Claire Bryant, Resident Dietitian: The first thing I usually hear when I tell someone I’m a dietitian is: “I need to lose weight! Tell me how.” I still haven’t found the quick fix answer they’re often looking for. Maintaining weight, staying healthy and feeling happy about your shape is hard. It takes effort, restraint and a robust nutritional knowledge set.
It’s by no means impossible though. There are loads of ways to lose weight successfully. First and foremost you need to have your nutritional facts straight. Portion control and wiser food choices are key, but body shape changes can’t happen overnight, especially if you want them to last. You need to be prepared to be in it for the long haul.
Of all the dietary goals I could advise about, I’ve chosen to begin with alcohol. It’s never a popular talking point with patients but it so often falls under the radar - not only in terms of its calorie footprint, but also the potential health issues like cancer, reflux, raised blood pressure, poor sleep and its effects on your skin.
Let’s just take a look at alcohol’s calorie footprint with a few examples below.
Open or CloseCALORIE BREAKDOWN
A large glass of wine (250ml at 13% ABV) can contain around 230kcal = 1 Jam doughnut
125ml Champagne (12% ABV) can contain around 90kcal = 1 small croissant or 2 chocolate chip cookies
25ml spirit (40% ABV) can contain 60kcal = 1 custard cream
We all love a small treat every day and why shouldn’t we but would you really expect the scales to budge if you had a jam doughnut and 2 chocolate chip cookies every day? Probably not! So set yourself a small goal to get the ball rolling on weight loss.
Open or CloseRECOMMENDATIONS
If you’re over the government recommendations of 14 units a week – bear in mind that’s only 4 large glasses of vino - can you work on reducing your units? Can you make sure you have some alcohol free days too? Perhaps make yourself a spritzer and use soda water with 125ml of wine instead. If you already drink less than 14 units, can you work on lowering them further?
Reducing alcohol consumption is only one part of weight loss and management. If you want to discuss more and explore your dietary health, then book an appointment with me at The Lanesborough Club & Spa, or visit my website.