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Saturday, 3 January 2015

Ditch The Alcohol To Lose Weight

HERE one middle class drinker reveals how she transformed her body, fitness and mood after giving up her nightly tipple.

Quitting alcohol for just one month and taking up exercise could see the average British woman lose up to a stone.
Just by drinking the recommended daily allowance – three units or a large glass of wine – equates to 250 calories and without regular exercise could see women gain up to two stone in weight each year.
Juliet Chenery discovered this to her cost after her habit of drinking three bottles a week led to slow but steady weight gain. She tried countless diets but struggled to shed the pounds. 
But when she gave up alcohol for a month – as a record 86,000 people will do this month as part of the MacMillan Go Sober For October campaign - she found the physical and emotional benefits so great she stayed on the wagon for five months.
Juliet, 42, who runs a holiday park in Devon, went from 17st 7lb and a size 22 to 12st 7lb and a size 12 in just a year.
“I didn’t really drink during the week but on a Thursday night I’d usually go out and share a bottle with friends," she said.
“On a Friday and Saturday I’d drink a bottle of wine a night at least. Although I was quite sporty, playing tennis every now and then, I knew I was overweight and I’d tried diets but never really had any real results.

Juliet Chenery lost five stone after giving up alcohol
Juliet Chenery lost five stone after quitting booze kickstarted her weight loss [PH]
Juliet, who is single, also changed her diet. Before, she’d eat toast and cereal for breakfast, a sandwich, crisps and chocolate for lunch, and burger and chips for dinner, and often snack on more chocolate.
Now she eats fruit, yogurt and flaxseeds for breakfast, soup for lunch and bolognaise and cous cous for dinner, and snacks on fat-free homemade muffins and fruit.
Each week Juliet runs three times, plays tennis and cycles. She’s also run 10k races for charity and is embarking on a 55-mile cycle race this weekend.
Juliet said: “I drink again now as I’ve reached my goal but I’ll run it off the next day. Having the period of abstinence made me realise what I’m capable of when it comes to fitness and I don’t think if I’d carried on drinking that would have happened.”
Iain Reitze, 49, head trainer at Prestige Bootcamp, says 80 per cent of the 3,000 women he has worked with drink between one glass and a bottle of wine a night – a figure he finds startling.
He said: “One large glass is the recommended daily allowance – between two and three units and on average has 250 calories so this is what is seen as socially acceptable.
“Some admit to having up to a bottle a night. That's nine units, so 750 calories, and after or during that will snack on bad food choices, so you could be looking at an extra 250 calories when you add that in.
"So in an extreme case that could be around 1,000 extra empty calories made up of alcohol and junk food with very little nutrition.
“When you drink your blood sugar level drops and this continues into the next day, when you will crave junk food. Making the wrong food choices means your cells aren’t fulfilled with good nutrition so there will be a desire to eat again.
“Even just drinking one glass of wine a night - consuming 100 more calories than you burn and not training - would mean you put on a stone every year, double that for a large one, and if you’re having an extra 7,000 calories a week you really cannot help but put on weight.
“Heavy drinkers carry weight round their middle, the beer belly, and have skinny legs. Their hair is dull, their skin will be washed out and spotty in some cases from the toxins. They will feel lethargic and irritable and often anxious too. It’s hardly a desirable look.”
Psychologist Jo Hemmings agrees that drinking is now a huge part of British culture and says there has been a shift in how drunk people are perceived.
Not drinking made me feel and look so much better, my skin was clear, my eyes brighter and I felt like I really had a sparkle again
She said: “We all have an innate longing to be part of a group as it gives us a sense of belonging, so often people drink alcohol because their peers do it and they want to feel like they fit in.
“The culture of drinking has changed. It used antics are seen as fun.
“Also, culturally, we associate drinking alcohol with relaxation. A glass of wine is seen as a treat or a reward for a hard day at work. So if you don’t drink alcohol you may be perceived as being uptight.
Women can see a huge difference not only in their bank balance – research by Macmillan shows that we spent £50,000 in our lifetime on booze – but on the scales too.
Iain said: “In just a month, they will see some real changes. By not drinking, even someone having a 125ml glass of wine a night is taking away 875 calories each week, if they have a large glass it’s 1,750 and a bottle would be 5,250.
“To lose a pound in weight, you need to have a calorie deficit of 3,500, so just by cutting out that glass of wine you can lose two pounds in a month. And if you have a bottle of wine a night you are looking at six pounds, which is nearly half a stone.
“If you exercise too, say five times a week, you can look to burn another 3,500 calories, you’ll look fresh, young and healthy. If you don't like exercise, then just move more, walk, take stairs, maybe get off the bus two stops earlier and you will see a difference.
“Because the cells in the body regenerate every four weeks, in that time all the alcohol and toxins will have left the body and you will feel better and stronger physically, mentally and emotionally.
“Just by cutting out that glass of wine and maybe going for a walk instead it’s easy to be consuming 1,000 less calories a day. It might sound a lot, but I’d urge women to try on a tight blouse or jeans at the start of the month and see how they feel at the end".



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