When the sun’s shining, who can resist inviting some friends round and firing up the BBQ?

Think sizzling sausages, ice cold drinks and chilled music. It’s a recipe for pure summer perfection.

We all know that over-indulging in hot dogs has an effect on your waist-line. But did you realise drinking too much alcohol with your food could leave you with a belly that outlasts the good weather?

That’s because alcohol can be high in calories.

For example, drinking four pints of 4% Alcohol by Volume (ABV) beer with your BBQ is like adding two and a half extra burgers to your dinner.

That’s 728 calories – which would take 73 minutes of running to burn off.

Discover how many calories are in your drink

If you’re trying to stay in shape it’s a smart idea to stick to the UK Chief Medical Officers' (CMO) low risk drinking guidelines which state that keep health risks from alcohol to a low level it is safest for men and women not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis.
That’s six pints of 4% ABV lager or ale, or six 175ml glasses of 13% ABV wine..

When it comes to calories, a few drinks a week at social events like barbecues can soon add up.

Check out our DrinkCompare Calculator to see how you compare with the rest of the UK, and find out how drinking a little less can help you feel a lot better.

The low-down on BBQ drinking

  1. Go low/no alcohol. Today there are loads of ways to get all the flavour of beer, with far less of the alcohol (and fewer calories). Get the facts on no and low alcohol beers and try some for yourself.
  2. Water works. Assuming the weather plays ball it’s a good idea to have loads of water to hand. Not only does it keep you hydrated in the sun, but if you do drink alcohol, a water between alcoholic drinks is a smart way to slow your consumption.
  3. Size matters. If you choose to drink alcohol, picking a tall, slim-line half pint glass to serve it in helps you reduce the amount. The same goes with wine glasses – try 125ml measures instead of the larger 250ml serves.
  4. Weigh it up. If you’re trying to stay in shape consider the calories in alcohol. A pint of 4% ABV beer has around the same calories as a burger – and that’s on top of your food.
  5. Get some good advice. What does lower-alcohol living look like? Watch men like you explain how they’ve cut back in their own words.


Cut back, eat right and get active 

If you're looking for other ways to improve your all-round health then try these free apps from Public Health England:

ONE YOU Active 10

Exercise made easy. An app that helps to get you off the sofa with just 10 minutes of brisk walking a day. Set goals and track your progress. Simple!

Try the app

ONE YOU Easy Meals

If you find yourself short of inspiration for how to make nutritious meals then this app is for you. Quick, simple and most importantly tasty recipes straight to your smart phone.

Try the app