Sensibly Silly this Silly Season

Sensibly Silly this Silly Season

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I wrote a post recently for Mind Body Motion Fitness Solutions, see it below:

December is the one month of the year where many people, including those who are health conscious the rest of the year, often let it slide. The most common comment I hear this time of year? ‘But it’s Christmas!’ Come January, the feeling then changes from celebration to regret, when the realization that all those Christmas parties and extra alcoholic drinks actually HAVE made a difference.

As many of my clients have heard me say, I am not here to be the fun police, or the food police. But is it still possible to be a little bit silly, without packing on the kilos? By making smart choices, the answer is yes!

To start with, it is important to remember that alcohol itself is packed with kilojoules. Just one gram of alcohol contains 27kJ. See the table below for the average kilojoule content of some of the most common alcoholic drinks:

Beverage kJ
Standard glass of wine (100mL) 290 kJ
Standard glass of champagne (100mL) 296 kJ
Toohey's Extra Dry 600 kJ
Low-carbohydrate beer 450 kJ
Bacardi Breezer 700 kJ
Bourbon and Coke 500 kJ
Mojito 710 kJ
Vodka Soda 293 kJ


As you can see from the table, full strength beer, cocktails and spirits mixed with soft drink are the highest kilojoule content choices. Wines appear to be low in kilojoules in comparison to the other drinks, however remember to ask yourself if you really only have 100mL of wine? For most people the answer is probably a no. Creamy cocktails have not been included, as we all know that they are packed with extra energy. If you want to check out the kilojoule content of your favourite drink, head to

The best option is to choose a spirit, and mix it with soda water (no kilojoules) and add in a few wedges of lemon or lime for some extra flavor. For example, choose a high quality vodka, gin or scotch and soda as these are less likely to give you a bad hang over, and add fresh lemon or lime. Coming in at approximately 290kJ per drink, this is a great option.

The other two most important things? Remember to eat. This will line your stomach and cause the alcohol to affect you more slowly, and not as intensely. Click here for some further party food tips. Secondly, drink water. And the soda water in your alcoholic drink does not count as ‘water between drinks’. This will help keep you hydrated, and help prevent any hang overs arriving the next day.

When it comes down to it, if you would rather chew your arm off than drink a vodka soda, and that delicious creamy cocktail/full strength beer is calling your name, choose it, but limit your intake.

If you would like to check out the original article, you can find it here.

Chloe McLeod is a dietitian at BJC Health.
This blog focuses on diet & nutrition generally and diet & nutrition in relation to the treatment of arthritis and arthritis-related diseases. Contact us if you'd like our help in managing diet-related health issues.

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