A COSMO is never be a bad idea, right? What damage could a few wines over a late Friday lunch really do? Whether it be a cold beer with the barbecue, cider on the beach or a fancy cocktail on a swanky new rooftop, the vast majority of us love a drink. And I assure you there is absolutely no judgement here.

[showads ad=MREC]However, if you’re striving to lose weight or increase your fitness and muscle, alcohol intake needs to be scrutinised just as much as what you eat. Stripping away the how, why and when from our drinking habits and taking a look at how much we actually drink may shed some light on why we still have that little extra weight hanging around when our gym routine has been so great for so long. You’ll see that moderation is soon to be your new best friend.

If you’ve ever wondered what it actually is you’re drinking then prepare to be amazed. The alcohol that features in our favourite beverage is known as ethanol, otherwise scientifically known as ethyl alcohol. Ethanol is created through a process known as as fermentation which involves fruit such as grapes and apples, or cereals like barley or rye being left to rot with yeast, various bacteria and starches. Weighing in at seven calories per gram of alcohol (only two less than pure fat), the over-representation of sugar and starch in this process should help explain the calories punch that alcohol packs gram-for-gram.

This month I’m going to take a look at some of our favourite drinks, their calorie contents and what we would need to do to burn them off. To save paper and time I’m going to stick with a brand average:

Screen shot 2015-09-18 at 8.21.52 PMVodka, whiskey or tequila: 65 calories

30 minute walk

– Add 140 calories if this is consumed as a soft drink mixer, making it 205 calories per drink, which means a two-plus hours walk on the treadmill

Screen shot 2015-09-18 at 8.21.59 PMWhite wine: 121 calories

Red wine: 129 Calories

– 20 minute bike ride. That’s right. Every glass of wine is going to set you back a 20 minute bike ride.

Screen shot 2015-09-18 at 8.22.06 PMChampagne: 78 calories

– 10 minute jog. Definitely one of the better deals. A 10 minute jog for a glass of champagne seems almost reasonable.

Screen shot 2015-09-18 at 8.22.16 PMBeer: 153 calories

– If beer is more to your liking then every bottle is going to cost you 15 minutes in the pool. That six pack you’re eying off is going to be a 1.5 hour slog.

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Liam Barrett is a professional personal trainer who has worked in the fitness industry for the last five years. He operates gay-friendly The Camp Fitness bootcamp in Sydney. You can also follow him on Instagram: Liam.lovesyou

If you’re interested in joining The Camp Fitness, every Star Observer reader can claim a free trial week at www.thecampfitness.com. Click on “sign up” and type “Star Observer” into the message section.

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