Cut back on alcohol.
Few people realise that alcohol contains almost as many calories as pure fat. While fat contains nine calories per gram, alcohol contains seven. The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) claims that the average drinker consumes about 200 calories a day from alcohol. Over a month, this adds up to around 6,000 calories – a number based on the assumption that drinkers only have one small drink a day. People who binge drink are likely to consume many more calories than this.
As well as fuelling obesity problems, alcohol causes 13,000 cancer cases in the UK every year.
Now the WCRF, along with charity Cancer Research, are challenging Brits to take part in the ‘Dryathon’ this month, which means raising money to go teetotal for four weeks.
Could you do it?
Kate Mendoza, head of health information at WCRF, said: “Cutting down on drinking can have a big effect on weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight […] There is also strong scientific evidence that alcohol itself is a cancer risk factor – possibly through damaging our DNA – in cancers of the breast, bowel, mouth, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus and liver.”
As we’re still in the first week of January, it’s not too late to give the Dryathon a go. If you have a bottle of wine chilling in the fridge for your return from work later, simply stop by the shop on your way home and grab some sparkling water and fruit cordial to replace it. Give the wine to a neighbour, or put it in the cupboard for a special occasion.
Giving up alcohol for a month could pave the way for a change in your future habits. You may find that you don’t need to drink so much to enjoy a night out, or that a glass of wine isn’t really needed after a stressful day at work.
If you think you’d struggle to function happily without alcohol, then you may benefit from further help. Alcohol addiction is a common problem but it is not one to be ashamed of – counsellors are here to help. To find out more, please visit our Alcoholism page.
View and comment on the original Telegraph article.