Enjoying a few drinks with friends could be a fun way to socialize and wind down from the day. Whether you’re a beer lover, wine aficionado or love a good cocktail, it’s important to remember that alcoholic beverages have calories too (and lots of ‘em!) You can still enjoy your drink of choice, but if you want to live a healthy lifestyle and don’t want to pack on the pounds, remember that portions count! Here’s a few weird but helpful tips to help you enjoy your booze without the bulge.
1. Glass Shape Impacts Your Portions
Strangely, Angela Attwood at the University of Bristol’s School of Experimental Psychology led a research study showing that the speed at which you consume an alcoholic beverage depends on the shape of the glass you drink it out of. Study participants were asked to drink beer from both curved “beer flutes” and straight-sided glasses. It took people twice as long to finish the beverages held by straight-sided glasses than the beverages held by the curved beer flutes.
A possible explanation could be that, when consuming alcohol from curved glasses, it’s more challenging to determine the halfway point of the glass. Therefore, it’s harder for drinkers to determine the portions they’ve consumed, and they end up drinking more. These findings are worth noting, since larger portions typically come hand in hand with larger calorie counts.
In another experiment conducted on a computer, participants were shown two pictures of two different glasses containing different amounts of liquid. They were asked to determine which glass was more or less than half full. Not surprisingly, people made judgement errors with the curved glass. The shape of your glass can affect your beverage portions, so be mindful of your glass selection in addition to your beverage choice if you’re trying to live a healthy lifestyle.
It’s also worth noting that the shape of the glasses have the same impact on consuming non-alcoholic drinks. If living a healthy lifestyle is important to you, when you want to limit the intake of high calorie beverages, like juice or alcohol, keep these glass shape tips in mind.
2. How to Live a Healthy Lifestyle without Giving Up on Wine
If you’re a wine lover, listen up. A new study, conducted by researchers at Cornell University and Iowa State University, shows that different environmental factors influence how much wine you pour into your glass. Participants were asked to pour themselves a single serving of wine using different glasses. Researchers found that these three factors may have an impact on your wine portion size:
- Width of Your Glass – Study participants poured almost 12% more wine when using a wider glass than standard width glasses.
- The Hold – Participants poured 12% more wine into their glass when it was handheld than when it was resting on the table.
- The Color – Most participants poured about 9% more white wine, a color that’s in low-contrast to the glass, versus red wine, a color that’s in high contrast to the glass.
You should stay mindful of these three factors when watching your weight and trying to live ahealthy lifestyle, and even measure out your serving before you pour. If you have to have a glass of wine and don’t want to pre-measure it, pour yourself a glass of red wine in a standard size glass that is resting on the table.
3. Tips for Controlling Other Food Portions
Controlling your portions is also essential when it comes to food consumption. The average American dinner plate has expanded to match the North American affinity for all things supersized. Unfortunately, weight lines and obesity rates have also swelled.
When living a healthy lifestyle, using small plates and slimmer cups and glasses can help you reduce your food and caloric beverage intake to maintain or lose weight. When using a larger plate or glass, you’re more likely to fill it and consume more calories. If you use a large plate and don’t fill it, you’ll see the empty space and feel like you’re not getting enough food. But if you fill a small plate, you’ll feel like you’re getting your fill without overdoing it!
So go on, toast your friends this season and delight in your favorite fall drinks and dishes. Stay mindful and keep your portions under control.