Happy hour doesn't have to mean throwing in the towel when it comes to healthy eating. Arm yourself with these tips so you can enjoy yourself without feeling guilty or overly stuffed.
- Nosh before you go: If you show up feeling full, you won't be tempted to order everything on the menu. Have a little something beforehand whether it be a handful of almonds or a small apple.
- Go after your workout, not in place of it: Even if you are dealing with peer pressure, stand your ground. Tell your friends that you'll meet them afterward, or — even better — get them to join you for that SoulCycle class so you can grab post-workout drinks and apps together.
- Focus on the happy part: Remember why you're there: to spend time with friends or co-workers. Instead of focusing on the drinking and eating, focus on the amazing conversations.
- Bring actual dough: If you run a tab on your card, you'll be more likely to order whatever you want. Having a price limit will keep you more mindful about what you're ordering.
- Share everything: Rather than order your own, make a rule to always split an app with friends.
- Have a dinner plan in place: Make sure you have dinner plans in place, whether it's to meet a friend at another restaurant, or to have a dinner date at home with your SO (or cat). If you know when and where you'll be eating after, you won't mindlessly nosh on french fries.
- Send it back: Some places offer complimentary bowls of nuts, popcorn, nachos and salsa, or bread baskets. Ease temptation by limiting yourself to one round of free apps.
- Alternate drinks: For every alcoholic drink you have, alternate with a glass of water. Even better, have water with your drink, so you don't down a margarita in one gulp.
- Order smartly: Knowing which appetizers and beverages are lower on the calorie line is helpful, too. Light beers obviously, wine, mojitos, and vodka cranberries are just over 100 calories. And for your nibbles, go for veggies and hummus, chicps and salas, or sweet potato fries.