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The real cost of your weekend: Alcohol

The real cost of your weekend: Alcohol


For most people the weekend is a chance to blow off some steam, meet up with friends, go out and have a few drinks.

You work hard all week so you deserve a few drinks with your friends.. Sounds fair..

The real cost of your weekend: Alcohol

However the culture that we are now in is one of binge. Unfortunately the idea of one or two drinks in never just that. People go out and are drinking in the space of a couple of hours more alcohol than is recommended for their weekly intake. And  for most people the only worry is how much money they have to spend on this hedonistic weekend.


What people don’t realise is the true cost of this weekend.

You might have read a few things about the damaging effects that alcohol has on the body


and whilst these are important to know and understand, what I intend to discuss in this article is the effect the weekend has on your waistline.

The food we eat provides energy and nutrients for our bodies- carbohydrates and proteins both provide our bodies with 4 calories per gram whilst fats provide 9 calories per gram.

Depending on your metabolic rate you need to consume a certain number of calories each day to maintain your current weight (this will vary from person to person depending on height, weight, age, gender and activity levels). Most men for example will need to maintain a diet of 2000 calories in order to keep their current weight. If they consume less calories then they will loose weight, if they consume more they will gain weight. 

What many people forget is that like the food we eat alcohol provides a number of calories per gram- the only difference is that the calories from alcohol are ’empty’ as they do not provide any nutrients or energy to the body. Alcohol provides 7 calories per gram. A normal pint of Bitters  will provide over 180  empty calories. If you have 6 pints on a night out, this is already adding up to over half your daily calorie intake.

This is without taking into account the new craze of spirit mixers. Where vodka and other spirits are mixed with fizzy drinks that contain more sugar than most foods. You are therefore not only consuming the empty calories from the alcohol but vast amounts of sugar which the body will eventually turn into fat.

The net result is a massive increase in calories ingested into the body. The body cant burn all these calories and therefore stores the extra calories as fat in the body = increased body fat

Just looking at the simple science of alcohol it is easy to see why people gain weight when they drink. When you consume more calories than your body needs, you will gain weight.

There are however other factors at work 

The real cost of your weekend: Alcohol

1) Once you have drunk alcohol, the body needs to metabolise it. Since alcohol  cant be stored like fat and carbohydrates in your body, your body makes it a priority to metabolise it first. This means that the body stops metabolising the other nutrients in your body, and therefore the fat and carbohydrates that were being metabolised will now be stored as fat instead whilst the body starts trying to remove the alcohol.

2) As the body metabolises the alcohol it is no longer getting the nutrients it would otherwise be getting from the break down of carbs, proteins and fats. Therefore the body thinks that it is lacking the other nutrients and  creates the feeing of hunger.

Ever gone for a kebab or pizza at the end of a night out ? Now you know why.

Whilst the body metabolises the alcohol it stores the other nutrients in your body as fat- so if you still have alcohol in your body when you go for that kebab- all you are doing is adding that kebab to your waistline

(if you ate something healthy you might be able to get away without storing too much fat, but who wants a salad when they are drunk.. No one.. You go straight for the kebab or pizza and therefore are ingesting anywhere between 15-70 grams of fat- More calories your body didn’t need)

If you are currently dieting – having your judgement impaired and stimulating your appetite is a recipe for failure- binge eating

It all adds up to extra calories ingested – and more fat being stored in the body. 

I’m not saying become a teetotal and swear off alcohol because for most people this would just be unrealistic…. but who says you can’t have the same amount of fun drinking in moderation and making small changes to what you drink and how you drink.

The real cost of your weekend: Alcohol

click on the links below to check how many calories are in your favourite drinks









Vodka, Gin, Rum and Whisky 

The real cost of your weekend: Alcohol

The real cost of your weekend: Alcohol