Alcohol is very much part of our lifestyles. We socialise and celebrate with alcohol. Some find solace in drink. And today we imbibe more alcohol than ever before – and that’s not good for our waistlines. Did you know that a glass of wine has the same number of calories as a piece of cake? And a pint of lager has the same as a burger?
Most of us just don’t know the facts about alcohol. So here’s a few.
The average wine drinker consumes an extra 2,000 calories a month. That’s the equivalent to 184 bags of crisps or 38 roast dinners – nearly 7 pounds of fat over a year. So it’s easy to see that if you don’t do anything about it, in a couple of years you’ve put on a stone of weight just by drinking.
Wine, beer, cider and spirits are made by fermenting and distilling natural starch and sugar. So being high in sugar means that alcohol is high in calories – seven calories per gram, almost as many as pure lard!
We call alcohol ‘empty calories’. That means they don’t have much in the way of nutritional value. In addition alcohol reduces the amount of fat your body burns. Also, when we drink alcohol we often eat fatty snacks as well such as crisps or nuts, and one in five will buy a greasy takeaway afterwards. So, all in all, it’s not surprising that many regular drinkers are overweight and correspondingly suffer from a range of other medical problems.
But we’re not going to easily change people’s attitudes to drinking as it is so well established in our culture. However, here are a few tips that might help you.
1/ Choose a small glass of wine. Once pubs and restaurants did 125ml glasses. Now the 125ml glasses have more or less disappeared and upsized to 250ml glass. Three of those and you’ve drunk a bottle! A bottle of red wine = 644 calories or 14 Jaffa Cakes or a McDonalds’ Cheeseburger and fries!
2/ Don’t miss a meal to spend money on drinking. You’ll probably end up buying salty snacks (which makes you drink more) and a takeaway.
3/ Eat before you leave home. Alcohol can make you feel hungry and lower your willpower. You might end up eating takeaway high calorie ‘beige coloured’ pub food.
4/ Order sugar free low cal mixes. Make your white wine into a spritzer.
5/ Establish a drink limit before you go out. Tell your friends to support you and help you stick to it.
6/ Avoid getting into a ‘drinks round.’
|Wine and Beer||Measure||Calories|
|Wine – White, Red, Rose||Glass 175ml||134|
|Wine – White, Red, Rose||Glass 250ml||191|
|Beer 4% e.g. John Smith, Guinness||Pint||193|
|Lager 5% e.g. Budweiser, Grolsch||Bottle 330ml||138|
|Lager 5% e.g. Carlsberg, Stella Artois||Pint||242|
|Cider 4.5% e.g. Magners, Strongbow||Pint||207|
|Spirits and Liqueurs||Measure||Calories|
|Vodka e.g. Smirnoff||Single 35ml||73|
|Whiskey e.g. Bells||Single 35ml||61|
|Gin e.g. Gordons||Single 35ml||73|
|White Rum e.g. Barcadi||Single 35ml||73|
|Dark Rum e.g. Captain Morgan||Single 35ml||85|
|Brandy e.g. Martell||Single 35ml||61|
|Liqueur e.g. Baileys||Single 50ml||175|
|Alcopops e.g. WKD||Bottle 275ml||174|
|Mixers e.g. Schweppes Slimline||236ml||5|
|Tonic, Slimline Bitter Lemon||236ml||5|
|Diet Lemonade, Slimline Ginger Ale||236ml||5|
|Diet Coke||Can 236ml||1|
|Light Cranberry Juice||236ml||50|
|Light Orange Juice||236ml||50|