Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Top Guilt-Free Healthy Drinking Resources

Well, what a bank holiday that was. We drank, we sang, we fell over - and had a jolly good time indeed. But some of us may have finished three days of heavy boozing wondering whether we should cut down a bit (and that might not just be the hangover talking).

Maybe you're sick of feeling sick? Maybe you're worried about the calories and your ever-evolving beer belly? Maybe you're concerned you don't actually know how much alcohol makes you over the driving limit? Maybe you're just skint.

Well, never fear. We've compiled a handy list of tools that can help you drink responsibly but still have a jolly good time.

Drink Aware's Unit and Calorie Calculator

This calculator is one of our favourite tools of the lot. Not only is it super user-friendly and provides lots of options so you get an accurate result (so instead of saying you had 'a glass of wine', you have to specify whether it's 125ml or 250ml, and also what the alcohol percentage is) it also tells you how many calories you consumed, and what that equates to. It can be quite scary to see how many cheeseburgers worth of calories you might consume each night.

Unfortunately this is a web-only tool, but you can also download an alcohol tracker app from NHS Choices (iPhone only) or the Change4Life Drink Tracker (iPhone and Android).

BBC Radio 1's booze calculator

Quite similar to drink aware, but this fun flash calculator involves you dragging your various drinks to the bar. It also tells you roughly how many hours it would take for the booze to leave your system.

WCRF's alcohol calorie counter

This tool is a really clever way of finding out exactly how many calories you had last night. The cool slider-bars means you can be much more precise than the other calculators, and there's a much greater variety of options to choose from.

The 'Am I Over The Limit?' Calculator

This beauty was concocted by Staffordshire Police. Although it's actually a tool for 'morning after' driving - sometimes you're still drunk without knowing it the next morning - it does give you a rough guide to how many hours it will take for the booze you've drunk to leave your system. Obviously, this isn't a legal tool, but it can help you think about whether you're taking more of a risk with your driving than you thought.

The Cost of Drinking Calculator

Diabetes UK have put together a little calculator to help you work out how much you're spending on booze each week and each year. It's actually quite scary - even drinking one or two small glasses of wine a night will easily go into the thousands.
I found it quite handy to use it to work out how much I'd save each month if I cut out a couple of days' drinking a week - about £35, as it happens, which I'd much rather spend on a meal out or treating myself to something gorgeous.

The Alcohol Self-Assessment

With probing questions like 'How often do members of your family and friends advise you to drink less?' and 'How often do you feel unable to do your duties because you've had too much to drink?', this NHS tool does make you think a bit.

Now, I don't want you to be concerned. We at Vinspire are by no means going tee-total on you, and we still believe that alcohol can be enjoyed responsibly several times throughout the week. But if, like us, you want to make sure you keep healthy whilst getting on the sauce, these resources really can make a difference.

What do you do to help keep your drinking habits healthy? Let us know in the comments!

Photos taken from Bayhaus, StopAlcoholDeaths and Images of Money's photostreams respectively, under the Creative Commons License.

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