With almost 200 calories in a large glass of champagne, it’s no surprise that the UAE’s brunching culture is a prime contributor to the infamous ‘Dubai stone’. And it’s not just the stomach-bloating bubbly that’s to blame, either, there’s the 7pm sofa dive and pizza delivery, not to mention the hangover-induced burger binge the next day to consider, too.
In fact, on an average boozy brunch weekend, we can consume around 3,000 extra calories thanks to alcohol, and booze-related snacking. So, you may have lived on nothing but salad all week, but any mid-week ‘good dieting’ you’ve done can be cancelled out by one 48-hour binge.
So, how much of a difference can cutting alcohol from your diet really make? Nine kilos, according to Kate Hudson, who credits her recent weight-loss with an alcohol ban. While Britney Spears– whose booze/binge cycle was blamed for her 2008 breakdown – attributes cutting back on drink to her new toned, 10-kilos-lighter bod.
But, even if you don’t want to ban booze completely, even cutting down can make a dramatic difference. Liz Hurley has switched out her wine – which can contain almost 150 calories per large glass – for 50-calories-a-glass vodka instead.
“I don’t miss having a glass of wine because I’ve switched to vodka,” says the actress. “If I’m at a party, I have a small one with a lot of fizzy water and a huge squeeze of lime.”
Even former party animal Kate Mosshas rationed her drinking quota, limiting her alcohol intake to the weekends, guzzling water during the week – and the results are evident in her glowing complexion.
“She is now eating three regular healthy meals a day. She is also drinking two litres of water a day,” spilled a friend of the super. “Her alcohol consumption is being limited to only when she goes out and she has made a pact with Jamie that she will try not to drink during the week.”
According to liver specialists, having at least three alcohol-free days a week can dramatically reduce associated health risks, while switching to smaller measures – for example, a 125ml glass of wine instead of a 175ml glass – will reduce your intake when you do drink.
“Abstain from sugary mixers and drink wine, light beer, or spirits mixed with club soda, and only in moderation,” advises LA-based dietician Ashley Koff, who also advocates maximising hydration to avoid the after-effects of booze.
“Be sure to hydrate not only with water, but with water-based fruits and veggies and potassium-rich coconut water and avocado.”