Friday, 1 January 2010

This month I'll be mostly eating dust...........

Cooking Lager was after a snap of female beer bloggers in their bikinis so just for him here's a post Quality Street, Christmas pudding, oh go on one more mince pie can't hurt pic of what I'm gonna look like this summer if I don't stop eating .......

It's that time of year again, the gym new business team seem to have me on speed dial, every other advert is for Weight Watchers and everyone I know is planning a detox (just as soon as they sober up from NYE shenanigans) which no doubt means knocking the beer on the head but is that the only way to lose weight?

It's January so you've cut down on the chocolate and fry-ups so why aren't you losing weight? The answer could be in that glass in front of you - it might not feel like the equivalent of a doughnut, but as far as your belly's concerned, it might as well be.

Booze is full of calories – only fat has more. So, if you seriously want to lose weight, do you have to become a hermit and abstain from the beer? The answer is no – you just need to know your enemy.

Here's the science bit:

If you take in more calories than you burn off you'll get fat......simple. But the body gives alcohol special treatment – it's fast-tracked straight from the stomach to the bloodstream, and then to the liver. Half of the alcohol will be absorbed just 10 minutes after having a drink, and all of it within an hour – faster if you drink on an empty stomach.

Why so fast? Alcohol is a toxin, so the body's aim is to get it to the liver – the body's detox plant – as fast as possible.But the liver can only break down about one unit of alcohol per hour, and any amount above this is turned away as it arrives at the liver and sent back into the bloodstream, to circulate around the body - causing damaging effects to all the cells it comes into contact with – until the liver can process it.

While the liver is dealing with an alcohol onslaught it's distracted from its other important functions. This leads to a build-up of fatty substances in the liver, which prevent it from working properly. 'Fatty liver' is the first stage of liver disease seen in heavy drinkers but it can be reversed if they stop drinking. But if they continue to drink, liver cells die, and there is a progression eventually to irreversible cirrhosis.

Almost enough to make you never drink again right? Wrong, all you need to know is what you're dealing with.Take a look at the calories in some drinks...

Glass of white wine (12% ABV, 250mls) 185

Glass of red wine (10% ABV, 250mls) 170

Glass of Rose (12% ABV, 250mls) 178

One bottle of lager (5% ABV, 330mls) 142

One bottle of ale (4% ABV, 330mls) 97

One alco-pop (5% ABV, 275mls) 193

Spirits (25ml pub measure) Vodka, gin, whisky, brandy, rum etc 52 calories - not forgetting the calories in your mixer

But don't despair, burning off those calories can be a lot easier than you think and by swapping wine for a beer during a night in (or out!) calories can be saved. But we all know that the gym is boring, very boring so why not take a tip from the Strictly Dancers (who can burn up to 600 calories a show!!), foxtrot off those extra Christmas pounds and you can still enjoy a beer guilt free. In fact beer is the quickest alcoholic beverage to dance off. Just 29 minutes of twisting will burn off a bottle of beer, while wine lovers will need to take to the dance floor for nearly ten minutes longer.

1. One glass of white wine equals 42 minutes of disco dancing

2. One glass of red wine equals 2 hours 10 minutes of the foxtrot

3. One bottle of lager equals 29 minutes of the twist

4. One bottle of ale equals 22 minutes of salsa

5. One Gin and Tonic equals 1 hour 13 minutes of waltz

So some tips to stay trim this year

o Watch the glass size - a one-unit wine glass is a tiny 125ml – a size that doesn't exist any more. Standard is 175ml, and large can be up to 250ml. And remember that home measures are notoriously generous!

o Go slow - no more than one unit per hour. If you drink alcohol faster than the liver can handle it, it'll build up in your bloodstream, intensifying its inebriating effects and making you less able to say no to the next pint – or that chicken balti.

o Premium lager and strong vintage ciders pack a far heftier punch than their less alcoholic cousins. And because that's where the calories lurk, these drinks aren't for racing snakes!

o Steer clear of sweetness - added sugar bumps up the calorie count – sweet wines and ciders are more calorific than drier versions, and syrupy liqueurs (especially the creamy ones with their added fat) are worst of all.

o Alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic ones. Not only will this slow down your drinking, and limit the amount of alcohol calories you consume, it will help to rehydrate you, reducing the threat of a hangover.

o Eat before you go out, not after (and you'll be much less tempted by a greasy, calorie laden kebab)

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