As I've gotten older, I've learned to appreciate to the beauty of happy hour: getting home early enough to have a good night's sleep so I can wake up to be productive the next day. It's also a great way to bring together a random mixture of friends who live in the area and catch up for a few hours after a long week at work. I generally only do this once a week, but I have a lot of clients in their 20s or 30s who have several work happy hours each week, which provides a challenge when trying to keep to a healthy routine.
As a dietitian and a happy hour aficionado, I have learned simple tricks to keep to a healthy lifestyle while still being able to partake in social activities and even, yes, consuming alcohol! Here are my top tips:
The bottom line: Happy hour does not have to be unhealthy if you're armed with good advice and a little willpower. Try to limit your alcohol intake by consuming water with and in between drinks (or even better, don't drink at all!), and try not to eat the unhealthy appetizers your friends may have purchased. Happy hour should be enjoyable and focused around socializing, not drinking a ton of booze and eating greasy foods.
Kelly Strogen, MS, RD, LDN is the owner and registered dietitian at Wayne Nutrition LLC in Wayne, Pa. where she counsels clients on varying health topics (weight loss, vegetarianism, pregnancy, cholesterol lowering, diabetes, sports nutrition, etc.) as well as provides lectures to local corporations, clubs, and sports teams. She writes a blog "Kelly's Pantry" and contributes a monthly recipe to Wayne Living Magazine.