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You may just be sabotaging your health and fitness goals with alcohol and its calorie content

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Alcohol and its calorie content

There is nothing wrong with having the occasional tipple, but drinking too much can cause problems. Alcohol is high in calories and so can make you put on weight. It’s also a toxin, so heavy drinking over a long period of time can result in liver damage.

Drinking too much also increases the risk of high blood pressure (hypertension), which is linked to coronary heart disease. And it’s a diuretic, which means it makes the body lose more water than usual. So when you drink alcohol, you need to have more non-alcoholic drinks that aren’t diuretics, otherwise it’s easy to get dehydrated.”

Did you know? If you go out for the evening and you have a bottle of beer (550ml) at 8pm before leaving the house. During the evening you have six pints of beer. You now go clubbing and have five pub measures of vodka. You would have consumed 1500kcal and would take until approx 6pm the next day to clear from your system.

The calorific content of alcohol (approximate)

• 1 pint of lager – 166Kcal

• 1 pint of beer – 184Kcal

• glass of red wine – 85Kcal

• glass of white wine – 83Kcal

• Measure of spirits – 56Kcal

Tips for cutting down

If you want to try to cut down on the amount of alcohol you are drinking, here are some practical tips:

1. always try to eat before you start drinking – eat before you go out for the evening or have a meal while you are out

2. try not to start drinking alcohol if you are thirsty – quench your thirst with water or a non-alcoholic drink first

3. avoid salty snacks such as crisps and nuts because these make you thirstier (as well as being high in fat and salt)

4. have some non-alcoholic or low-alcoholic drinks through the evening

5. always have a glass or bottle of water with you as well as your alcoholic drink

6. think about the strength of your drink – choose beers or lagers that contain less alcohol (they will have a lower ‘ABV’, or ‘alcohol by volume’)

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