Joanne enjoyed her nightly glass of red wine. It relaxed her and, after all she was of French parentage and the French have wine with every meal… And they’re rarely overweight!
The trouble was … Joanne was overweight. In fact, she was an overwhelming 75 pounds (34 kg) overweight! Unknowingly, her nightly glass of wine, generally led to two or three glasses of wine in front of the television, and this was adding dangerous calories to her diet.
Alcoholic drinks have many hidden calories. In fact, most alcoholic beverages have as many calories per ounce as sugary soft drinks. Most people would never consider drinking three or four cans of soft drink in a few hours. Yet, it is generally acceptable to consume two, three or even four alcoholic beverages in this time period. Before you know it, you have consumed almost as many calories drinking your alcoholic beverages as you consume in an entire main meal! This is often enough to derail your good intentions at weight loss.
For example, a regular small 5-fluid ounce (147 ml) glass of wine, gives you around 150 calories; 12 fl-ounces (354 ml) of light beer 100 calories; regular 12 ounces (354 ml) beer 150 calories; 1.5-fl-ounce (44 ml) shot of vodka 95 calories and 8 fl-ounces (236 ml) of the popular sweet cocktails, such as a margarita and pina colada offer anywhere between 310 – 530 calories. Whereas, the medium 12 fl-ounce (354 ml) soft drink generally has between 124-182 calories.
Further, studies have shown that alcohol can stimulate food intake by increasing feelings of hunger, due to its high sugar content. So it is a double whammy: you consume loads of calories in the alcohol itself and you tend to eat more when you drink.
The bottom line, if you booze, you don’t lose!
If you wish to drink in moderation, like I and many of my clients enjoy to do, follow these guidelines:
• Have one low calorie, nonalcoholic beverage, such as water or sparkling mineral water laced with fruit juice in between each alcoholic drink.
• Always eat a nutritious meal or snack before you have a drink. This will help curb hunger and prevent binge eating on sugary or fatty foods.
• Select light versions whenever possible, as they have fewer calories. But, remember, these products are not calorie free, and you still need to limit your intake.
• Replace alcohol with appealing and nutritious beverages, such as fresh, thick fruit smoothies. Drink them out of a favorite wine glass or goblet, while visualizing your new, healthy body and repeating the affirmations, “my body is my important to me and I will nourish it with nutritious beverages and foods.”
• Choose wine in moderation (1 glass, not 2-4 glasses) over sugary, calorie rich cocktails and beer, as wine is relatively rich in anti-oxidants.
• Use exercise, meditation, deep breathing and other relaxation techniques to combat stress, rather than alcohol.
• Select your drinking buddies carefully, as research shows your friends influence how much you drink.
(Nutritionist, Life Coach and Director of MVB-Health)
Your Most Valuable Body
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