I recently conducted a survey, thank you to all who replied.
One of the biggest struggles that came back was dealing with alcohol and social events.
I talked last week about being mindful when eating and drinking socially and this can be a real game changer.
Be present, be truly in the moment, enjoy spending time with your friends or family.
Don’t link your enjoyment of the event with over eating or drinking.
However, depending on your goal, there are definitely better or worse decisions you can make.
If you are maintaining your body weight then the odd social event should not throw you off balance.
You will naturally eat less for the following few days and all will be well.
If your goal is weight loss then you will need to consider the calories in the food and drink.
You could try banking calories in the days leading up to the event but you still need to be careful not to overeat on the day itself.
Sometimes we can be so strict in the run up to an event that we go mad and eat way beyond what we have saved up for.
Another option is to save calories after the event and this method can work better for some of us.
Then we come on to alcohol.
There are two potential headaches with this, one is the calories in the drink and the other is the side effects.
A clear spirit and a diet mixer is the lowest calorie option with beer and wine being much higher;
- 175ml glass of 12% wine is 133kcal = 3 Jaffa Cake biscuits
- Pint of 5% strength beer is 239kcal = 1 standard size Mars Bar
- 50ml glass of 17% cream liqueur is 153kcal = 1 standard size Wagon Wheel
- Standard 330ml bottle of 4% alcopop is 172kcal = 2 chocolate digestive biscuits
- Double measure (50ml) of 17.5% fortified wine is 77 kcal = 10 jelly babies
- Double measure (50ml) of 40% gin is 95kcal = 1 standard size Milky Bar
The drink aware website linked below will take you to a calculator to work out calories in drinks.
It also shows the units of alcohol, the calories, how many cheeseburgers this equates to and how much running would be needed to burn the calories!!
For example, 4 pints of beer is 728 calories, 2.4 cheeseburgers and 72.8 minutes running.
The other issue is that drinking makes us want to eat more and lessens our self control.
It gives us hangovers that come with cravings for greasy, salty, fatty food.
It affects our recovery, our sleep and our metabolising of nutrients.
The body cannot store alcohol so it has to metabolise it first.
This means that excess calories from fat and carbs will be stored as fat.
The body does not like storing carbs as fat, it prefers to store them as glycogen and use them for energy.
Fat is very quickly and easily stored as body fat.
So, if you know you are going to be having a lot of alcoholic drink, eat as low fat as possible.
Keep your protein and your vegetables up and you can minimise any body fat spill over.
For the sake of your overall health and your weight loss goals, try and keep serious ‘sessions’ to very occasional events.