There’s no wonder that the keep-fit industry is so booming in our modern world. Unlike my professional athlete business partner, I’m like most people in Britain and spend a huge amount of the week sat in front of a computer. My daily runs are completely subject to the weather and whether or not there’s a decent podcast on the go at that point in time. So I, like most of you, have to keep a keen eye on what I eat. I don’t religiously count the calories, but I know that if I indulge in a Chippy tea on a Friday then chances are my belly’s going more out than in that week.
Alcoholic drinks, however, are one of the biggest providers of hidden calories going, and none more so than a cheeky glass of wine here and there. Drinking guidelines take a lot of things into consideration, none more so than the long-term effects of too much alcohol on our livers, our brains, and our immediate decision making. The NHS recommends no more than 2 bottles of wine per week for the average adult.
But for this chat it’s the calories that we’re looking at. I’m quoting this directly from the Drink Aware website: “A standard glass of red or white wine (175ml) with 13% ABV could also contain up to 160 calories, similar to a slice of Madeira cake.” If you’re trying to lose weight then one glass of wine is a tenth of your calorie intake that day. So you’re fine if you like rice cakes. Otherwise you need to be smart.
Again, I’m going to pikey the first 5 headers straight from Drink Aware’s website on the best things to do to cut down your hidden calories from your love of wine, and add one of my own at the end. The explanations are all mine though, you’ll probably see the spelling mistakes!
1) Mind Your Measures
It’s a pet hate of mine anyway, when people pour too much in a glass. It’s harder to swirl and sniff and appreciate anyway, but it also makes you gulp the wine back. Go slow, a little at time, the bottle’s not going to run off!
2) Tackle You Triggers
I’m a bugger for this one too. It gets to 7pm on a Thursday, I’m downing tools for the day and it’s time to pop a cork. There’s nothing wrong with that if you’re really up for it, but when it just becomes habit then it’s a slippery slope.
3) Try Alcohol-Free Days
This doesn’t mean that you should abstain for 6 days a week then binge on a Friday or something, but in general if you had three days off a week, then you and your other half could share a bottle the other 4 days and be within your guidelines. Makes it a lot easier.
4) Treat Yourself
I’ve been an advocate of the “Drink Less, Drink Better” campaign for years. Why drink two or three bottles of piss when you could buy one really nice bottle to enjoy? Of course it’s a mindset thing, but one I’d massively advocate.
5) Track Your Drinking
There are plenty of phone apps these days to help you track your intake. Be honest with yourself and see where you get to for a month. You may shock yourself to doing something about it.
6) Try Lower Alcohol Wines
This is not from Drink Aware, I’ve just added this at the end myself. If you go to an 12% wine instead of a 15% wine, you’re not having 3% less alcohol, you’re having 20% less. And with alcohol being the biggest driver of calories in a wine (definitely in a dry wine anyway) then it’s looking a bit rosier there isn’t it?
Now, I’m not saying that the only reason to lower and manage your alcohol intake is the calorie count. Of course we all appreciate (I hope) that alcohol is a drug and needs to be drunk in moderation for many health and societal reasons. But if you’re like me and always looking at your trousers in the morning and praying they still fit, then those hidden calories in a wine glass are wel