Over millions of people around the world drink alcoholic beverages. It is part of almost all social occasion as a way to celebrate special events or sometimes drink just to relax after a hard day at work.
Although drinking in moderation can have beneficial effects for some groups of people, such as protection against coronary heart disease, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to a range of health problems. The effect is more noticeable in those who drink heavily on a frequent basis.
It can lead to potentially fatal diseases that affect the liver, heart, brain and other vital organs. Habitual alcohol consumption is also linked to weight gain by inevitably increasing the waist to hip ratio, or also known as the beer belly.
All of the alcoholic drinks are made from natural starch and sugar, processed through fermentation and distillation to produce alcohol content. This helps explain why alcohol contains lots of calories – seven calories a gram, almost as many as a gram of fat. Often, drinking might as well be accompanied with junk foods that are fattening.
To reduce the chances of gaining weight from drinking alcohol, follow these tips from the British Nutrition Foundation:
- Stick to your daily recommended units – men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units of alcohol a day; women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units a day. As an indication, a pint of lager (ABV 5.2%) and a 250ml glass of wine (ABV 12%) both contain 3 units of alcohol.
- Alternate an alcoholic drink with a glass of water – this will help to prevent you becoming dehydrated.
- Don’t drink on an empty stomach. If you do reach for snacks while drinking, opt for a healthier option – choose a sandwich instead of crisps or chips, or choose a chicken burger without mayonnaise instead of a kebab with garlic sauce.
- Drinking in rounds can mean you end up drinking more than you intended. Opt out and drink at your own pace.
- Try cutting down with a friend, as you’ll be more likely to stick to it with moral support.
- Eat a healthier dinner before you start drinking. Order or cook before you start drinking so you’re not tempted to go for the less healthy options.
- Pace yourself by taking small sips.
- Avoid “binge drinking” – some people are under the misapprehension that they can “save up” their units to splurge at the weekend.
- If you’re drinking white wine, why not add a splash of soda water to help the same number of units last longer?Source: NHS
To keep the body healthy, mindful drinking and eating of nutritious amounts of food and alcohol should be followed to avoid packing extra pounds of weight.