Having a glass of wine in the evening to relax after a long day or popping to the pub for a pint is so normal to us – and a lot of people have been drinking more throughout lockdown too.
But when you’re looking to get fit and lose weight, alcohol can actually hinder your progress.
Alcoholic drinks are higher in calories than most people realise, containing seven calories per gram.
This means that a pint of beer can have as many calories as a large slice of pizza and a large glass of white wine could be the same as an ice cream and cone, so the calories in those few drinks can quickly add up.
What’s more, calories in alcohol are considered ‘empty’ calories, as they don’t provide any nutrients.
So why not do something about it?
Why not consider cutting out booze for October? Macmillan runs Go Sober for October, so you can cut out the empty calories while knowing you’re doing it for a bigger cause.
If this is too much of a stretch, then consider alternating your drinks – having one boozy drink, followed by a glass of water or lower calorie soft drink can save you those empty calories.
It’s not just the calories you’ll cut out that could help you get in shape – cutting back on alcohol will mean you’ll get a better night’s sleep so you’ll feel refreshed and perhaps have a little more motivation to go for that morning run or swim.
You’ll also feel fresher and more hydrated if you’re drinking less as alcohol is a diuretic, which means it dehydrates your body. Hopefully this will max your motivation and help you to reach your fitness goals too.
Now you know all the benefits, here are our top 5 tips for Stoptober:
- Stock up on non alcoholic variations. There are so many different types available – non alcoholic beers, wines, spirits, ciders, cocktails. Try a few and find the ones you like.
Check out @realkombucha on Instagram for non alcoholic sparkling wines. Great for your tummy and will help you keep a clear head
Or try @drydrinker on Instagram for a variety of drinks delivered to your door, making it super easy. They even do an advent calendar that’s available for preorder
- Set a realistic goal for you in regards to your own drinking habits. If cutting it out for one month is too drastic, you could look to reduce the number of drinks you consume n one evening, or the number of evenings a week that you drink. Think about swapping to spirits with mixers for a lower calorie alternative. This type of drink also takes longer to consume than say a glass of prosecco, meaning you’ll drink less alcohol
- If you don’t want to miss out on socialising but equally you’re trying to avoid the pub or restaurants, find other activities you could do with friends that don’t revolve around drinking – meet up for a long walk, meet for breakfast or brunch
- Take on a new hobby or activity to give you something else to focus your mind on, to work towards and achieve something with. A fitness based activity is ideal as you’ll notice you’ve got far more energy from drinking less and then in turn you’ll have more desire to continue taking healthier options.
- Encourage family and friends to reduce their alcohol too, that way when you meet up it doesn’t become a huge deal as you’re all in the same boat.
Macmillan are running the campaign “go sober for October”, raising funds for people fighting cancer. If you’re looking for an incentive to get you started, what could be better than raising money for charity?
October starts tomorrow so it’s the perfect time to give it a go – we know you can do it!