7 prac­ti­cal tips for avoid­ing Christ­mas ex­cess

The Star (St. Lucia) - - CHRISTMAS ISSUE -

At Christ­mas you may be tempted to drink more than usual. It’s a time of year to have fun but it can be easy to overindulge. Here are some sim­ple tips to stay in con­trol of your drink­ing while en­joy­ing the fes­tive sea­son.

1. Un­der­stand what’s in your glass

The best way to avoid Christ­mas ex­cess to drink within lower risk daily guide­lines of 2-3 units for women, 3-4 for men.

Sea­sonal drinks can have a sur­pris­ingly high unit and calo­rie con­tent. A 175ml glass of mulled wine con­tains around 2.3 units and 134 calo­ries.

2. Down­size your drinks

If you’re a beer drinker or­der a half in­stead of a pint. Rather than a large 250ml glass of wine, opt for a smaller 175ml or 125ml glass.

The amount of units in a glass of wine varies de­pend­ing on the size of the glass. An av­er­age 125ml glass of wine would be around 1.5 units, but a 250ml glass could be over 3 units.

3. Try low al­co­hol or al­co­hol­free wine

The al­co­hol con­tent in nor­mal wine ranges from 9 to 16%; how­ever, lower al­co­hol and no al­co­hol wines are read­ily avail­able. Have a look next time you’re in the su­per­mar­ket.

4. Don’t drink on an empty stom­ach

A healthy meal be­fore you go out, and snacks be­tween drinks can help to slow down the ab­sorp­tion of al­co­hol, help­ing you stay in con­trol. It’s best to eat be­fore or dur­ing your work drinks. Drink­ing al­co­hol on an empty stom­ach means the al­co­hol is ab­sorbed into your sys­tem quicker. That’s why miss­ing din­ner when go­ing straight out from work is one of the main rea­sons after work drinks can get so messy.

Use a bot­tle stop­per

5. Open a bot­tle of wine at home and you can feel obliged to fin­ish off the bot­tle. Buy a bot­tle stop and your wine will stay fresh for a cou­ple of days. You can fin­ish it later or use leftovers in cook­ing. Al­ter­na­tively use an ice cube tray to freeze left­over wine which can then be used as an in­stant in­gre­di­ent to flavour your cook­ing for weeks to come.

6. Re­sist the top-up temp­ta­tion

Top up your glass be­fore it’s empty and you’ll quickly lose track of how much you’ve had. Avoid this by only top­ping up your glass when it’s empty.

7. Have a soft drink or wa­ter

Sip­ping a soft drink be­tween al­co­holic drinks will slow down the rate of your drink­ing. If you’re start­ing out early, have soft drinks for the first cou­ple of hours be­fore you start on the al­co­hol. If it’s near­ing the end of the night move onto wa­ter so you con­sume less units.

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