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Skip Meals for Drink
Skipping Meals when Going Out Drinking

A relatively new health problem has reared its head – Drunkorexia. Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD, takes a look at what skipping meals can really do for you.

What Happens To My Body When…
I Skip Meals When I'm Going Out Drinking

By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD

According to Drinkaware, a charity aimed at promoting responsible drinking, more women than ever are skipping meals so that they can save calories, allowing them to drink more when they go out.

Known as drunkorexia, this relatively new health problem is increasingly common in young women who binge drink but don’t want the associated ‘beer belly’. As a result, a night on the town usually means a night without food.

But that also means missing out on the nutrients typically provided by a meal – and these aren’t replaced by alcohol. Nutrition experts agree that it’s important to be aware of the calories in alcoholic drinks and to opt for lower calorie ones but, they say that food should never be substituted with alcohol.

As well as being loaded with calories, excessive alcohol intakes have both immediate and longer-term effects on health. A heavy night on the booze can cause anxiety, impotence, a slower heartbeat and an increased risk of accidents. The morning after hangover is likely to come with nausea, vomiting and a thumping headache – not to mention cravings for fatty, sugary and salty foods as the body tries to restore blood sugar and fluid levels.

In the long term, too much alcohol can lead to liver disease – shockingly, up to one in three adults in the UK now drinks enough booze to be at risk of developing alcohol-related liver disease. Furthermore, excessive alcohol intakes over time increase the risk of high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmia (an abnormal heart beat), blood clots, oral and digestive tract cancers, osteoporosis, pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), stomach ulcers, infertility, heart disease, dementia and mental health problems!

WLR’s Advice:

To stay healthy, stick to the maximum of three units daily for women and four units daily for men and work the calories provided by alcohol into a healthy eating plan that includes three meals a day!

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