Packing on the pints
by Ashley Schiller
While the offer to hit the bar with friends is very tempting for many students, patrons could be packing away more than just memories. First-year general studies student, Tanya Snowshoe said she has noticed a change in
her weight over the past year.
“Oh yeah, I’ve gained like 10 pounds this year,” she claims.
The freshman-15 is very real for many students, but where does the weight gain come from?
As a resident student, Snowshoe admits she drinks up to three times per week, and, depending on the night, may drink up to 10 beers. However, many students don’t realize how many calories are in their favourite drinks. A single pint of beer contains around 250 calories, which means Snowshoe’s evening of drinking totals 2,500 calories.
Registered dietician and fitness consultant on campus, Rory Hornstein, reminds us that, “Your body has a set number of calories necessary that must be consumed to maintain your weight.”
The daily recommended intake of calories for a girl Snowshoe’s size would be approximately 1,800 calories per day to maintain her body weight. Her alcohol consumption alone puts her far in excess of her recommended daily calorie-consumption.
Alcohol itself isn’t the only problem; booze can also encourage unhealthy eating habits.
“Alcohol stimulates food intake and can also increase subjective feelings of hunger,” Hornstein notes. “People consume more food when they have consumed alcohol.”
So, add in a pound of hot wings and a few handfuls of nachos, and you’ve added nearly a pound to your waistline in a single night (a pound being comprised of 3,500 calories).
There are, however, alternatives to the high-calorie beverages that don’t require giving up alcohol completely.
Second-year open studies student, Joanne Krumpitz claims she knows the high-calorie cost of drinking, and has managed not to gain any weight this year. She chooses rum and diet coke over high-sugar drinks or beer, and Hornstein agrees that this is an effective substitution.
“Limit calories in your drinks by choosing those with less alcohol and a limited amount of sweetened beverages,” Hornstein says. Choosing diet beverages, soda water or flavoured water instead of juices and pops can drastically reduce calorie count.
Should you choose to drink alcohol, Hornstein suggests you “limit the quantity and frequency you do so.” Add in a balanced diet and a visit to the MRU recreation a couple of times a week, and you should have no problem keeping those freshman-15 at bay.