Wednesday 7 December 2016

Karl Henry: 'Beware alcohol's hidden calorie content'

Karl Henry

Published 16/11/2016 | 02:30

Karl Henry: Calories in alcohol are basically empty calories with little or no benefit to the body
Karl Henry: Calories in alcohol are basically empty calories with little or no benefit to the body
Go for craft and organic alcoholic drinks as much as possible

Okay, so I know what you're going to think, here he goes again, lecturing everyone about what not to do when the most unhealthy time of the year is nearly upon us. So breathe in, there will be no lecture. Alcohol is something that is ingrained in the Irish psyche. It's just part of what we do. Still, there is something that I see all the time in my clients' food diaries when they start working with me. They are often shocked by the sheer volume consumed. They are also surprised to discover that alcohol is:

  • Go To

• Laden with calories

• Will dramatically increase your body fat levels

• Have a direct impact on your metabolism

• Affect your mood in a negative way

• Increase the chance of you eating high sugar, low nutrient foods in the days after

I'm not going to be a killjoy and say never drink again, as that is something that, for most people, just won't happen. I drink one or two bottles of organic cider a week at the weekend and thoroughly enjoy it. But in today's column, I want to improve your awareness around the calorie content of your drinks.

Calories in alcohol are basically empty calories with little or no benefit to the body. It's also something that you lose track of very easily. I am always amazed at just how many people drink more than 10 drinks a week on a regular basis, and then they wonder why:

• Aren't losing weight

• Are depressed or low in energy

• Are demotivated

• Are getting fat

• Are gaining fat around the midriff

• Can't seem to eat healthily

• Sleep poorly

The reality is that what you drink and how much you drink has a drastic effect on your overall well-being. Don't try to give it up completely. Instead, take a balanced approach, especially as the Christmas party season kicks in. Here are some simple tips that will help you to get through those dinners and nights out as best you can:

• Never go out on an empty stomach

• Aim for one glass of water in between drinks

• Go for craft and organic alcoholic drinks as much as possible

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• Aim for a pint of water before bed

• Dioralyte can be very handy before bed to help hydrate the body

• Eat breakfast the next day

• Restrict yourself to one treat meal the next day and drink three litres of water

Irish Independent

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