There’s nothing we despise more about the New Year than the three D’s: diets, detox, and drink-free nights. Rather than committing to such restrictive resolutions that we know we’re bound to break, we’ve created a list of seven New Year’s drinking resolutions that you’ll actually be able to keep. Yes, we mean it. This year, we’re looking for balance over restriction to maintain healthy habits. Choose one (or a few!) of our following tips to start your year out on the right track — and stay on said track for more than 48 hours.
Commit to Lighter Beverages
This might seem obvious, but making small choices in beverage decisions can make a world of a difference. Beers are generally calorically dense, and given their low alcohol content compared with wine and spirits, we tend to drink more than one. Stick with sparkling wine, liquor on the rocks, or well drinks with diet mixers to maintain a lower calorie count at the bar.
Commit to Substitutions, Not Exclusions
Finding substitutions for our favorite calorically dense beverages is a great way to avoid unnecessary calories. That said, we understand that sometimes you simply want what you want and that’s that. If the craving strikes, order the beer that you love or cocktail you can’t live without, but set a hard limit on consuming only one. Should you wish to hang around happy hour longer, substitute the drinks that you love so much with something a little less calorically damaging, like one of the suggestions above.
Commit to Reasonable Exercise to Combat Calories
Almost all of us commit to creating regular exercise regimens at the start of the new year. The problem is, we set astronomically high standards for ourselves. We commit to working out seven days a week for three hours at a time, and when that (obviously) fails to happen, we find disappointment very easily. This year, create a reasonable exercise regimen that you know you can stick to. Start with incorporating two or three days of moderate exercise into your weekly routine and build on that. Little victories lead to long-term success.
Commit to One Day a Week of Not Tracking Drinks
As we said, we’re looking to find a happy medium here, and what fun is life without a little letting loose? Choose one night a week where you consume what you want guilt-free. While we definitely aren’t advocating binge-drinking, throwing back two or three drinks on a weekend is certainly nothing to feel bad about. And to make up for it…
Commit to One Dry Day Per Week
While we also don’t condone restriction, committing to one dry day per week is a small sacrifice to make for your long-term goals. Allowing yourself one night a week to let loose should make this resolution a little more easy to keep.
Commit to One New Weekly Physical Activity
And on that note, take said potential dry day and use it to complete this resolution. Find a new weekly physical activity, be it joining a softball league or a Zumba class, and use your allotted happy-hour time for your new activity. When abstaining from something you love like your nightly glass of wine, positive distractions are key.
Commit to Understanding Servings and Portion Sizes
While it’s common knowledge that our food portion sizes are out of control in this country, the same actually goes for our alcohol portions as well. Did you know that an actual serving of wine is only five ounces? When you fill that wine glass — most of which are 10 to 12 ounces — to the brim, you could be consuming over two times the recommended portion size. By knowing appropriate portion sizes (one and a half ounces for liquor, five ounces for wine, and 12 ounces for beer), you’ll be able to keep your resolutions — and your waistline! — better in check.
Cheers to a happy and healthy new year!