Studies may show that a glass of red wine can have health benefits, but if you’re looking to shed kilos then it might be advisable to keep off the booze for the time being.

Why? Alcohol is often referred to as empty calories as the drinks weigh in heavily calorie wise but very little in nutrients.

This means, in terms of fuel you’re getting very little bang for your buck. A simple glass of wine is around 155 calories while a can of beer is around 125 calories.

In contrast a protein shake or slice of avocado on toast is around 150-200 calories.

Imagine on a night out, after four-to five glasses of wine you’ve almost consumed your recommended daily allowance of calories!

Furthermore, when alcohol is consumed the excess glucose and lipids end up in our adipose tissue or fat, which is why we often feel bloated or heavier after a big night out.

Because alcohol is high in sugar, regular consumption can easily lead to weight gain and what is commonly known as a beer gut.

We also tend to eat way more when we consume alcohol as studies show that it can trigger hunger signals in the brain, making us eat more.

You may also find your sleep is affected after a night out as research shows that alcohol tampers with your sleep cycles.

When we sleep less, this can lead to a hormone imbalance related to hunger and satiety which in turn can lead to increased weight gain.

Alcohol also puts a strain on the liver, stomach and intestines, leading to digestive problems and problems in the way your body metabolises and stores carbohydrates and fat.

This impaired digestion affects the body’s ability to absorb nutrients leading to unwanted weight gain.

So, does this mean you should go completely alcohol free? The best thing to do is limit your intake overall and opt for lower calorie options with lower sugar content.

Vodka or gin with a mixer such as soda is a good choice at 100-115 calories or whisky on the rocks.

If you want to go for something a little stronger opt for a brandy or tequila shot for 100 calories.

If all of those don’t take your fancy, you can also do a glass of red wine, but avoid one too many to keep your calories in check.