Monday, 21 January 2013

A month of health: Alcohol

Image from here
I drank too much on Friday night. I do this from time to time. Generally I am not much of a drinker these days; these days being "since I became a Mum". I was pregnant or breastfeeding from July 2004 until August 2010 (true story), so I pretty much lost my mojo with alcohol.

This Summer has been such a social time for us. When I look back over the past six weeks, there has been barely a day that hasn't involved a 'toast' of two. At the end of the day, alcohol is not in keeping with a healthy lifestyle, and parenting with a hangover is just no fun.

Much of the time, alcohol consumption is habitual. A wine after a long day. A beer on a hot afternoon. A champagne to celebrate an occasion. Or a gin and tonic well, just because they are so good.

Different types of alcohol contain different calorie counts so if you are drinking in moderation and trying to keep the kilos off, small amounts of wine or a light beer are best. But do not fool yourselves. A standard drink (10g of alcohol) contains 56 calories from the alcohol alone, then you have to add the mixers/sugars etc. and you are looking at 135 calories per wine or beer.

Long term, drinking too much not only effects your ability to maintain your weight (empty calories and the poor will power that results from drinking both attribute to this), it can play havoc with your mood, sleep patterns, and energy levels. There is a long list of long-term health issues that arise from habitual alcohol misuse.

The Australian guidelines state that you shouldn't drink more than two standard drinks in any one day. I definitely broke that rule this Summer on more than one occasion!

So I reckon I have two choices: drink in moderation, or don't drink at all. I thought about joining FebFast this year, but to me that is just another short-term commitment and I am not doing that this year. So what the Geege and I will do is, drink less alcohol all the time and one week per month, drink no alcohol at all.

What are you like after a night on the plonk?


Seana said...

Aaahhhhhh! I wrote a post today over on The Mum's Diet and mentioned I have stopped drinking alcohol altogether for 2012... fovever maybe... and I linked to the post I wrote about my dad and his drinking and death (which actually I realised is a post I am proud of.)

I WISH I could be a low profile drinking, but I'm 49 now and it's never happened and for my mental health, I needed to stop altogether. Look I have lots of good genes too, no grey hair, what can I say?!

I'd love to hear updates on how you get on. I think I am eating more since I stopped on Dec 26th but not disastrously and will be OK when offspring back at school.

Sorry to rant on, but wanted to say - I agree with everything and there's much to discuss.

River said...

There's something I never have to worry about, alcohol and hangovers.
I don't drink alcohol, never have.
I have tasted a couple of things in the past, but I just don't like the stuff, so never got past the first sip. Except for a pina colada once, I drank half of that one, then left it.
I'm a water girl.

allison tait said...

We're back into the routine of a couple of drinks on a Friday or Saturday night and that's about it. We go out so rarely now that it's not that much of an issue and we tend not to drink mid-week unless we're out. So I guess moderation has been forced upon me!

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