Calories are bullshit. Yes, they exist and yes, at the core of having an understanding of what and how much we’re eating, but over the years I’m sure many of us have each found ourselves in the midst of a murky relationship with the drama of counting them.
The shady side of the calorie coin, is the competitive, obsessive and neglectful aspect that too easily becomes a symptom of counting and tracking those pesky little numbers. Needless to say, young women of the 80s, 90s and 00s were heavily subject to the mixed and missed messaging of the fact that actually, following a healthy diet is way more complex than sticking to a rogue number of calories. But even now, the huge factor that’s often been left out of the equation is the numbers that alcohol accounts for.
Shock horror, wine has calories too! But then again, I suppose we’ve got a completely separate, messed up relationship with alcohol all on it’s own...
We never learn from our hangovers (or the fear of having text an ex/said something inappropriate/generally made a fool of ourselves, for that matter) but nevertheless, all of the side effects of drinking alcohol hold a pretty fixed place in our periphery vision. Well, all except how they contribute to our calorie intake.
READ MORE: A Selection Of Alcohol-Free Drinks That Don't Taste Awful
1. Alcohol-Free Budweiser
Smells like a Bud, tastes like a Bud, comes with a can. We'd say this is top of the 'how to pretend your drinking when you don't want to drink' pecking order.
2. Alcohol-Free Eisberg White Wine
A Sauvignon Blanc not as you know it but it's not all that far off. Unless you're a proper wine connoisseur... then you probably won't be into it at all. But it smells very grape-y which is as about as close to a white wine as you get in this game.
3. Alcohol-Free Erdinger Wheat Beer
As soon as we popped the lid on this one it smelt like a pub, so if you're into full sensory drinking go for this guy here. Pours with a generous head if that's how you like your beers but don't try it luke warm. It's not pleasant at all.
4. Alcohol-Free Kopparberg
Oh hey there sugary-sweet cider of our younger years. Honestly, I'd struggle to tell the difference between this one and the boozy alternative which, for these purposes, is a good thing. Teeth will probably feel a bit furry by the time you finish the bottle, though.
5. Alcohol-Free Rawsons Retreat Sparlking Chardonnay
I'm very sorry to say that we struggled to find a precise prosecco alternative. And technically this bottle of bubbles is 0.5% alcohol but we're pretty sure that doesn't really count... right?
6. Alcohol-Free Seedlp 'Spirit'
Here we have the world's first distilled alcohol-free spirit. As for which spirit it's meant to be, we're not sure. But it's made from peas (and smells like peas) but doens't taste half bad with some lemonade and/or orange juice.
7. Alcohol-Free Stowford Press Cider
Smells like a barrel of cider alright! And it really does taste pretty close to a pint of the alcoholic stuff that one rogue mate insists on ordering from the local pub.
Because of this separate association, whenever we _do_ consider alcoholic drinks as calorific, it often then becomes a matter of swapping or exchanging that large glass of Sauvignon for a food item at a different point in the day to make that last minute trip to the pub at the end of the day possible.
And while that's problematic on it's own, food and drink items aren't necessarily interchangeable in that way anyway because, well, duh, swapping that banana for a wine isn't going to play off in the same way when we get down to the legitimate nitty gritty important stuff of carbs, protein, fiber and so on. I'm sorry to have to tell you that, actually, alcohol doesn't have any nutritional value.
'Because alcohol is made from sugar or starch, it contains lots of calories – seven calories a gram in fact, almost as many as pure fat!' the Drink Aware website explains. So the calories there are 'empty' ones, apparently. 'Most alcoholic drinks contain traces of vitamins and minerals, but not usually in amounts that make any significant contribution to our diet'.
Knowledge is power, as they say. So whether you're a calorie counter or not, it's probably useful to know exactly how wine contributes (or doesn't) to your intake. So, here's what you need to know about your wine habit. Brace yourself.
How many calories in a glass of wine?
According to the Drink Aware unit and calorie counter, there's 159 calories in a standard 175ml of 13% wine. The strength of the wine might alter this number a bit, but this is generally at the higher end of things.
How many calories in a large glass of wine?
In a large glass of 13% wine (that's 250ml folks) you'll find up to 228 calories which is probably more than you were expecting, right? Thought so.
How many calories in a bottle of wine?
Ready for some mental arithmetic? A bottle of wine is generally 750ml, which adds up to about three large glasses of wine (doesn't sound very much when we put it like that, does it?). So if you were ever to get through an entire bottle, that'd be about 680 calories accounted for.
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.