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  • Writer's pictureLouise Atkinson

Can I still drink wine and lose weight?

Updated: Oct 22, 2018

One of the most effective single steps you can take on the road to achieving a healthy weight long-term is to rein back on your drinking.

Whether it's a glass of wine in the evenings, or a proper skinfull at the weekend, alcohol is high in calories. At seven kcal per gram, that’s almost as much as the calories in fat (nine kcal per gram). A glass of wine is about 150 cals and a bottle is 650 cals - that's equivalent to a whole extra meal. If you know you've got to watch your food intake, wouldn't you rather eat something delicious and nutritious instead?

But it’s not just the empty calories in drink. Booze (even wine at lunch) can ruin the effectiveness of your sleep, it hugely unpicks any plans you might have had for exercise, it creates impossible to resist cravings for rubbish food.

Studies show that drinking triggers chemical changes that make the brain primed to find food odours more appealing. This could just be nature's way of trying to encourage you to eat in order to slow down the absorption of alcohol. But you know the score: just a few sips can be enough to make the bread basket seem tempting, the fries no longer optional, and something salty (crisps, nuts, pretzels) virtually compulsory.

Whether you sip, slurp or quaff, your drinking style can tell you quite a lot about your overall approach to food and eating, so check out the different scenarios below to see which Shrinkology type you might be. To get a clearer picture, take the QUIZ here. Knowing your type is the first step to getting a better understanding of the subtle ways you might be unconsciously be behaving around food - and drink.

Which type are you? Click on the word to find out more about each type:

Classic GOURMET drinking scenario: ‘I cook with wine – sometimes I add it to food’ (WCFields) Gourmets love food and fine wine quaffed in excess at every available social opportunity.

Classic MAGPIE drinking scenario: VIP invitation to a newly opened ‘gin bar’, the ‘must-have’ celebrity cocktail, or girl’s nights out around a magnum of skinny Prosecco.

Classic REBEL drinking scenario: boysie beer binge or the all-or-nothing drink to oblivion Big Night Out.

Classic SCRAMBLER drinking scenario: the ‘I deserve this’ end of the day large glass of wine.

Classic SOOTHER drinking scenario: pouring yourself a stiff G&T to cheer yourself up, or a cosy Netflix and chill night with friends, wine and comfort food.

Classic TRADITIONAL drinking scenario: the great big glass of red wine sitting in your favourite chair in front of the TV every evening.

Whatever your type, it's good to cut back. A month of complete abstinence is a great way to kick start a healthy eating regime - studies show a month without alcohol can be enough to help you drop half a stone (3 kg) without even making any other changes.

Go to the EATING TYPES tab to find more information about each type or take the free QUIZ on the Shrinkology homepage to discover your Shrinkology type. Our book, The Shrinkology Solution is packed with type-specific research-backed booze-busting tips that really work.

Whatever your type, try this for starters:

Rehearse saying ‘no thanks I don’t want a drink right now’. Studies show the word want is empowering and therefore more powerful and effective than can't (which implies self-denial) and makes you twice as successful at resisting.

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