Quantcast
Shutterstock

Love Alcohol? Hate The Calories? Read This.

Here's to some guilt-free drinking.

Food & Drink

I have moments when I want to lose 5-7 pounds. Typically, when I come up with a plan to do it, I really only have to cut out one thing. What is it? Juice. I am someone who adores me some fruit juice. Thing is, juice contains quite a bit of sugar which means quite a bit of calories. Shoot, you'd be lucky to find a brand that is less than 110 calories per serving, and if you drink four glasses throughout the day, that's already 440 calories (when we as women basically only need 2,000 calories a day)! See how easily we can get a ton of extra calories into our system, simply by drinking them? Alcohol is no better, chile. Beer is around 150 calories per serving. Liquor is 80. Whiskey is 70. Vodka is 64 calories. Wine isn't bad. It's around 24.

So, what do you do if you really like having a cocktail at the end of the day or a beer while watching a movie or a game and still, you want to make sure that it doesn't show up on your waistline? That's a good question. If you're interested, I've got a few drinking hacks that can help you to enjoy your favorite drink without regretting it a week later.

1. Lay Off of the Cheap Stuff. If You Can.

media.giphy.com

While this first point may cause you to roll your eyes, it's still a valid point. Just think about it. A burger at Mickey D's is way cheaper than one from a higher end restaurant. A part of the reason why is because the quality of meat at the restaurant is way better—and better for you—than one that you can pick up at a drive-thru.

For similar reasons, that's why cheap alcohol isn't really a good look. The more manufactured it is, the higher amounts of sugar and acids it contains. And all of that sugar only leads to more calories. Case in point—a Boone's Farm Strawberry bottle (which is roughly six bucks)? Guess how many calories are in one serving? A whopping 520 calories! Need I say more?

2. Have No More than Two Drinks at a Time

As with just about everything in life, moderation is key. When it comes to alcohol specifically, there are some health professionals who say that 1-2 drinks a day is cool. Eh, you might want to cut even that in half because alcohol can definitely throw off your metabolism and put some stress on your liver over time. And when your metabolism is totally out of wack, that can result in you putting on more weight. So, maybe a half glass a day (at the most) or, if you are a much more moderate drinker (like you only do it on the weekends), only have a couple of drinks at a time. Then make sure to follow my next tip.

3. Chase Your Drinks Down with Water

media.giphy.com

Something else to keep in mind is alcohol is a diuretic. This means that it has the tendency to dehydrate you. And when your body needs more fluids, it can either cause you to feel hungry or mimic symptoms related to hunger like fatigue and lightheadedness. A hack that can help you to get around all of this is to drink a glass of water for every glass of alcohol that you consume. Not only will the water help to flush out your system, it can cause you to feel fuller, so that you don't end up overeating.

4. Eat Before You Drink

Out of all of the suggestions in this article, if there's one thing that you've probably heard before, it's that you should eat before you drink. Back in your college days, you probably did it to avoid getting drunk faster (understood). However, it can also help to keep you from gaining weight because, with food in your body, your blood sugar levels will be more balanced and that can prevent you from craving junk food or wanting to go on some random late night eating binge.

5. Consume Protein More than Anything Else

media.giphy.com

And what kind of foods should you eat before you consume alcohol? It's a good idea to eat protein, if you can. It's a great way to keep your blood sugar levels in check so that you're not wanting to eat everything in sight. Foods that are high in protein include eggs, almonds, poultry, Greek yogurt, pumpkin seeds, fish and lean beef. For the record, some other foods that can balance your blood sugar include broccoli (the sulforaphane in it reduces blood sugar levels), okra (it's got polysaccharides and flavonoid antioxidants that lower blood sugar levels) and raspberries (they've got fiber and antioxidants that can keep your levels in check too).

6. Do a Little “Comparison Drinking”

Sometimes we end up drinking more calories than we ever planned because we have no clue what's in our favorite drinks. Just for the record, mixers are loaded with calories. As you could see from the intro, beer bellies are a real thing because beer has a ton of calories in it as well.

