Have you started celebrating the Christmas season? Does it involve going out for drinks?
In particular, the Christmas season seems to be associated with alcohol consumption more than any other celebratory time of the year. For many of us this means a drink after work, catching up with friends over a few beers, a bottle of wine…..or more? Whilst it is lovely to get together and be social, drinking in excess is damaging, both socially and physically!
Personally, I enjoy a glass of wine with good friends, chatting and laughing, a wonderful feel-good and carefree factor kicks in. We just have to take a little control over the amount of alcohol we consume so it doesn’t end up consuming us!
High in calories – all alcohol contains ‘empty calories’ which basically means it supplies us with sugar and nothing else. Whether you drink wine, beer, cider or spirits, they all contain similar amounts of calories, compare each glass to a slice of pizza or a piece of cake! Do watch out for cocktails, they are often made with a variety of spirits topped with mixers, liquors and syrups. Prosecco and Champagne generally contain the least calories per glass.
Nutrient robbers – alcohol offers the body no nutritious value, actually, in addition it is what we refer to as a ‘nutrient robber’ which means it effectively depletes the body so it is unable to effectively absorb other nutrients.
Negative effects – The following day dealing with a hangover, head like a brick, unable to get out of bed with lips and skin as dry as a crisp: it’s no fun at all! Those are just the visual consequences, the internal damage is even worse. Excessive alcohol can cause more than dehydration and weight gain, it is the culprit of liver disease and risk of cancer.
Obviously the best thing is to avoid alcohol, but I am not advocating that, what I am saying is drink in moderation. If you plan a big night out or at a party, take a break and have a glass of water before you order another drink. Ask for a small measure, add extra ice and drink SLOWLY. Remember, not only is alcohol bad for our health, it is high in calories and stimulates appetite too making you more likely to stop off for greasy chips on the way home!