Like the majority of MiNDFOOD readers, I like to drink wine.
I know that, because data recorded by research company Nielsen shows that 75 per cent of MiNDFOOD readers are wine drinkers and 24 times more likely than the average female aged 20 to 59 to drink wine. It’s nice to know I’m in excellent company.
I decided to write about wine this week because it’s something GetRunning trainer Gaz Brown is keen to see me reduce though not eliminate because as he says “You’ve still got to have fun”. Damn right.
But when he pointed out that perhaps drinking one glass of wine a night was too much and that I should cut down that amount, to be honest I thought, ‘What? One glass is not a lot’.
However, aside from the calories, it is the frequency of imbibing that Gaz has issue with here. As I’ve already shared on Week 3 of my fitness journey, Gaz explained: “It’s what we do most of the week, not parts of the week” that have an impact.
“So for example, if someone was to eat healthily all week and then have a crap day, that’s not going to make much of a difference to the body. It’s the same as saying if somebody eats crap all week and has one healthy day, it doesn’t do anything to the body. It’s what we are doing all the time that matters.
“That’s why you have got to be careful with wine because it’s something you are doing all the time,” says Gaz.
In a nutshell, that means if I’m drinking wine every day then those calories are going to stick. Argh, that is soooo unfair.
And here is the ugly truth. A bottle of wine is equivalent to approximately 46 teaspoons of sugar, and 150 to 200 calories per glass. A bottle equals approximately eight standard glasses. An average 4km run will burn off around 400 calories, which is effectively two glasses. You do the math! And that’s just burning off wine calories not to mention food calories.
Gaz’s suggestion is to keep it simple and aim for three days a week without alcohol. “I don’t mind you drinking it but I’d rather you said ‘I’m having X-amount of AFD (alcohol free day) days,” says Gaz. “Three days a week, no wine. Keep it simple.”
We’ve tried this at home and now that I’m in Week 7 of my fitness challenge, I can report that our habits have changed. Instead of opening a bottle of wine every evening with dinner we now save drinking wine for an occasion, not just because it’s Monday.
Wine used to be my de-stress and a way to relax. Now running does that for me. Well, mostly. Don’t get me wrong, I still LOVE wine but now when I go out I make sure I order a glass of the most divine, beautiful wine on the menu and don’t worry that it is more expensive, and I savour every drop. My taste buds thank me and so does my waistline.