from aging caused by free radicals which can cause damage that leads to heart disease. Dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants (nearly 8 times the number found in strawberries believe it or not).
Other Benefits of Dark Chocolate:
It tastes good
It stimulates endorphin production, which gives a feeling of pleasure
It contains serotonin, which acts as an anti-depressant
It contains theobromine, caffeine and other substances which are stimulants to help get you moving