You are taking a break from the booze but what are you replacing your drink with?
The number 1 mistake during a dry month, week or day is well obvious, having alcohol. No surprise there!
The second biggest mistake is what we substitute the drink for, and for most people that would be for a sweet drink or food as their ‘reward’.
In this case, your sugar content and therefore calories may actually increase unknowingly and contribute to unwanted weight gain or compound a sweet craving that already existed or even worse start one.
There is more at stake here than just the calories. The negative effects of sugar are endless and a separate blog would need to be written just to demonstrate how ridiculous our sugar consumption has got and what it’s doing to us.
A few obvious effects of sugar are;
- extra calories leading to weight gain
- damage to teeth
- contributor to the insulin resistance and diabetes
- blood sugar imbalances (highs and lows)
- it’s a direct inhibitor of our immune system
- disrupts gut health
- it’s inflammatory
- it’s more addictive than cocaine
- and last but not least it makes kids crazy!
Enough harp about sugar (for now), but you get the picture.
If you take up MORE sugar when going DRY JULY you now are beginning to understand why the biggest mistake is substituting the drink for something else sweet.
Having more sugar can happen unknowingly.
Let’s start with the habit scenario of drinking first. This act of drinking ‘just because’ that’s what you do after work, with dinner, a night out with friends, at an event, entertaining clients etc.
In this case, people will switch their usual casual alcohol drink option to another drink such as non-alcoholic cocktail, non-alcoholic beer, ginger beer, or a sophisticated fizzy or craft style soda.
What they don’t know is they actually could be consuming more sugar than if they just stuck to a glass of wine or bottle of beer. That’s not permission to break your DRY JULY by the way! Your motivation to stay dry needs to be beyond just the calories.
Let’s take a look at the sugar and calorie comparison with some popular non-alcoholic drink replacements. You may think again about the alternative drink you choose.
Approximate Sugar/carb content of :
330ml of larger beer =6.30g (154 cal)
250ml glass of Sauvignon Blanc wine=5.08g (203 cal)
250ml glass of orange juice = 25.79g (112 cal)
330ml bottle of lemon lime bitters = 34.7g (149 cal)
330ml bottle of ginger beer = 40g (170 cal)
330ml bottle of Indian Tonic water = 29.4g (122 cal)
330 ml Grapefruit soda naturally brewed =19.5g (84 cal)
Cola soda syrup 30ml added to 200ml water = 10.5g (38 cal)
So what to drink?
Before choosing always check the nutrition label for the sugar content. Thankfully there are some smart savvy products out there offering indulgent drinking experience without alcohol, sweeteners or carbs.
Here’s one that got my attention https://ecologyandco.com/ Be mindful when choosing their cocktail recipes though, and choose to add less of the sugar syrup or have one as your treat and switch to sparkling water with natural fruits for taste.
As for dinning out, the non-alcoholic menu is usually full of high sugar options so ask the barman to make a sugar free one.
Soda stream has regained popularity to make fizzy water. Forget the sugar syrups and just add squeeze of lemon or muddled fruit, add sprigs of mint, infuse with your favourite herbal tea.
Get creative and see what you can make. I’d love to hear your recipes!