After a long day at work, is there anything better than happy hour? Sometimes the best way to de-stress is with a frozen margarita, a healthy serving of guac, and good conversation. And if friends, snacks, and cocktails are involved, you can count us in!
Unfortunately, if you don’t practice moderation, your favorite after-work activity can work against your health goals. But don’t panic – whether you’re watching your weight, or just working on your fitness, there are ways to make your happy hour a little healthier! Now you hit the bar without worrying about your diet. A carefree cocktail hour? Sounds good to us.
Walk It Out
If you’re headed to the bar right after the office, you might have to sacrifice a post-work gym session. So before you jump in an Uber, ask a co-worker if they’ll walk with you instead! By walking to the bar, you’ll be able to get a little exercise in before the fun begins. Besides, after sitting at a desk all day, the walk will feel great!
One way to make sure you’re not overdoing it during happy hour is to make smart drink choices. It’s okay to indulge on a fun cocktail once and awhile, but having multiple sugary drinks every week isn’t the healthiest habit. Fight the temptation to indulge on super sweet concoctions, and opt for relatively low-calorie spirits like vodka, gin, and whisky instead. Mix them with diet soda, light tonic, or fresh fruit juice for a guilt-free treat. If you’re more of a beer person, swap out heavy IPAs for light beers to cut your calories down.
Don’t Go Hungry
Although no happy hour is complete without a snack or two, it’s easy to overeat when drinking is involved. You might think skipping lunch is the best way to compensate for the evening’s calories, but if you feel starving after work, you’re much more likely to binge on wings and fries. Make sure you fill your workday with healthy, nourishing foods so you’re not ravenous when you get to the bar. That way, you’ll be able to make healthier choices and eat smaller portions!
Alcohol is dehydrating, so if you’re not drinking water, your happy hour could easily lead to a hangover. Alternate your boozy beverages with glasses of water to keep your body well hydrated all night long! Drinking water will also help you pace yourself with the alcohol, and fill up faster so you don’t over-snack.
Switch It Up
Keep happy hour healthy by taking the reigns when it comes to planning! Instead of grabbing beer and tacos at the same bar every week, suggest new spots with healthier options! Or try a completely new take on happy hour – instead of getting straight to the drinking, incorporate other activities into your night! Go for a walk and drinks in the park, or meet up at a bowling alley to add some physical activity to your evening. You could also consider hosting cocktail hour at your house so you can whip up healthy drinks and snacks yourself.