Is wine really fine?!? Is gin a sin? Does lager make us larger?!

Do you like a drink? Not squash, or diet coke but an alcoholic drink? Are you ever disappointed with your weight losses? Then read on….

Evidence shows that alcohol is having an increasing impact on managing our weight. It’s not only the calories in alcohol itself – we know that alcohol is high in Syns – but there is a general lack of awareness of how quickly we can consume a lot of calories and how drinking leads us to eat and drink even more.

Alcohol makes us feel hungrier because it stimulates our appetite, it makes us less inhibited and so weakens our resolve to stick to our eating plans. Have you ever necked a load of alcohol then woke up with a kebab stuck to your face?!? And you don’t even like kebabs?!? Ha ha you won’t be alone.

When I joined Slimming World I was a student. What are students best known for?!? Binge drinking! We used to go out most nights and I loved larger and bottles of blue WKD!! I nearly fell off my new member chair when I saw the syn values of these things!! No wonder I’d put so much weight on!! We’d always end the night too with a cheeseburger or chips and gravy!! Then the next day are you literally like a bottomless pit?!? I’ve devoured a dominos, foot long subway, ice cream, tons of haribo and chocolate just to survive a hangover.

Slimming world share, “We’ve surveyed people in the UK to find the average ‘tipping point’ – the number of units a person might drink before they start to eat and drink much more than planned – and how many additional calories in both alcohol and food they go on to consume after reaching this point. Our research shows that it takes the average woman just 2.6 glasses of wine to go on to drink and eat more than intended, 58% of us pass a tipping point at least once a week.
Once we’ve passed our tipping point (on average) we go on to consume an EXTRA 6,356 calories in 24 hours and 50% of us cancel plans for physical activity – which, when all totalled up could result in an average weight gain of 2lbs each week!
This shows just how hard we have to work just to maintain our weight each week , let alone get a weight loss!!”

How scary is that!!!! Now we aren’t the alcohol or fun police, you can enjoy a drink on sw, it’s just about staying in control and using choice power. You can also plan to eat before you go out or have on plan food ready for when you get in. You can also stock up the fridge ready for a sw fry light up or grill up the next morning, or afternoon depending on when you get up!!

Syn values at a glance – so what’s your poison?

Bacardi [35ml] 3.5 Syns
Bacardi Breezer, Orange [275ml bottle] 5 Syns
Bailey’s Irish Cream [35ml] 5½ Syns
Beck’s [275ml bottle] 5 Syns
Bitter (John Smith’s) [440ml can] 6 Syns
Brandy [35ml] 4 Syns
Budweiser [300ml bottle] 6 Syns
Champagne [150ml] 6 Syns
Drambuie [35ml] 5½ Syns
Gin [35ml] 4 Syns
Guinness Original [440ml can] 6½ Syns
Martini Bianco [50ml] 4 Syns
Port [50ml] 4 Syns
Scrumpy Jack [440ml can] 10 Syns
Sherry (Croft Original) [50ml] 3½ Syns
Tia Maria [35ml] 4½ Syns
Vodka [35ml] 4 Syns
Whisky [35ml] 4 Syns
Wine – Dry white [175ml] 6 Syns
Wine – Red [175ml] 6 Syns
Wine – Sweet white [175ml] 8 Syns
Top tips for tantalising tipples

How can we make this less synful?!?

Add soda water to your wine or spirits to make a long spritzer.

Drink Free fizzy mineral water or a carbonated diet drink between glasses of alcohol – these generally take longer to drink than still drinks, and they’re also more filling!

A slimmer’s best bet is a single shot of spirit [35ml measure] with a low calorie mixer, e.g. gin and Slimline tonic [4 Syns] or Bacardi and Diet Coke [3½ Syns]. Other good choices include shandy made from lager or bitter with diet lemonade [approx 4 Syns per half pint]; dry white wine spritzer with low calorie fizzy water [6½ Syns for 175ml wine] or Campari [35ml] with diet lemonade [4½ Syns].

Sorry Del Boy, drinks to avoid are the creamy ones (Bailey’s, advocaat, pina colada), and cocktails for which you can’t easily work out the Syn content. Alcopops have the same amount of alcohol as beer, but usually much more sugar which bumps up their calorie content and Syn value. Branded spirit and fruit juice combinations (e.g. Bacardi Breezers) may seem healthy, but each bottle usually provides more than a standard measure of spirit and the fruit juice has as many calories as a full sugar soft drink! Don’t be too disappointed though – we’ve included our very own alcopop recipe below.
Recipes

I lost three stone in three months when I joined, what was the biggest change I made?!? I stopped drinking wine, larger and alcopops and swooped to vodka and soda with fresh lime or diet coke. At first I hated it, but it didn’t take long to find my new groove and then it didn’t bother me at all. I had to decide what was more important to me, a drink that made me gain weight and feel horrendous, not to mention turn me in to a nutter lol or a weight loss that I was happy with and that made me feel fantastic?!? No brainer really!!! We tend to think about alcohol in a different way to food. A glass of wine contains the same number of calories as a packet of crisps or a small slice of cake and a pint of bitter has the same calories as a glazed ring doughnut, but for some reason we’re less aware. Have you ever said, oh liquids don’t count or it’s fine, wines made from grapes ha ha.

Drinks can slip down much more easily and don’t satisfy your appetite so it’s easy to forget that they’re full of calories as research shows, it’s not just the drinks you have but the food you consume after drinking too. I wouldn’t of dreamt as a slimmer of eating three jam doughnuts or fish and chips from the chippy, but I wouldn’t of thought twice about knocking back a bottle of Sauvignon from New Zealand, my fav!!

Now I’m not perfect and I lost my weight a long time ago, bad habits can creep back. I mainly stick to vodka now or gin but the wine does creep in, after two glasses, like the study says, my choice power goes out the window and my nickname is “one more drink” lol!!! Do you ever wake up thinking OMG what the hell happened last night, this might be a clue you’ve gone way past your tipping point!!

If you would like more low syn ideas head over to our amazing website. These are some more popular ones :-

Virtually Free sangria
Soak your choice of fresh fruit in a 50ml glass of port overnight. Add a bottle of chilled Diet Tropical Lilt just before serving. Tip: You could substitute a glass of red wine for port if desired.

Nearly Free alcopop
Diet drinks are all Free. Add them to your chosen spirit to make a refreshing alcoholic drink with a quarter of the Syns of a bottled alcopop. Tip: Try Lilt, Diet Tango and Diet Bitter Lemon for fruity flavours.

Lime & ginger spritzer
You’ll need: 2 limes, ½pt white wine, 1pt sparkling water, 2 tbsp ginger cordial. Thinly slice the limes and place in a punch bowl. Stir in the wine, water and cordial and chill. This makes enough spritzer for 6 servings at 2½ Syns per glass, which means you don’t have to stop at one!

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