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By Nutrition Team

Monday, June 7, 2010

How are you planning to spend the next month? Playing soccer or watching soccer? If you don’t have the skills of the players, then the chances are you’ll be spending some time in front of the TV cheering on Rio Ferdinand and the lads.

But while you’re supporting your team, be careful not to fall into a beer, crisps, chips and nuts diet trap

Where do you watch football? At home? At a friend's house? Or in the pub? For many of us, the best way to see the beautiful game is on a wide-screen TV in the local bar. And with wide-screen TVs come beer, crisps, nuts… and more beer.

While many of us will celebrate (or commiserate) with our team, if you are trying to lose weight, it’s worth bearing in mind that all those pints will be adding plenty of calories at the same time. If you are planning on spending the World Cup in the bar, there are a few facts and figures you may want to keep in mind before you hit the pub.

Let’s start with lager. Each pint of regular strength lager has just over 130 calories (2 Totals). Now, a game usually lasts 90 minutes, give or take a bit of injury time and I’m quite sure it would be easy enough to drink 2 pints during this time.



Being very optimistic, our teams could play many matches and even end up in the final, we could score a total of 14 pints or over 1800 calories (28 Totals) from beer alone over the course of a month.

That might even be a conservative estimate if you’re going to watch all the group matches, and all those leading up to the final itself.

The worst culprit in the drinks cabinet is the ‘black stuff’ with a pint of stout setting you back no less than 136 calories (2½ Units). Again, counting on 7 matches at 2 pints per match, that’s over 1900 calories from Guinness or any other stout. That’s a lot of calories to be getting from drinks alone.

If you prefer spirits, most spirits will give you about 60 calories (1 Total) per measure. A mixer also provides around 60 calories so a G&T could do slightly less damage than a pint. But swap that tonic for slimline and your G&T has half the calories.

A glass of wine isn’t a bad choice either, with a 125ml glass of red or white wine containing around 100 calories (1 Total). And why not make that unit go further by mixing white wine with sparkling mineral water or soda water to make a spritzer? This is more thirst quenching and slows down your calorie intake.

Whatever you drink, try to stay wide of the bar snacks. A typical 30g bag of crisps contains over 160 calories and a massive 11 grams of fat (3 Totals), while a small tube of Pringles (50g) certainly isn’t a better option with 285 calories and 20g of fat (5 Totals).

Are peanuts a better choice? A small packet of salted peanuts (25g) provides 150 calories and 13 grams of fat (3 Totals) while a tube of dry roasted peanuts (50g) gives you a whopping 295 calories and 25 grams of fat (6 Totals).

So, have a small tube of Pringles and a packet of dry roasted peanuts with your two pints and you’ve managed to put away 830 calories and 45g of fat. Do this at 7 matches and that’s almost…wait for it - 6000 calories and 280 grams of fat.

And do you know how long you would need to PLAY football to use up this number of calories? 13 hours.

That works out at just over eight matches worth of football.

After that lot, you’d need a lot of luck to avoid weight gain


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