How many slices of pizza in a pint? And how long would I have to run to burn off two glasses of wine? If you don’t know, then you’re not alone.
Alcohol contains around 7 calories per gram, which is almost as many as a gram of fat. BUT research suggests around 8/10 people are unaware of calorie content in many drinks and underestimate the true content. 
A major problem is that many alcohol producers don’t list on their packaging the number of calories contained in drinks, let alone low risk drinking guidance.
Many people who have given Dry January a go mention weight loss as one of the best parts.
Many of us don’t think of alcohol as being high in calories – but while we might avoid a dessert, we might not think twice about a couple of drinks.
Alcohol can cause weight gain which can in turn raise our risks of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.
Did you know?
If you drink wine:
- A standard glass of 13% red or white wine can contain around 160 calories (Alcohol Change) – that’s around four Jaffa cakes (Fitbit)
- A large glass of 13% red or white wine can have around 225 calories (Alcohol Change) – similar to a jam doughnut (Fitbit)
- You’d need to do a 45 minute walk to burn off one large glass of wine
- If you drink four large glasses of wine a week, you’d need to do over 4 x 30 minute swims or 4 x 30 minute high impact step workouts a week to burn it off
- if you’re a couple sharing a bottle of 13% wine, you could be consuming 340 calories each – the same as a chocolate croissant each.
If you drink lager or beer:
- A pint of 5% lager can have around 220 calories (Alcohol Change) – the same as a Mars Bar and nearly as many as a McDonald’s hamburger (Fitbit)
- That means if you drink four pints a week, you’d need to play football for over 90 minutes or nearly three hours of cycling https://www.health.harvard.edu/diet-and-weight-loss/calories-burned-in-30-minutes-of-leisure-and-routine-activities)
If you drink gin
- a double gin & tonic can contain 149 calories – the same as a chocolate pancake.
- It would take a 30 minute walk to burn off the calories from one double G & T, while it would take a half-hour circuit training session or a 30 minute run to work off the calories from two double G&Ts (https://www.health.harvard.edu/diet-and-weight-loss/calories-burned-in-30-minutes-of-leisure-and-routine-activities)
It’s scary over time how drinks mount up – that means if you drink two glasses of wine or two pints a night, that’s similar to two Big Macs, two fries and two McFlurries each week.
And drinking 4 bottles of wine a month adds up to a yearly consumption of around 27,000kcal, which is equivalent to eating 48 Big Macs per year. Drinking 5 pints of lager each week adds up to 44,200kcal over a year, equivalent to eating 221 doughnuts.
Alcohol is estimated to account for nearly 10% of the calorie intake of those who drink, with around 3.4 million adults consuming an additional day's worth of calories each week– totalling an additional two months of food each year.
If you are trying to lose weight, cutting back on alcohol is recommended. And it can reduce the risks of cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.