I find as the weather gets warmer, I want to take advantage of every opportunity to be outside. My husband and I live right downtown and we are literally surrounded by juicy patios. However, with patios comes drinks and with drinks comes extra calories. And of course with warmer weather, comes wearing less clothes; cruel isn’t it?
Usually I try not to have drinks during the week or at least limit it to 1 or 2 weeknights. Alcohol is a chemical, which is toxic to your body, affects your sleep and is liquid calories. But I find having a cold beer or glass of white wine on a sunny patio is totally justifiable! We are cooped up all winter, and if I want a cold beer while sitting in the sun after a long day I’m going to do it. That being said, it’s wise to take into account the extra calories that you’re consuming.
When it comes to weight management, I really like the Weight Watchers philosophy, and you don’t have to sign up for the program to adopt it (sorry Weight Watchers). You can do it yourself! There are online calculators, which will help you figure out how many calories you should be consuming every day to either lose or maintain your weight (depends on your current weight, height & activity level). When you have a good idea of how many calories you should be consuming every day, and you’re aware of the calorie content of common food; you can lose or manage weight.
When it comes down to it, losing or maintaining your weight is just math. The fewer calories you consume the more weight you will lose. For example, to lose 1 pound a week, you have to cut out 500 calories per day. If you cut out 300 calories from food everyday (ex. swap out that bagel at lunch for a salad) and run on the treadmill in the morning for 20 minutes, voila! That’s 500 calories right there! For some, keeping a food journal helps them keep track and also keeps them accountable. All of a sudden the nibbling you do while cooking has calories attached to it, and it starts to make a difference in your mind and on your waistline. Another easy way to keep track is to use the Weight Watcher’s point system. For example, 1 point = about 50 calories, which makes it easier to do the math in your head. Instead of a bagel being 300 calories, it’s 6 points.
With the patio season just beginning, and the cold beer flowing, keep in mind that most alcoholic drinks are about 150 – 200 calories each. If you’re planning to have a drink after work, cut out something of the same calorie value during the day to stay on track. For example, if you usually have juice with your lunch, swap it for water instead. Or, say no to cheese on your sandwich. All of a sudden you have 150 calories to play with for something else later in the day. I’m not suggesting that you swap out nutritious food for booze, but most people enjoy a cold drink on a patio in the summer so I just want you to remember that those calories still count.
Happy Patio Hunting!