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Losing Weight and Alcohol

 

How many of us know that alcoholic drinks are loaded with hidden calories? For example, did you know that a medium glass of red wine contains 120 calories, or that polishing off the whole bottle is roughly the same as eating a McDonalds Quarter Pounder with cheese? There’s no point making the right food choices if you undo all your hard work at the bar.

Thankfully, there are lots of simple things you can do to cut down your alcohol calorie intake. You don’t need to make big changes like going ‘cold turkey’ and cutting it out altogether – just a few small steps can make a real difference.

Get wise to alcohol calories

Alcohol has almost as many calories as pure fat – 1g of fat provides 9 calories and 1g of alcohol provides 7 calories. Alcohol’s empty calories have no real nutritional value and can also weaken your willpower to avoid high fat snacks like potato chips, chocolate and salted nuts.

Don’t overdo it

Why not save your alcoholic treats for a night out with friends. Cut down on the number of drinks you consume by swapping strong beers or wines for ones with a lower strength. If you like your spirits, it might be worthwhile investing in a home measurer, to help keep tabs on how much you are drinking.

It all adds up

You will be surprised how quickly the calories from a couple of alcoholic drinks adds up. Decide if you would rather to use your calories for a special treat each week on a glass or two of wine or another option.

Be bold

Stick a note on the wine or beer bottle that points out just how many calories are in every glass. It will give you the opportunity to think twice before you drink!

Use a tall glass

Evidence suggests that if you use a tall, narrow glass you will pour yourself 28% less liquor than if you use a short, wide tumbler. That’s quite a few calorie savings to be had, considering that a 50ml serving of liquor contains between 100-170 calories.

Keep hydrated

Alternate alcoholic drinks with diet soft drinks, a glass of soda water with a spritz of lemon or lime juice or glasses of water with a slice of lemon to limit your alcohol intake – you’ll also keep yourself hydrated and avoid the dreaded hangover!

Healthy swaps

If you cannot resist a pre-dinner gin and tonic, a glass of wine with your evening meal or champagne at a celebration, then get into the habit of thinking about healthy swaps:

  • Choose slimline or diet versions of mixers
  • Avoid creamy cocktails. Go for a Vodka Martini or a Bloody Mary instead
  • Watch the sweet stuff. A medium glass (175ml) of dry white wine or red wine is about 120-130 calories, whereas a sweet desert wine is about 165 calories
  • Make your drinks last longer by adding soda water. Alternatively, fill up your glass with plenty of ice instead of mixer to decrease the amount of calories you’re consuming

To read more information about calories in alcohol and useful advice on cutting down visit:

Drinkaware website: www.drinkaware.co.uk | NHS choices

 

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