concert

Tonight’s concert plan of action

We realised only yesterday that we had tickets for a concert in the 3Arena tonight.

Our normal plan, when going out in the city on a week-night, would be to meet somewhere in the city and have an early-bird dinner before the event. We’d also have a couple of drinks over dinner, as the price of drinks in concert venues is often inflated.

However doing this would not exactly be syn-friendly. When you add the dinner and drinks together we’d probably be way over our syn allocation for the day – and that’s before we’ve even made it the concert!

So what’s our plan of action?

Well this morning I brought both a packed lunch and dinner with me. And so, instead of going out to eat, I’m going to stay late in the office and eat dinner there.

I’ll be having a syn-free meal – actually left-overs from yesterday’s dinner – which I already know will be tasty, delicious, and healthy. And because I’ll still be in the office, I won’t be drinking alcohol with my meal – so that’ll save on some more syns.

The idea then, is to meet up with the misses half an hour before the gig for a quick drink in a local bar, and then head on to the concert.

The misses has also planned ahead for potential post-concert munchies. She’s prepared a chicken curry that’ll be waiting at home. So should we be hungry, we’ll be able to avoid the temptation to get a take-away, as there’s a tasty and healthy alternative ready to eat.

Hopefully all this will help ensure we end up having a great night – but also a healthy night!

wine-glass

The demon drink

When I fall off the wagon, there’s often an alcoholic drink involved!

Most of the time I avoid drinking any alcohol at all, because it’s high calorie, and those calories provide little or no nutrition. Alcohol doesn’t fill me up, so in effect they’re just empty calories. And I’d rather use my calories (or syns) for food!

Having said that, on occasion I’ve been known to indulge in a small tipple, and when I do it can either go one of two ways. I either stay “good” and stay within my syns for the day, but feel like I’ve missed out on having a really good night. Or I go “bad” and go way beyond my syns (often not even counting them), and have a good night, but end up feeling regretful the next day. So either way, I end up feeling bad.

There’s also the problem that drink often lowers my resolve to make healthy eating decisions. So in addition to all those empty calories, I will often eat all the wrong types of food – and not just when drunk on a night out – but also the next day when I’m hung over.

So it’s best for me not to drink at all. At least that’s what I tell myself – often just before I reach for the wine bottle!

Gin and Tonic

Counting my alcohol syns

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.