I love a good happy hour. Even if I already have plans and someone asks, “Wanna go to happy hour?”, I’m in. The best part about it is that it’s usually early and there are delicious snacks and cold thirst-quenching drinks. So, this week, Carly is going to give us some tips on how we can avoid overindulging and enjoy our happy hour to the fullest, while also making healthier decisions.
It’s 5:00 somewhere and I am hungry. What do you have for happy hour? Do you have happy hour, or go straight to dinner? My husband and I have an extended happy hour daily, this just means we are grazing on different snacks while we wait for our daughter to go to bed and then we enjoy our meal together. Depending on the day, we may have veggies and hummus, fresh mozz and tomato, cheese and crackers, etc.
So…. What should you have for happy hour? What should you stay away from?
Look… as a Registered Dietitian, I am NEVER going to tell you to give up a food OR drink. But, if you have a goal such as eating healthy or losing weight here are a few guidelines that I can give you for choosing a healthier happy hour snack when dining out.
- Consider What You Want For an Entrée: If you want something super creamy/cheesy/fatty, try to go lighter on your app. Mostly so you don’t ruin your appetite for this meal you are craving. Have the meal, enjoy it, and move on.
- Choose Veggies: A small salad with some delicious toppings?? Win. A Veggie plate with an interesting dip?? Win. Roasted Veggies with some melted cheese or something?? Win. Veggies are low in calories and high in fiber, a great way to start a meal!
- Soups: A broth based soup or a pureed veg soup is another great option for the same reasonings as above.
- Salsas: My favorite Mexican Restaurant has a DELICIOUS free salsa and chip app. You can tell it is homemade. Salsas follow the veggie guideline and come in many flavors!
- Individual Portion Size: Ask a friend to split something that you want to indulge in such as a Bavarian pretzel dish with Beer cheese. Ask the waiter how many pretzels come in an order and divide by 2! Enjoy it without ruining your appetite for your meal.
- Beverages: I opt for a mocktail with happy hour so I can enjoy an actual cocktail with dinner. It helps me to keep my cocktail count to 1-2/night instead of 3-4. (My favorite: is plain seltzer + 100% cranberry juice + fresh lime)
Eating at home?
Some tried and true evening snacks that you probably have in your house:
- Cut veggies and yogurt based dip
- Whole wheat crackers and sharp cheese
- Hummus with naan
Interested in working with me 1:1 to help you with nutrition decisions? I am accepting 2 more clients to start this month. Message me on Instagram: @healthanchor.nutrition for pricing and programs.