Weight-loss expert Andrew Dickson has advice for men on a favourite topic: beer.
Beer is a problem for men. It's as simple as that. It's the average bloke's socially acceptable way to catch up with a mate, or relax after mowing the lawns. It's the main feature of Friday afternoon 'beer-o'clock'. I got suckered in by this social norm when I was overweight – I drank beer every day and extra on the weekends.
I still love beer – most varieties, and most blends. It's refreshing, cool and easy. What really irks me, though, is that it counts as kilojoules – exactly like eating food. If we add up the amount of energy in a six-pack of an average lager, it equals about 3500kJ. This is about a third of my daily energy allowance, and lads – you can't skip dinner and have a six-pack instead. It just doesn't work that way.
The problem with beer (in fact, all alcohol) is that it delivers energy (kilojoules), but no nutritional value. Drink too much and you become dehydrated and wake up with the hangover headache and dry mouth.
The good news is that our bodies are able to cope with some alcohol, as long as we manage our intake.
Tips for managing beer
- Go for light beers with 2.5% alcohol. This is 30% less alcohol than a standard beer and therefore less energy – just tell your mates to rack off when they hassle you. Another option is low-carb beers, which have a similar energy load to light beers.
- Quantity is everything. Count the energy intake and balance it against your exercise output. For most blokes, one standard beer equals about ten minutes of running.
- Don't stop eating when you drink. Eat nutritious food such as veges and fruit, and drink water before, during and after drinking to prevent dehydration.
- Remember: All alcoholic drinks have the same effect of delivering energy which has no nutritional value. Whether you have 60ml (a double shot) of single malt whiskey or two light beers, both quantities deliver 750 'empty' kilojoules.