A tip on your tipple

November tends to signal the season countdown to be merry and full of cheer, and we all know what that entails. From office parties to family get-togethers, most events in the run up to the holiday period are overflowing with more than one type of pre Christmas spirit, not to mention Christmas beer and wine. While there are safety issues surrounding drinking at Christmas and in the lead up to it - leave your car keys at home - there are other facts about alcohol that may be news to you.

Safe levels for men

There’s little risk if you drink between 3-4 units a day but drinking more regularly will lead to health problems in the long term.

Safe levels for women

It’s safe to drink 2-3 units each day but regularly drinking more than that can be harmful over time.

MeasureAlcohol Units
½ pint of beer, lager or cider1
A small glass of wine (125ml)11/2
A measure of spirits1

The figures on your figure

If you are concerned about gaining weight in the run up to Christmas (and aren’t we all to some degree), it’s worth remembering that alcohol is pretty high in calories. Each gram of alcohol provides you with 7 calories. That’s half way between fat (9 calories per gram) and carbohydrate and protein (4 calories per gram). Your body will preferentially burn the alcohol because it’s a toxin. This means that the calories you get from the carbs, fat and protein that you eat, and that your body would normal burn for energy, will be stored as fat. This, coupled with the fact that we commonly have drinks on top of what we normally eat, means that they are providing extra calories as well.

An average pint of beer provides 150 – 200 calories

A small glass of wine will give you 100-110 calories

A measure of spirits will give you 70-80 calories

A mixer will give you around 50 calories

Downing your drink?

It’s not all doom and gloom, however. You can still enjoy your pre Christmas drinks by keeping a few simple tips in mind:

· Mix your white wine with soda to make spritzers, a lot more refreshing and tasty too.
· Keep a pint of water in front of you during the evening, this will help slow down the pace of your drinking.
· Try to use a diet mixer if you drink spirits, and dilute your drink well.

Salud, sante, slainte, prost? You’ll probably spend a lot of time toasting your health over the holidays…just don’t forget to take care of it too.

Start a diet plan at tescodiets.com

Thanks to tescodiets.com who have provided this article.