Monday, 28 January 2013

Counting units

I mentioned in my previous alcohol-related blog Wine my attempts to cut down.  To support my efforts, I decided to start logging my drinks on My Drinkaware, a website on which you log your consumption and it, very helpfully, gives you the number of units and the number of calories in your drinks.  It also makes lots of 'helpful' suggestions, such as "Did you know that you could have eaten a burger and fries for the same number of calories you have consumed in alcohol today?".  Great, except I'd prefer to drink away my calories than eat a MacDonald's anyday! 

Now I know that most of us are unaware of the number of units in a glass of wine – for years we were told that a small glass was 1 unit.  However, these days, we have had considerable wine inflation!  I don’t mean in the price, as there are still many deals to be had at the supermarket; I mean in the number of units!  I know, I know, I know, that the wine we tend to drink these days is stronger than the Liebfraumilch and Blue Nun that we used to drink 25 years ago, and I KNOW that my favourite wine is 13%, but I hadn’t quite realised quite how this equates to units per glass.  At home I always drink from a small glass, which I know to be 125ml, which I imagined was probably around 1.4-1.5 units.  I was rather shocked, then, to discover that just 2 glasses was 3.4 units according to “My Drinkaware”, and this was OVER the line on their chart of recommended intake!  And I thought I was doing really well, having cut my consumption down to ONLY 2 small glasses!  The only saving grace was that I wasn’t drinking on 4 days a week.  That was, of course, until Christmas!  I don’t just mean Christmas day and the couple of days around it, I mean the whole week before (well, I HAD broken up from work…) and the week or so afterwards…  I continued to dutifully log my drinks on the website until the website started to give me warning messages that I was becoming “At Risk” because of my increased consumption!  I found this REALLY scary, so I stopped logging my drinks until after Christmas!  (Risk level is now showing as ‘Low’)  :-)

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