Schnapps has almost 200 calories in a single shot. Cognac is clocking in at a little over 100 calories a shot. Champagne is 95 calories a glass. And, to give you a little perspective on a few other drinks, a piña colada contains the same amount of calories as a donut and a frozen margarita has the same amount of calories as a cheeseburger.

Something that I oftentimes say is "Google is your friend." So yeah, taking a little time to seek out how many calories are in your favorite drink before making it or ordering it can never hurt you in the long run.

7. Let Up on Sweet Wine

media.giphy.com

Since I've seen enough of the comments on this site to know that our readers are big time red wine consumers, I want to stress something about sweet wines. For one thing, the caloric intake of them typically equals out to being the same thing as having a slice of cake (who knew, right?). Not only that but when you opt for a sweet wine rather than a drier one, it's got a lot more sugar in it and offers a significantly lower amount of health benefits. So yeah, push back that bottle a little more if it happens to be your thing.

8. Have One You Really Want Rather than a Few You Kinda Like

There are a few health benefits that come from drinking certain kinds of alcoholic beverages (check out "Liquors That Are Gluten-Free (& Beneficial In Other Ways)"). Still, let's be real. Most of us drink alcohol for the taste and/or how it makes us feel. That's why it really is best to order up a cocktail that you know you're gonna really enjoy instead of settling for something lighter in calories and less satisfying, only to end up having 2-3 of those, thinking that you're better off going that route when all you're doing is drinking more calories.

9. Don’t Drink Yourself to Sleep

media.giphy.com

A glass of wine before bed may help you to feel more relaxed. However, it doesn't actually give you the kind of quality sleep that you might think that it does. For one thing, alcohol has a way of throwing your REM sleep off. And when it comes to packing on the pounds, since the alcohol tends to raise blood sugar levels in your system, it can actually cause you to wake up in the middle of the night and hit your fridge in order to balance your levels out a bit. So go with some herbal tea and honey or warm almond or oat milk instead. There will be less calories and you'll be able to sleep more soundly.

10. Exercise

There really is no way around it, sis. Eating right and exercise is the strongest combo when it comes to keeping your body tight and right—especially if you enjoy drinking alcohol on a regular basis. If your tummy area is your biggest area of concern, cardio along with some sit-ups and crunches, for 30-45 minutes, 2-3 times a week, will help to burn belly fat and strengthen your core. That way, you can have your alcohol with less weight-related concerns. Enjoy!

Are you a member of our insiders squad? Join us in the xoTribe Members Community today!

Featured image by Shutterstock

You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.

Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

To be or not to be, that’s the big question regarding relationships these days – and whether or not to remain monogamous. Especially as we walk into this new awakening of what it means to be in an ethically or consensual nonmonogamous relationship. By no means are the concepts of nonmonogamy new, so when I say 'new awakening,' I simply mean in a “what comes around, goes around” way, people are realizing that the options are limitless. And, based on our personal needs in relationships they can, in fact, be customized to meet those needs.

Keep reading...Show less

Lizzo has never been the one to shy away from being her authentic self whether anyone likes it or not. But at the end of the day, she is human. The “Juice” singer has faced a lot of pushback for her body positivity social media posts but in the same vein has been celebrated for it. Like her social media posts, her music is also often related to women’s empowerment and honoring the inner bad bitch.

Keep reading...Show less

I think we all know what it feels like to have our favorite sex toy fail us in one way or another, particularly the conundrum of having it die mid-use. But even then, there has never been a part of me that considered using random objects around my house. Instinctively, I was aware that stimulating my coochie with a makeshift dildo would not be the answer to my problem. But, instead, further exacerbate an already frustrating situation…making it…uncomfortable, to say the least.

Keep reading...Show less

Gabourey Sidibe is in the midst of wedding planning after her beau Brandon Frankel popped the question in 2020. The Empire actress made the exciting announcement on Instagram in November 2020 and now she is spilling the deets to Brides magazine about her upcoming wedding. "It cannot be a traditional wedding. Really, it can't be. I don't want anything done the 'traditional' way," she said. "Our relationship is very much on our terms and I want it to be fun, like a true party."

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews
Latest Posts