While many social gatherings nowadays include alcoholic beverages, it’s good to ditch the alcohol from time to time. Alcohol has a lot of kilojoules – 27 kilojoules per gram to be exact – which many of us may forget when we’re drinking it. Alcohol can also numb your hunger cues, making it more difficult to identify if you’re full or hungry, meaning you might be more likely to reach for a snack to accompany your drink when you probably don’t need it. Too much alcohol over a period of time can affect liver, blood pressure and blood sugar levels, it can damage your stomach, your brain and your nervous system. Reducing or avoiding alcohol can help you to feel more energised, sleep better, assist your weight loss and provide you with a sense of accomplishment.
What are the alcohol guidelines?
The Ministry of Health have developed alcohol guidelines to encourage our population to reduce the health risks from drinking alcohol for healthy adults.
To reduce the long-term health risks, it is recommended to have at least two alcohol-free days each week and:
- Women consume no more than two standard drinks per day and no more than 10 standard drinks per week.
- Men consume no more than three standard drinks per day and no more than 15 standard drinks per week.
They also go on to recommend women have no more than 4 drinks on any one day, and men no more than 5. Additionally, they recommend pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as those under the age of 18, do not drink at all.
This advice is based on a standard drink, one standard drink contains 10g of alcohol. The glass of wine you’re poured when out, or the one you pour yourself fat home, is usually more than a standard drink! To find out more information click here.
Can I have alcohol while on Jenny Craig?
While these alcohol guidelines have been developed to reduce the risk of harm, it is important to note these quantities may hinder your weight loss results. To achieve the best weight loss results while on the Jenny Craig program, we recommend avoiding all alcohol. If you do wish to consume small amounts while on the program, we advise to reduce your intake to no more than two servings per week – this will help to keep any extra kilojoules to a minimum. Speak to your personal Coach, who can help discuss some strategies, or try the STOP technique – stop, think, overview and pick – you can read more about the STOP technique in your Grocery Guide.
Tips to reducing alcohol intake:
If you want to consume alcohol in moderation, try some of these strategies:
- Half your serve! Try a wine spritzer – ½ wine, ½ soda water, or a shandy – ½ beer, ½ diet lemonade.
- Choose alcohol with fewer kilojoules, such as a low-alcohol beer, or a spirit with soda/tonic water or diet soft drink.
- Alternate alcoholic drinks with a glass of water.
- Have one small glass, but really enjoy it! Savour every last sip of your drink.
- Set yourself a limit at the start of the night and stick to it.
For times when you don’t want to drink, try some of these techniques:
- Nominate yourself as the designated driver for the night.
- Try having non-alcoholic drinks out of a wine glass, so you don’t feel left out. Mocktails are just as tasty as cocktails, we have some great recipes to try at your next social event. You could even try a zero-alcohol wine, beer, or gin! While you may think zero alcohol may mean zero kilojoules, it is important to be cautious as some of these drinks still contain added sugars, click here to read more about non-alcoholic drinks.
- Try social activities that don’t involve alcohol – why not go for a walk to catch up with friends, go dancing, or play a game of golf.
- Have a polite, convincing “no thanks” prepared for times when you are offered drinks.
- If you usually relax with a drink, why not try yoga or meditation instead?
So, swap the wine, beer or cocktail for a healthy mocktail and try going dry this month. Talk to your personal Coach for more tips and strategies to help manage alcohol while on the Jenny Craig program.
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