So it is that time of year, where the last two months of the year is basically one long party! There is the office party, the office department party, Christmas Eve, Christmas day, left over day (as it is known in my family) and then the New Year’s celebrations begin. But it is not always the food offered at these celebrations that may be messing with your healthy lifestyle…. It is the drinks accommodating the food that is the main problem. My clients frequently ask me the following questions (especially this time of the year): how much may I drink?? Well today I will answer this question for you!
Let us start by specifying exactly how many drinks you are allowed to have daily. Unfortunately the daily limit specified for men and women differ. According to the literature men are allowed to have two units of alcohol a day while women are only allowed to have one unit of alcohol a day. I know, what a bummer! It is also important to mention that you may not carry over any units to the next day.
Let us do an example: if you don’t have anything to drink from Monday to Friday you CAN NOT carry these 5 or 10 units over to Saturday! What’s done is done.
So how much is one unit of alcohol?
• Wine – 175ml (your best option will be a dry white wine, red wine or low alcohol volume wine)
• Spirits – 25ml (This is equal to one shot)
• Champagne – 125ml (A dry blend will be your best option)
• Beer – 330ml (Opting for a lite option will be great)
• “Pink drinks” – 275ml (These include all those girly drinks)
SO now that you know what the daily allowances are lest discuss some tips to keep in mind this season:
• Add lots of ice to wine, spirit mixes and “pink drinks” – this will help to dilute not only the alcohol but also the sugar content of the drink.
• Have a glass of water between each alcoholic drink – this will keep you hydrated and will also prevent you from drinking more.
• Measure your spirits instead of free pouring them.
• Try and pour your own drinks. If your partner or host is constantly topping up your half-filled glass, it’s hard to keep track of how much alcohol you’re drinking.
• Drink spritzers if you like wine or pints of shandy if you’re a lager drinker. You’ll still get a large drink, but one that contains less alcohol. Use the sugar free alternatives to top up these drinks.
Then last but certainly not least, please drink responsibly this festive season!
Compiled By Salomé Scholtz, Registered Dietician