‘How to balance your diet’ is an article series all about achieving balance in your diet, and what that looks (and tastes) like. It’s a common phrase, but what does it mean, and how do you do it? Find out here.

How to balance your diet: Just one more drink?

Alcohol. In a drama about food and diets, alcohol would be the sneaky undercover spy who has befriended you and made you feel loved, but is actually working for the side of evil.

Alcohol has amazingly (through very well designed marketing I guess) avoided the attention of most diet book writers. Most people who are trying to lose weight don’t even consider the calorie count in alcohol, despite the fact that alcohol is one of the most damaging elements of ANY healthy lifestyle.

Alcohol, unlike ‘EVIL’ sugar (for example), is actually toxic in your body. So aside from being full of calories, your body doesn’t really know what to do with it. Your digestive tract does what it can with alcohol, but that effort comes at the expense of all the food it was meant to deal with, meaning that you end-up getting less benefit AND less processing done on the food you have eaten.

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You also get dehydrated, hence the big headache the next day.

Alcohol contains calories?!

Yes, make sure that you count ALL of your alcohol into your daily calories. Here’s a rough guide for you to see how calorie-dense alcohol really is:

(Remember that 1 slice of white bread contains around 53 calories)

  • 1 glass of red wine (125ml of liquid) = 85 calories
  • 1 glass of white wine (125ml of liquid) = 82 calories
  • 1 can of beer = 154 calories
  • 1 tot of whiskey (35ml) = 105 calories
  • 1 tot of brandy (35ml) =   100 calories
  • 1 tot of vodka (35ml) =  97 calories

But this is a series about BALANCE in the diet. So how do you attain balance with alcohol?

Here are some of my own rules for you to consider implementing:

  • Don’t EVER drink alone
  • Don’t drink at home during the week (no matter how tough the day has been – don’t rely on alcohol for stress relief. You will find yourself pouring ‘just one more’ and then ‘just one more’…)
  • When you do have an alcoholic drink, two is your max – so have two that you enjoy and make them last
  • When you drink, eat smaller portions to make room for extra calories
  • Drink whisky, red wine or light beer – these are the best diet options. Don’t add a sugary mix to the whisky

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