"Diets" and being social seem to sometimes be the antithesis of each other. How are you supposed to go out with friends and be uninhibited while constantly being inhibited by your food and drink choices? While drinking and eating out aren’t the best thing you can do while trying to lose weight and tone up, sitting at home alone counting calories isn’t either. We need to find a healthy mix of the two, but how in the world do we do that?

This Greatist article really struck a chord with me, and I think it resonates with all of us. Over the last 10 days of the #skinnyjeanslimdown, I’ve heard a lot of "Can I go out and not drink?" "How am I supposed to go to a tailgate and not drink?" "People will think I’m so weird if I’m not drinking…" and as you can see from that article, that’s all wrong. As much as you think they do, other people just don’t care what you’re doing or why. Your friends may care, as they want to make sure you’re doing okay, but any supportive friend will say okay and help, and unsupportive friend is jealous, and someone you don’t need in your life. #realtalk
I genuinely enjoy going out for cocktails with friends and it is a regular part of my social life. On any given weekend, you’ll find me at a bar, but it’s not until 2am and it’s getting loaded. Having 2 cocktails on Friday and Saturday night is OKAY, you just have to choose wisely. We talked a little in the last blog post on some cocktails to choose from, but here’s how to have a social life and stay on track.
1. Workout on the weekend: "Burn it off BEFORE you consume it." I say this all the time and this is why. I know that I’m not going to be perfect on the weekends because, well, stuff happens, but I know that if I burn that 650 calories at barre fusion, maybe the impact of my bad decisions won’t effect me as much. Put in the extra calorie burn to add more calories to your food bank, it’s that simple.

2. Change your drink mixer: We love to mix with tonic water, fruit juices, cocktail mixers, sodas, and whatever specialty cocktail mix your local bar has made. If you’re drinking your alcohols with these, you’re asking for a hangover the next day, as the sugar overload makes the body work twice as hard to remove the extra toxins from it. Change your mixer to water, club soda, sparkling soda (La Croix), organic pressed juices (Veda Juice Pineapple Carrot Start Me Up or dTox Pineapple Water), and avoid sodas and those specialty bar cocktails at all costs.
**Pro Tip: Bring your own flavor! Will you look weird at a bar pulling out a sachet of Crystal Light or a SkinnyGirl flavor pod? Maybe, but will everyone want some? Yes.
3. Beer: I don’t drink a lot of beer, so I don’t have much to say on this other than if you can stomach the light beers, drink them instead. Beers pack a lot of carbs, starch and sugars; everything we are trying to avoid, especially late night. If you can’t stomach to be the "light beer girl", limit yourself to 1 beer. Beer will stall your weight loss far faster than a cocktail.
4. Choose Red Wine: Red wine can be good for you in small doses. 1-2 glasses of red wine with dinner is a great choice as it’s lower calorie and lower sugar. More than that, you’re entering that sugar overload again, and facing a terrible hangover and a wine belly the next day.

5. Don’t Get Drunk: We’ve all had one too many, sometimes 5 too many, and we’re also old enough to know that we can’t fight that hangover and we can’t control ourselves when we get to that level. It’s only when we have a few too many do we hit the McDonald’s drive thru "because it’s going to soak up the alcohol" and wake up feeling embarassed, hungover, and really, really grossly fat. A night like that is going to take a FULL WEEK to burn off. Getting drunk on 5 or 6 cocktails is going to be around 1000 calories, those late night snacks are totaling 2000-3000 calories, and the "hangover cure" breakfast is going to cost you another 1500-2000 calories. On the low end of that scale, you’re at 4500 calories for ONE NIGHT of boozing. 3600 calories is equal to 1 lb, so that night you gained 1.5lbs. Was it worth it? Sometimes, yes. 99% of the time, no. Making a graceful exit after a few cocktails is always better than a sloppy exit after a few too many.