Counting my alcohol syns

Gin and Tonic

One of the things I do to try and make my weight loss more successful is to avoid drinking alcohol at home. Booze is just empty calories, in that the alcohol provides no nutrition to the body. And to be honest, I’d rather save my syns for food!

However, with less than 6 weeks till Christmas, I’m faced with a number of opportunities to socialise with colleagues, friends, and family. And if I’m going out then I do like to have a drink. But all the while I’m conscious about not going crazy, because those syns can quickly add up.

A standard strength pint of lager such as Carlsberg Export is 11½ syns. And a pint of Guinness is only slightly better at 10 syns.

If I’m having wine over dinner, and polish off a bottle to myself, that’s anything between 30 and 40 syns for the bottle!

So what can I drink that’s low in syns, and is generally available in pubs and restaurants?

Spirits

A standard pub measure (35ml) of gin is 4 syns, and it’s the same for vodka, brandy or whiskey. So I can have up to three gins with slimline tonic on a night and use just 12 of my 15 syns.

Beer / Lager

Drinking pints is just too  syn-full, so I normally try and see if I can find a low-calorie bottled beer.

Coors Light is only 5 syns a bottle, and Corona Light is 5½ syns.  They’re probably the lagers you’re most likely to find available in a pub or restaurant. Although there might be other light beers, and it’s always worth asking, because most of them will be around 5-6 syns each.

I also like to ask for ice in my glass, which always seems to make the bottle of beer last a bit longer.

Wine

I do enjoy a nice glass of red wine, particularly over dinner. But it’s so dangerous to start drinking wine in a group, because the waiter or your dining companions will invariably top up your glass a number of times during the meal, often without asking you first! Also, with different sizes of wine glasses everywhere, you don’t know what size of measure you’re getting.

One trick I’ve used before is to order a glass of a different wine to what everybody else is drinking. That way you will have a better idea of the size of drink you’re getting, and it also means that it won’t be topped-up from the bottle(s) on the table!

Having said that, the size of a ‘glass’ of wine seem to vary quite a lot, and you often get by default quite a large measure! A small glass (125ml) would be about 5 syns, a medium glass (175ml) about 7½ syns, and a large glass (250ml) is 10½ syns – depending on the strength of the wine.

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