One thing I get asked a lot is ‘do you drink alcohol’??? People seemed shocked when I tell them I do!

Anyone who knows me, knows I like to enjoy the pleasures of life, whether its a healthy chocolate cake, a healthy pizza or a good quality glass of red wine. I believe that even the pleasures in life can still have health benefits and there are always options out there. This doesn’t mean it’s a common occurrence! However, it does mean you can socialise without a massive feeling of guilt and need to detox afterwards!

Alcohol is 7 kcal per gram. That is just 2 less than fat, at 9 kcal per gram. This means that in one glass of red wine there can easily be 200 kcal or more. Even though red wine has been shown to have some health benefits, I count these as empty calories. Alcohol gets stored as fat and increases oestrogen and decreases testosterone levels, so therefore makes it harder to lose fat and/or gain muscle. Therefore, if you are trying to lose weight, eliminate or massively reduce your alcohol intake.

Alcohol is a toxin and should be drunk in moderation. Obviously it is important to go out with friends and socialise, but alcohol should be a rare treat and not something you rely on to have fun, relax, or to help deal with problems.

If you are going to have a drink, these are the options I would recommend-

Red wine- it is higher in antioxidants and lower in sugar when compared to white or rose wine. It has also been linked to lowering cardiovascular disease risk. Obviously organic (and sulphite free if you can find it) is best.

Gin or vodka- spirits are lower in calories and can be mixed with more hydrating liquids. I recommend having them with soda water and a squeeze of fresh lime or lemon. If you really struggle with this, Fever Tree do a naturally light tonic water which is sweetened with fructose. This still isn’t ideal, but better than refined sugar and artificial sweeteners. Make sure you stay away from fizzy pop and diet drinks- tonic water is just the same!!! Many people think it’s better than coke, but it isn’t.

There is no need for the average person to remove alcohol completely from your diet (unless you want to lose weight and/or gain muscle easier, or you’re pregnant!), just limit it to one or two glasses of quality red wine a week.

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