happy hour

5 Tips to a Healthy Happy Hour

Happy Hour can be tons of fun and a great way to mingle with friends and co-workers, but it can also go quickly from innocent fun to “What did I just do?”. Following some simple tips can help you stay in control and feel good about your food and drink choices so that you don’t wake up with regret (and a headache)!

Here are 5 tips to a healthy happy hour.

1.) Plan ahead

Having a game plan can definitely prevent a downward spiral. Plan for balanced and consistent meals and snacks throughout the day, so you don’t show up to happy hour hungry (which means higher likelihood of impulsive/unhealthy decisions). The next step? Scope out healthy menu options ahead of time.


2.) Alternate alcoholic drinks with (hint) water

Alcohol is dehydrating, and on top of that, the more you drink, the lower your inhibitions and the more likely you are to indulge. Stay well-hydrated, prevent a hangover, and slow down your pace by drinking a tall glass of water between every cocktail. My favorite plan–packing a couple bottles of hint water or hint fizz in my bag to sip at the bar or restaurant.


3.) Mix wisely

Most cocktails are made with high-sugar, high-calorie mixers, like tonic, fruit juices, sodas, and margarita/daiquiri mixes. Instead, drink (light) beer, wine, or liquor – on the rocks or mixed with club soda (or hint fizz!).


4.) Sip slowly

The faster you drink, the more alcohol you consume, the higher the tab, and less likely you are to stay in control. Choose a drink that you can sip slowly, and focus your attention on socializing, schmoozing or playing games.


5.) Snack smart

Happy hour usually takes place smack dab in the middle of dinner time, which makes you more likely to be tempted by less than healthy bar snacks. Steer clear of the wings, mozzarella sticks and nachos by opting for shrimp cocktail, chicken skewers, olives, fruit/cheese/nuts or crudités (ie. carrots, celery, bell peppers) with salsa or guacamole.

We’d love to hear from you? If you enjoy an occasional adult beverage, how do you keep it healthy??


shanaShana Maleeff, MA, RD, CDN is a Rise Coach and Registered Dietitian,  living and loving life in New York City. She received a BS in Nutrition from Penn State University and an MA in Nutrition Education from Immaculata University in PA. She coaches clients on nutrition, fitness, weight management, disease prevention, and lifestyle modification to help them actualize their best selves. In addition, she teaches group fitness classes at Crunch Fitness, writes as the expert nutrition columnist for military.com, and is frequently quoted in top wellness publications,  like SELF and Cosmopolitan. Want to work with Shana or another Rise coach like her? Get started at https://rise.us/r/SHANAMALEEFF 

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