GrogWatch - New Year's Resolution, do you have one?

New Year’s resolution – did you make one?

It’s no surprise that the three most common New Year’s resolutions are about losing weight, starting an exercise program and stopping smoking1? But how many people consider the role cutting back alcohol can play in getting a healthy start to the new year?

We may be very conscious of eating lots of fruit and vegetables and turning down a chocolate biscuit as part of a health kick, but what about a glass of wine or a stubbie? Ten grams of alcohol (one standard drink) contains 290kj, so each drink will increase your energy intake. For example:

  • A 375ml stubbie of full strength beer has about the same number of kj as 1.4 Tim Tams
  • 120ml of white wine has about the same number of kj as one chocolate Teddy Bear biscuit
  • A 345ml bottle of cider has about the same number of kj as 1.4 Caramello Koalas
  • 30ml of whiskey/vodka/gin and 200ml of soft drink has about the same number of kj as one hash brown
  • A mojito has about the same number of kj as 2.1 chocolate Teddy Bear biscuits.

It’s actually pretty hard to estimate how many kj are in a drink though, because drinks come in different strengths and a single glass or bottle may contain several standard drinks.

Have a go at using the following tools to keep track of your drinking habits:

Another popular New Year’s resolution is saving money for a holiday, house renovation or new car. And that’s an area cutting back on your drinking can help with too. Check out febfast’s ‘bartabometer’.

Now is the time to be encouraging the people around you to consider their drinking habits. Our DrugInfo service has received an overwhelming number of calls so far this year for information about kicking bad habits, particularly around alcohol.

There are a few initiatives to get you started including febfast and later in the year Dry July and Ocsober.  There is also the Hello Sunday Morning challenge that can be attempted at any time of year. But remember, good habits need to last a lifetime, not just for one month. GrogWatch will be tackling how to keep good habits next month.

So to ring in 2013, why not forward this blog to your family, friends and workmates and challenge them to consider getting off to a healthy start in 2013. Don’t forget to tell us how it goes through submitting a story to GrogWatch.

References

1 Norcross JC, Mrykalo MS & Blagys MD 2002 “Auld Lang Syne: Success Predictors, Change Processes, and Self-Reported Outcomes of New Year’s Resolvers and Nonresolvers”, Journal of Clinical Psychology, 58:4, pp. 397–405.