How to Have a Healthier Happy Hour

Article posted in: Lifestyle HealthyHowTo
people celebrate. Clink glasses with the drink

Happy Hour is the perfect way to unwind with friends, network with coworkers, and enjoy yourself at the end of a long workday. We here at Nutrisystem think you deserve to be in on the action and want to show you how to do it without derailing your weight loss success. It’s important to abide by your Nutrisystem plan to reach your goals, but we don’t want you to give up your whole social life in your pursuit of weight loss. Plus, the occasional happy hour is a great chance for you to practice your healthy habits in a social setting. So while others get boozy and pig out, stay on the slim-down straight and narrow with this arsenal of tips for having a healthier happy hour:

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What to Drink:
We encourage you to steer clear of the sauce as alcohol tends to be high in calories and devoid of any nutritional value. Imbibing can also lead to dehydration and poor food choices in the moment… and the next day. So order festive alternatives instead, like seltzer with a splash of fruit juice or fruit garnish, and unsweetened iced tea. If you do find yourself reaching for a hard drink, stick to calorie-free mixers (like seltzer) with one shot of liquor or light beer and red or white wine. Avoid blended drinks and sugary cocktails guaranteed to give you a hangover. Always alternate an alcoholic beverage with water for proper hydration and to avoid overindulging.

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What to Eat:
Prepare for the festivities by eating a healthy snack like your Nutrisystem bar or a serving of fruit or nuts before you go to avoid the trappings of an unhealthy appetizer menu. If you do order a bite to eat, stick to non-fried seafood appetizers like shrimp cocktail or mussels. If you are just looking for something to nosh on, try crudité with hummus or yogurt dip, edamame or chicken satay sans the sauce. Opt to share with the group and always drink plenty of water. Avoid fried-anything like french fries and onion rings, nachos piled high and anything smothered in cheese or dripping in sauce. Steer clear of the charcuterie plate and cheese tray but do nibble on the accompanying grapes and apples.

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Enjoy the Ambiance:
When we take the attention off the edibles, we have more capacity to live in the present. So focus on the company, not the food and drink. Soak in your surroundings, enjoy the music and shoot the breeze. Set a distinct end time so that you can head out early before your willpower weakens for a balanced meal at home.

Once home, give yourself a pat on the back and a hearty congratulations—you’ve just mastered the healthy happy hour.