10 Dec Surviving the Holidays
Nights out are integral to our social life and a great way of relaxing after a week’s work, as well as being great for catching up with friends and family. A night out becomes problematic when we binge on alcoholic drinks within a short space of time. As Christmas approaches, and work parties, family reunions, and homecomings bring us together, it is important to be mindful of your alcohol intake, and what you can do to pace yourself. Whether you’re the type of person that suffer from post-night-out blues, or you’re being watchful of your calorie intake for weight loss, or you want to prevent digestive upset that follows a night of drinking, here are some tips to reduce or control your alcohol consumption.
You may have seen the advertising campaign “the best pace to drink at is your own”. Drink Aware outline some tips on how to slow down your drinking and how to pace yourself according to the way you would normally, comfortably drink. Avoiding rounds is the most pertinent one.
The pace of a round is usually set by the fastest drinker. Avoiding them not only allows you the freedom to drink at your own pace, but also avoids the financial burden of paying for everyone else’s drinks.
Eat Before Drinking
You are less likely to maintain control if you start drinking on an empty stomach. Have a large meal before you leave for a night at the pub, or incorporate dinner as part of your night out, and reduce your overall time spent in the pub by starting out in the restaurant.
Switch It Up
Not every drink you buy on a night out has to be alcoholic. For every one or two alcoholic drinks you consume, buy yourself a non-alcoholic drink in between. If you usually have 5 drinks on a night out, make 3 of them alcohol-based and 2 of them non-alcoholic based. For example, if you drink vodka and coke, just buy yourself a coke for one of the rounds. If you drink gin and tonics, buy yourself a sparkling water. If you drink beer, Erdinger or Becks do delicious alcohol–free versions. The key is that no-one else can spot the difference, and you don’t have to make a big deal about it. Also, you’re rehydrating and lessening your hangover symptoms the next day.
It is important that you know that every gram of alcohol you consume is 7kcal. That means that a large glass of wine can have around 228kcal, similar to a Cornetto. One bottle of wine can add up to 1000kcal, or half your daily caloric allowance. The difference with these calories is that they are ‘empty’; they offer no nutritional benefit that other foods with the same caloric level do.
The key is to enjoy yourself, while monitoring yourself moderately. Go out, have fun, and be drink aware.