Category Archives: Alcoholism and Going Alcohol Free

Alcohol Unit & Calorie Calculator

Wondered how many units and calories are in your drinks? Drinkaware has an easy unit and calorie calculator to input what you drank and it will work out the number of alcohol units and calories you consumed.

Here is a link to the Unit and Calorie Calculator you may be shocked at the results!

The Mail Online also did an article on this MailOnline Article which is well worth reading and could be a wake up call.


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How Easy is it to Notch Up too Many Alcohol Units?

Group of Three Friends in a Bar Having DrinksIf we logged our drinking each week and added up the number of units consumed would we be within the recommended amount?





The NHS recommends:

  • Men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units of alcohol a day but no more than 21 units a week.
  • Women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units a day and no more than 14 units a week.
  • Men and women should have at least two alcohol-free days a week.
  • If you’ve had a heavy drinking session, avoid alcohol for 48 hours.

“Regularly” means drinking this amount every day or most days of the week.

Read more at NHS Choices – Alcohol Units

According to Drinkaware, the simplest way to understand the government’s lower risk guidelines is to see what they equate to in common types of drinks. Knowing this makes it easier to stay within the guidelines.

This means, each day we should not drink more than:

  • One large (250ml) glass of wine (13% ABV) for men or medium (175ml) glass of wine for women, or
  •  A pint and a half of lager or ale (4% ABV) for men or pint of lager or ale for women, or
  • A pint and a half of cider (4.5% ABV) for men or pint of cider for women, or
  • 4 single (25ml) spirits (40% ABV) for men or 3 single (25ml) spirits for women

As a guide these are the units of some popular drinks:

  • Small 125ml glass of wine (ABV 12%) – 1.5 units
  • Medium 175ml glass of wine (ABV 12%) – 2.1 units
  • Large 250ml glass of wine (ABC 12%) – 3 units
  • Pint of lower strength lager/beer/cider (ABV 3.6%) – 2 units
  • Pint of higher strength lager/beer/cider (ABV 5.2%) – 3 units
  • 330 ml bottle of lager Bottle of lager/beer/cider (ABV 5%) – 1.7 units
  • 440ml can of lager/beer/cider (ABV 4.5%) – 2 units
  • 275ml alcopop (ABV 5.5%) – 1.5 units
  • Single small (25ml) shot of spirits (ABV 40%) – 1 unit (standard single measure in England and Wales)
  • Single large (35ml) shot of spirits (ABV 40%) – 4.4 units (standard single measure in Scotland)

How easy is it to notch up more than the recommended daily and weekly units?

Well I for one can’t have one glass of wine and then put the bottle away for another day. Some people can but the majority I suspect have a ‘stop’ button that kicks in a few drinks further into the drinking session.

PubScene_07.03.14A couple of large glasses of vino after work or at home in the evening is 6 units a day and 42 in a week more than double the recommended guidelines. Increase this to 3 large glasses (or a bottle) of wine we are up to 9 units a day or 63 units in a week which is around 3 times the recommended guidelines.

Those of us that prefer 3 or 4 pints of 4% ABV beer, lager or cider each day after work or at weekends can be looking at 7.5 to 10 units a day or 52.5 to 70 units a week. This is two to three times the recommended guidelines.

If we drink 6 to 9 units a day Monday to Thursday and boost it a little at weekends with more wine, beer and a few shots thrown in we could soon be knocking on the door of 100 units a week!

Add to the total the extra drinking at weddings, parties and other celebrations and our consumption may be frighteningly dangerous.

If pubs, restaurants and hotels had a decent range of alcohol free beers and wine rather than the token Becks Blue alcohol free lager it may help us cut down on alcohol. I for one have decided to go AF (Alcohol Free) and party sober.







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How to Party Sober

I have just read How to Party Sober: A Step by Step Guide to Socialising Without Alcohol
Author: Rachel Black

My rating: 5 Stars (Amazon combined rating 4 plus Stars)

Socialising without alcohol is feared by many who wish to remain sober. Will they ever have fun again? This step by step guide shows you simple techniques to use in all social occasions to avoid the temptation to drink while enjoying yourself too. Without alcohol your social life will never be the same again; it will be so much better!


Rachel Black lives in Scotland with her husband and two children. At the age of 40, she suffered the opposite of a mid-life crisis and decided to do things properly for once and for all. Blogging and writing all the way, Rachel tackled the wine first. An increasingly ‘normal’ habit of drinking wine most nights had taken a firm grip. Her first book ‘Sober is the New Black’ details this acknowledgment, the desire to control her drinking, and finally, acceptance that she cannot moderate her intake of wine and she embarks on a journey of self discovery as she stops drinking for good.One year later her diet demons take centre stage. Having previously been held in check to allow copious amounts of calorific wine, they now rampage free. Cakes, biscuits, chocolate and desserts have gone from occasional treats to daily indulgences and now the scales hover at dangerous heights. The time to change came one day when Rachel was afraid to wash her jeans, knowing they would return to their original size and no longer fit. ‘Sweet and Sober’ is her second non-fiction book and details of decades of disordered dieting and chaotic eating. This heart wrenching account examines her past, from anorexia to binge eating, and tries to understand why we can control many many desires, except that to eat.

Rachel still eats cake and continues to try to moderate it. She is pleased cake does not make her drunk or hungover and her favourite is Carrot Cake, because it’s healthy, right?

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