28 February 2008
The UK loves a drink. Alcohol is in our culture and it’s in our blood. Literally.
It has benefits and it has drawbacks. Most people know that alcohol has a big impact on their waistline but would rather give up the cream cakes rather than cut down on the booze because they dont quite appreciate just how calorific drinking alcohol can be. Take a look at these sobering figures.
The number of calories in different drinks varies but let’s say for the sake of argument that 1 glass of wine = 100 calories. If you follow the government’s recommended guidelines on alcohol consumption, you could rack up between 1400 and 2100 calories over the week in wine alone. And let’s face it, there are lots of people who regularly exceed the government guidelines. I’ve known people who could drink that amount in one sitting.
So for many people, that's the equivalent of a whole day's worth of calories which means that you are consuming 8 days worth of calories in 7 days. And you wonder why the weight doesn't shift?
This sounds all very anti-alcohol and doom and gloom but that's not the intention. If you are seriously trying to lose some weight and do drink everyday, you're making it all the harder to succeed in your goal. If you think that alcohol is adding weight to your weekly calorie intake, here are the simplest, tried and tested ways to cut back on your intake.
1. Don’t drink every day. Drinking alcohol is an easy habit to fall into. It becomes associated with relaxing and before long the two are inseparable.
2. Make sure you have methods of relaxation that don’t involve alcohol. Exercise, team sports and hobbies like music and dance are obvious choices.
3. Have a favourite non-alcoholic drink and prepare it with as much ceremony as you would your favourite glass of wine. You should choose a favourite non-alcoholic drink for the home environment and one for social occasions so you never hesitate to request these on those occasions when people ask what you’d like and you’ve decided that you’re not drinking alcohol that day.
4. Select the days on which you won’t drink in advance. Enjoy them and enjoy the alcohol you have on the other days. Know the cut off point between alcohol that you enjoy and alcohol that you’re just knocking back out of habit. Just because some is good, doesn’t mean that more is better. Set the limits that work for you.
Start saving calories immediately by deciding now when your next alcohol free / reduced calorie day will be.
Some more tips on sensible drinking and alternative choices can be found here.