Posts Tagged ‘alcohol’

Healthy Eating for the Christmas Party Season

Monday, December 10th, 2012

It’s the Christmas party season again! How can we avoid putting on extra weight while having a great time? The following are some holiday eating tips to help you do just that so that you can still look good and be healthy in January.

  • Don’t go to a party hungry.  We often eat faster and more when we are hungry – therefore eat a wholesome breakfast and lunch on the day to avoid overeating at the party.

  • Watch your portion.  Treat yourself a nice drink, dessert, chocolate or sweets without guilt, but always watch your portion.  Go for small portions. This way you can sample all the different foods. Moderation is always the key.

  • Make a conscious choice to limit high fat items.  High fat food items can be found in fried food, cream-based soup, cheese-filled casseroles, pies, processed meats such as salami and sausages, some pastries and baked goods.

  • Try other versions of alcohol.  Instead of beer, cider, creamy liqueurs try dry wine or spirits with diet mixer, which have fewer calories.


  • Drink plenty of water.  Alcohol and coffee can dehydrate your body.

  • Physical activity.  Take nice brisk walks with your loved ones and enjoy their company in the holiday season.

Eating for a Healthy Heart

Monday, July 18th, 2011
  • Eat fewer fried and fatty foods such as cream, butter, full-fat dairy products, fatty red meat, cakes, biscuits and takeaways – and find lower-fat alternatives instead.
  • If you have to use oil, go for one that is packed with monounsaturates such as olive oil or rapeseed oil.
  • Eat five servings of fruit and vegetables every day – they are low in fat and calories but will help to fill you up.
  • Go for high-fibre carbohydrates such as wholemeal bread, wholegrain cereals, brown rice and wholewheat pasta. They are far more filling than the white stuff.
  • Start your day with a bowl of porridge.
  • Use a little less meat in dishes like stews, soups and casseroles and add barley, lentils or beans instead.
  • Eat oily fish once a week. Lunch on sardines with toast or serve salmon for dinner.
  • Slash the salt content of your diet – check salt levels before you buy.
  • If you drink, stick to sensible limits – that means no more than 3-4 units a day for men and 2-3 units daily for women.

How to Maintain your Energy Levels

Monday, July 4th, 2011

The best way to eat if you want to banish tiredness is to have a healthy, balanced diet that contains foods from four main food groups in the right proportions.

The four food groups are:

  • potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy foods
  • fruit and vegetables
  • milk and dairy foods
  • meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein

  1. Eat at regular intervals.
  2. Start the day well with breakfast.
  3. Aim for 5 a day with fruit and vegetables.
  4. Say no to sugar.
  5. Watch your intake of alcohol.
  6. Eat enough for your activity level.

Shaping Up for the New Year

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Have you over indulged this Christmas? Although it is all part of the fun it usually leads to gaining a few extra pounds. Many people make the New Years resolution to start trying to lose weight and here are some tips to help you achieve this.


Where to start?

First of all, try not to be tempted by the fad diets that are out there. Even though you can lose weight on these short-term crash diets, the weight is less likely to stay off and you may end up putting on more weight than you started with. Instead look for small, simple changes you can make that will give slower results, but will last longer. In the end you will lose more weight, and even better, you will be able to keep it off.

• Try to limit the amount of foods that are high in fat and/or sugar and usually have few other nutrients.

• Make sure you are eating plenty of fruit and vegetables and wholegrain foods, which are high in fibre. A high fibre diet helps you to lose weight and you need 5 or more portions of fruit and vegetables everyday.

• Choose lean meat, fish and chicken and grill, boil or bake it instead of frying.



Exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. It can help you to lose weight as well as helping to prevent diseases such as heart disease. We need about 30 minutes exercise, 5 days a week at a moderate intensity. This means you should feel warm and be breathing a little faster when you exercise (you should still be able to talk). Always remember to check with your doctor before you start an exercise program if you have not been active for some time or you are unwell.



Alcohol is high in calories and will make a big difference to your weight. Keep alcohol to sensible levels. Check out my blog entitled Alcohol and Units – What Does It All Mean? to recap what these limits are. However if you want to lose weight, drinking less than this will help.

Alcohol and Units – What Does It All Mean?

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Dietitians may well encourage you to drink as little as possible, after all alcoholic drinks are usually full of calories, once you have one you tend to drink another and you can very quickly pile on the pounds!

However the official guidelines are -
Men are advised to drink no more than 3 to 4 units a day.
Women are advised to drink no more than 2 to 3 units a day.  

So what is a unit?  1 unit is equal to - 

  • ½ pint beer Alcohol
  • 1 glass wine
  • 1 measure of spirits

The government recommended safe limits are: 

  • Men 21 units per week
  • Women 14 units per week

The list below shows the number of units of alcohol in common drinks –  

A pint of ordinary strength lager 

(e.g. Heineken, Fosters) 

2 units 

A pint of strong lager 

(e.g. Stella Artois, Kronenbourg 1664) 

3 units 

A pint of ordinary strength cider 

(e.g. Bulmers, Cashels) 

2 units 

A pint of ordinary strength stout 

(e.g. Guiness, Murphys) 

2 units 

A 175ml glass of red or white wine 

Around 2 units 

A pub measure of spirits 

1 unit 

An alcopop 

(e.g. Smirnoff Ice, Bacardi Breezer, WKD) 

Around 1.5 units 


How do you change your drinking habits? 

  • Try to eat before you drink, so you won’t miss out on essential nutrients.
  • Try non-alcoholic drinks instead of alcohol.
  • Dilute alcoholic drinks with low calorie mixers or water.
  • Try drinking more slowly – take smaller sips and pace your drinking.
  • Refrain from drinking for 48 hours after a heavy drinking occasion.
  • Don’t snack while drinking alcohol, remember that eating crisps and nuts will add to the calories and fat you consume. Salty foods will make you thirstier.