Monday, 25 November 2019 / Topics:

How is it already the end of November?!

The festive season is fast approaching and if you’re anything like us you’re counting down the days until the long-awaited summer break. This time of year brings with it a lot of celebration because, well, there’s so much to celebrate – the end of another work year, Christmas with the family and the opportunity to start fresh as the new year rolls in. And how do Australians like to celebrate anything? With plenty of food and alcohol of course.


Statistics show that the average Australian will gain between 0.8 and 1.5 kilograms over the holiday period. It makes sense, a busy social calendar brings with it a countless amount of cheese platters, canapes and indulgent desserts, as well as larger portion sizes and an overall higher energy intake. While food is often thought of as the culprit of the dreaded holiday weight gain, most people forget about the contribution from alcoholic drinks because… liquid calories don’t count, right? Not exactly. Calories are calories regardless of whether they are in a solid, liquid or any other form and If we consume more calories than we burn then they’re going to be stored as fat.


Alcohol is already energy dense, containing almost as many calories per gram as fat, but when you add sugary soft drinks to the mix the energy content can really add up. In fact, alcoholic drinks can contain as much or more energy than the foods you’ve excluded from your diet as an endeavour to lose weight. For example,


  • 1 x Gin and tonic (460 kJ) = 3 lolly snakes
  • 1 x 330 mL bottle of cider (710 kJ) = 1 soft serve ice cream cone
  • 1 x Espresso martini (890 kJ) = 5 Oreo cookies
  • 1 x Pina Colada (1020 kJ) = 1 McDonalds cheeseburger
  • 1 x bottle of red wine (2500 kJ) = half a block of Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate


Pretty surprising, huh! Additionally, alcohol stimulates our appetite and reduces our inhibitions which means that not only are you more likely to eat, you’re also more likely to overeat and make poorer food choices (explains why McDonalds is so busy at two o’clock in the morning!). And then, on top of all that, chances are that when you wake up in the morning feeling less than fresh, you’re not going to be craving a salad or be too keen to hit the gym. Instead, you’ll be reaching for the greasy, carby, salty drive through meal which, you will eat on the couch watching Netflix. See how it all adds up?


We’re not saying you have to cut alcohol completely to maintain/lose weight or live a healthy lifestyle, but like everything it’s all about moderation. Australian guidelines recommend healthy adults should drink no more than two standard drinks on any day, aiming for at least two alcohol free days per week.


Instead of waiting for Dry July, Sober October or Dry January (… seriously, it doesn’t even rhyme) to reduce your alcohol intake, start now by gradually decreasing the amount you’re having. If you’re currently having half a bottle of wine when you get home from work, you could try having 1-2 (smaller) glasses. If you’re drinking alcohol every day, you could aim to include two alcohol free days per week. Making even small changes to your alcohol intake can make a big difference! So don’t wait for Christmas to come and go or for summer to be over, just be sensible and moderate your alcohol intake today.