Drinking weight on

Last week saw lots of headlines and column inches dedicated to weight, stating that: “...the UK is one of the most obese nations in the world with about a quarter of adults (that's 1 in 4 of us!) are classed as obese”. In a timely fashion, a infographic was released from the States by Lucas James who is a celebrity fitness trainer. He kindly reminded us, by pictures, just how many calories there are in your favourite tipple. NEWS-FLASH! Calories from alcohol are in fact EMPTY calories, with very little nutritional value. You will only find ‘traces’ of vitamins and minerals in your alcoholic drink, so they make no contribution to our diet. HERE'S SOME BASIC FACTS FOR YOU:

  • A unit is the measure of the amount of alcohol in a drink.

  • One UK unit is 10 ml or 8 grams of pure alcohol.

  • A typical pint of ale contains 1 or 2 units

  • A glass of wine can contain anything from around 1.5 to 3 units, depending on the size of the glass and the strength of the wine.

  • Alcoholic drinks are made by fermenting and distilling natural starch and sugar, therefore the calories from the high level of sugar, equates to 7 in just 1 gram of alcohol.

So, and this is the science bit, in just 1 unit of alcohol, there are 56 calories...about the same as a ginger nut. If you have a couple of (self-poured) glasses of wine, you're looking at maybe six units - equating to 336 calories - equivalent to a good bit of cake or 45 mins of walking. YOUR LIVERUnfortunately your liver is unable to perform as it should if too much alcohol is consumed. Why? Because alcohol reduces the amount of fat your body burns for energy – this is because you can store nutrients, protein, carbohydrates, and fat in your body, but you cannot store alcohol. So, whilst your system tries to get rid of alcohol, all of the other processes that your amazing liver should be doing to keep you going and full of energy (e.g. absorbing nutrients and burning fat) are rudely interrupted.Let's get back to the calories, did you know that...

  • A standard glass (175ml) of 12% wine can have the same calories [126] as ONE Cadbury Heroes miniature bar

  • A pint of 5% strength beer lager is equivalent (170) to a packet of McCoys salted crisps

FURTHER INFO Please click on the link below which will calculate your units, tell you how many calories you’ve consumed, and advise you on how much your alcohol costs you…..along with other useful advice http://www.nhs.uk/change4life/Pages/understanding-alcohol.aspx This is also quite cool, it was created by BBC Radio 1 a few year's back, but it's crazy how it all mounts up! http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/games/boozecalculator/#start So, as the festive season gets underway, have a little think before you drink, and love your liver4life! If all else fails, take at least 2 or (better still) 3 days off in a row to let your liver recover. Why? Because it takes 48 hours for hepatocytes (liver cells) to re-generate (in a fully functioning liver).

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