Syns in a bottle of gin

I had someone searching on my blog the other day for the number of syns in a bottle of gin.

I don’t know whether to be appalled or impressed at the idea of drinking a whole bottle of spirits! I just hope they’re not attempting it in one sitting!

A standard bottle of spirits in Ireland is 700ml, and a standard pub measure is ¼ Gill or 35.5ml in metric.

The syn values listed on the Slimming World website for gin vary depending on it’s alcoholic strength:

  • 37.5% gin is 3.5 syns per 35ml
  • 43% gin is 4 syns per 35ml

A standard bottle of a typical gin like Bombay Sapphire is 40% alcohol volume, but for the calculation I’ll use the higher value of 4 syns per 35ml measure.

There are 20 measures of 35ml in a 700ml bottle, and so the total for the whole bottle is 80 syns.

Happy (and responsible) drinking!

Liquid Cake

In my group they call wine “Liquid Cake” because – like cake – it’s really high in calories and a small portion is never enough!

A standard 750ml bottle of a typical brand of red wine that you’d find in a supermarket in Ireland is Casillero Del Diablo. It’s 13.5% alcohol.

If you drink the whole bottle you’re looking at around 35 syns!

There are other wines with a lower percentage of alcohol in them – and as such, lower syns – but who spends their time in the supermarket looking up alcohol content?

This weekend’s strategy

Social butterfly!

This weekend comes heavily laden with social occasions, which in theory could potentially be my undoing.

However, I have a plan!

Last night it was leaving drinks for a woman in my office. Most of the people going looked like they were settling in for a full night of drinking, and by all accounts they did. But I decided that I would have just one drink, ignore the platters of fried food being ordered, and head home for my low-syn dinner.

Tonight it’s my company’s annual summer barbecue. There’s free drink and food on offer, and some of the younger staff in the office are already planning which nightclub they’re going to visit afterwards. I certainly won’t be going to the after-party. I’ll be lucky to make it half way through the actual barbecue.

I’m also hoping that the barbecue has a good selection of lean meat (steak and chicken would be nice – wishful thinking) and salads, which I can dig into without a problem.

Tomorrow I have dinner out with some friends. I’ve talked before about coping strategies for eating out, but I’m not always the best at following my own advice! We have a big walk in the Dublin mountains ahead of the dinner, so hopefully that can help mitigate against any bad decisions.

Throughout all these social occasions I’m not planning to drink much. I might have the odd one or two, but I’m not going to lash into the beer. It’s just not worth it. I’d much rather reserve my calories for food!

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!

Food addictions

When you’re doing Slimming World, there are loads of foods that you can eat freely.

You can have as much as you want of those lovely  ‘speed’ vegetables and fruit. I also find it good to pack in a good amount lean protein, as it keeps me feeling full all day.  And in theory, you are allowed as much of the non-speed free foods (such as potatoes, pasta and rice) as you like – although I find that I sometimes need to moderate these, or I won’t get the loss I’m seeking.

And then there’s all the Healthy Extra and Syns that you need to measure and weigh. When it comes to some of these foods, I find it easier not to have them at all!

Take bread for example. I love bread. I love to eat loads of bread. I could eat an entire French stick in one sitting and still be craving toast to follow. But I find that the Healthy Extra B allowance too restrictive. I don’t want just one slice of bread. I want several. And so I don’t have any. Because if I got the taste for it, I’d eat it in large quantities, and before you know it, I’d be using all my syns on bread.

Alcohol is another example. I like a drink, but there’s not a lot of point having just one. If I’m going to have a glass of wine, then I’d prefer to share a bottle with my wife. But half a bottle of wine is far too many syns. And so it’s easier not to drink at all.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that there are certain foods and drinks that I have an abusive relationship with, and crave quantities of them well above what would be considered normal. It doesn’t happen with all foods. If I look at a banana, I don’t feel the need to eat a whole bunch. But for many sweet and savoury foods, I’m not content with just a normal quantity. I feel the need to eat them to excess.

And so, like any addict, it’s easier for me to avoid them altogether.