Is Alcohol Preventing You From Losing Weight?

Many people are mystified as to why they aren’t losing weight when they cut down their calorie intake. Often the answer lies within alcohol and that weekend binge. There are far more calories in alcohol than people know and that’s not to mention the snacks that come along with the trip to the pub.

Did you know that just one standard glass of wine contains as many calories as a piece of chocolate? A pint of lager has the same calories as a packet of crisps, too.

On average, someone who drinks wine will take in around 2,000kcal from alcohol alone every month. Scarily, drinking five pints of lager a week can add up to 44,200kcal a year which is the equivalent of eating 221 doughnuts.

As if the calories in alcohol weren’t enough, most drinkers will add to their calorie intake by having pub snacks like crisps, nuts and pork scratchings. And then there is the unhealthy English breakfast to help cope with the hangover the next day. Reaching for a fry-up instead of a healthy bowl of cereal can add an extra 450kcal to your calorie count from the night before.

Drinking more than the NHS recommends will have a noticeable impact on your waistline but it can also cause more serious health problems too.

Most people would feel ill thinking about consuming a full glass of single cream but will happily consume twp pints of lager, despite the fact that the two are similar in calories. Over time, the consumption of alcohol can contribute to weight gain.

All of our favourite drinks, beer, wine, cider and spirits, are made from natural starch and sugar.

Tips to avoid weight gain

• Stick to your daily recommended units – for men, this means now more than 3-4 units a day whilst for women, no more than 2-3 units should be consumed. A pint of lager and a 250ml glass of wine both count as 3 units of alcohol.
• When drinking, stop yourself from becoming dehydrated by alternating alcohol beverages with water.
• Never drink on an empty stomach. If you are tempted to snack whilst out, choose a sandwich instead of crisps and a chicken burger without mayonnaise instead of a kebab.
• Opt out of rounds – it can often mean you drinking more than you first intended.
• Eat healthily prior to a night out. Cook before you drink so to not be tempted to choose the unhealthy option.
• Take small sips to help pace yourself.
• Don’t ‘save up’ your units and splurge at the weekend

Calories in Alcohol
A 175ml glass of wine contains 126 calories. The equivalent of a Cadbury Heroes miniature bar.
A pint of 5% beer contains 170 calories. The equivalent of a packet of McCoys crisps.
A 330ml bottle of 5% alcopop contains 237 calories. The equivalent of 3 teacakes.

Photo Credit: Robin Geschonneck CC