Does living healthy mean giving up alcohol and/or caffeine? Well, it depends on your individual goals. Excessive intake of either is not beneficial, especially while you're focused on losing weight.
Alcohol is empty calories. Many people abstain from drinking alcohol during the early part of their fitness journey, while some just cut back.
Tracking your alcohol intake will help you practice moderation and understand how booze affects your caloric intake and daily nutrition. (Spoiler alert — portion size plays a major factor.) Everybody is different, so you know best what works for you.
Drinking is often a social activity. We don't want you to miss out on good times with friends, family and colleagues; we want to help you make smarter choices that will fit into your fitness program. Knowing what's really in those cocktails can help you decide if it's worth it.
Here are some helpful guidelines:
1. Avoid cocktails with fruit juice, liqueurs or cream; they just add calories, carbs and fat
2. Be mindful of added sugar or sugary mixers (sour mix, simple syrup, grenadine)
3. Steer clear of slushy or blended drinks; instead, opt for a mixed drink over crushed ice
4. Many beers are 200 to 400 calories per serving; try a low-calorie light beer as an option
While coffee is very low in calories, it's what you put in your java that can really add up. Creamers, sugar and flavoring agents equal empty calories. Try using milk (or a milk substitute) and cutting out the sugar completely.
For safe and moderate intake, don't exceed 200 to 300 milligrams of caffeine a day. Try to cut back or eliminate sodas and energy drinks as sources for your buzz. The added sugar and empty calories will not help your weight loss.
If you're going to include alcohol and caffeine, be smart and steer clear of drinks bound to sabotage your progress. Drink smart and stay on track!
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How to Lose MORE Weight With an App!
Documenting your food and activity might seem like overkill, but it’s not. People who track their calories and physical activities enjoy greater success losing weight and keeping it off for good!
Tracking everything honestly is essential to making the 30-Day Slim Down Challenge work for you. Sometimes you’re not even aware of everything you consume, but once you start tracking it you’ll think twice before you make poor choices. And that’s a good thing.
- Daily meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and snacks
- Exercise and activity
- BMI (Body Mass Index)
Read More on Alcohol and Caffeine's Impact on Your Body:
Readers — Are you joining us in the 30-Day Slim Down Challenge? If so, what is your weight-loss goal? Have you ever done a weight loss fitness challenge group before? How did it go for you? Have you joined our LIVESTRONG.COM 30-Day Slim Down Group on Facebook? Leave a comment below and let us know.