The run-up to Christmas means parties, eating out and enjoying the odd alcoholic beverage. The pressure to take part in all the social occasions is immense so it's best to figure out how to do it as responsibly as possible.
According to the CSIRO Healthy Diet Score Report, alcohol is a major contributor to our intake of discretionary foods – that is, foods that have no nutritional value. Alcohol intake increases the older we get and it is people over 50 who drink the most.
One thing to keep in mind during the festive season is that it's easy to write off the whole month as a lost cause when it comes to taking care of yourself. That is a very unhelpful attitude to take! Instead you should aim to be in the same shape and fitness in January as you are going into Christmas.
On the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet, alcoholic drinks are classified as indulgences together with other non-nutritious foods like potato chips, chocolate and ice cream. The trick is to allow these as a part of your healthy diet but always stick to a limit.
Eating out and enjoying a drink go hand-in-hand – it's always a treat to have a delicious meal (that you don't have to cook!) accompanied by a great glass of wine or a refreshing beer.
However, alcohol can stimulate your appetite and make it easier to overeat, so keep these tips in mind before you order a drink at your favourite restaurant.
A standard drink as defined by health guidelines contains 10 grams alcohol but alcoholic products usually contain more than that. This means that a bottle of beer or a glass of wine usually is more than what is considered a standard drink.
Different alcoholic beverages vary widely in the amount of alcohol they contain, so by law the label on the bottle/can must indicate how many standard drinks are in that container.
The National Health and Medical Research Council recommend that healthy people drink no more than four standard drinks per day and no more than 10 standard drinks a week. Whereas the guidelines used to allow a higher intake for men, they are now the same for both women and men.