Ditch the booze to shed weight: Report

London: If your diet is not working, blame it on the alcohol!

Dieters are underestimating the effect of alcohol on weight loss, with few realizing that a pint of lager has the same number of calories as three chocolate biscuits.

The World Cancer Research Fund says forgetting the calories in booze is one of the top reasons for diet failure and cutting down on drinks could help people lose weight.

The report said being overweight is the biggest cancer risk factor, after smoking. Drinking as little as one pint of beer every day increases a person`s risk of liver cancer and bowel cancer by about a fifth, the `Daily Mail` reported.

In the UK, more than 20,000 cases of cancer a year are linked to alcohol.

Now, the charity has produced an on-line alcohol-calorie counter which equates drinks to an easily understandable comparison.

For instance, two 175 ml glasses of wine is 248 calories - the same as eating three chocolate biscuits - and would take 52 minutes of walking to burn off.

"The calories in alcoholic drinks account for a significant proportion of a drinker`s calorie consumption while providing little, if any, nutritional benefit," Kate Mendoza, head of health information at WCRF, said.

"Cutting down on drinking can have a big effect on weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight. Recent reports have shown that people are unaware of calories in drinks and don`t include them when calculating their daily consumption," she said.

Mendoza noted while fat contains nine calories per gram, few people know that pure alcohol comes a close second with seven calories per gram.

Drinking alcohol has long been known to have a protective effect on the heart, but doctors say this is only really a benefit in men over 40 and post-menopausal women - and not in those who are overweight.


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