NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - The entire purpose of carnival is to indulge so much that by the time Lent rolls around, you can skip the alcohol and indulgences for 40 days and 40 nights.
Consuming mass amounts of calories for an entire month isn't great for your body, so here are some hacks that are purple, green, and good for you!
- Drink extra light beer instead of daiquiris. Light beers such as Bud Light, Coors light, and Michelob Ultra have about 100 calories. Beck's has only 64 calories. One daiquiri has 1,200-1,600 calories depending on size. That's more than a dozen light beers! And you can burn off one light beer by jumping for throws for 20 minutes. Easy!
- Order blackened chicken instead of fried. Fried chicken is a popular item to eat during Mardi Gras, but you can still enjoy delicious Popeye's by substituting the blackened chicken on their menu for fried chicken. Ounce for ounce, blackened chicken from Popeye's has the same amount of calories, carbs, and fat as a boneless, skinless chicken breast.
- When it comes to king cake, we're all weak. But you can still indulge, simply control your portions. A size about the width of a quarter has about 100 calories. To burn that off, you have to run 1 mile. So take the scenic route on St. Charles, and briskly walk to your parade spot instead of driving.
- Bring your own snacks to the parade route. Instead of funnel cakes, sausages, and other unhealthy snacks street vendors sell, pack something filled with protein. Items such as string cheese, beef jerky, and protein bars low in sugar are great options for parade ready meals.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! The more water you drink the less hungry you'll be, and the less terrible you'll feel after all those light beers!
The key, according to nutritionist Molly Kimball, is to still take part in all of the festivities, but just swap out some items for healthier choices.