The United Kingdom has, quite tragically, earned a reputation on a global basis for its binge drinking culture. According to the experts at www.dryoutnow.com, more adults and teenagers than ever before are knowingly flouting recommended weekly intake guidelines and taking their health and wellbeing into their own hands.
On the plus side, more of us than ever before are also seeking professional advice and assistance, in order to cut down alcohol consumption and make better lifestyle choices. But at the same time, there’s an incredibly troubling new trend gaining traction across the UK, predominantly among a young and impressionable demographic.
Given the choice, would you prefer a half-pint of beer or a light meal? A glass of pinot or a plate of pasta? For those battling cases of drunkorexia, it’s the liquid option every time.
If you haven’t already come across the term, drunkorexia is the unofficial name given to what is slowly but surely becoming a recognised eating disorder. It apparently owes its origins to the New York cocktail bar scene, where a surprising number of body conscious individuals began weighing up the calories in their cocktails against their daily dietary choices. The long and short of it being that those following the drunkorexia ‘methodology’ skip meals and snacks during the day, in order to then binge on high-calorie drinks later that evening.
Widely publicised in a wide variety of women’s magazines on both sides of the Atlantic, it apparently stems from the relatively sensible practice of eating healthily before a night on the town. Rather than going out on an empty stomach or bingeing on unhealthy foods, people began making much more conscious choices about what they chose to eat and drink before going out drinking. Sooner or later, some started skipping desserts in order to justify one or two more cocktails. After this, it became a case of eating not nearly enough throughout the day, so as to be able to drink more without the guilt. And eventually, things progressed to a point where people were to a large extent starving themselves for the whole day, in order to then binge dangerously during the evening.
Worst of all, there are some for whom this represents the normal way of doing things, several times a week.
Of course, the theory is based on the fact that alcoholic drinks (cocktails in particular) have the potential to contain an extraordinary number of calories and can be consumed in a matter of seconds. Indeed, a heavy night on the cocktails can easily mean 2,000 or 3,000 calories if you are not careful. As such, those that fall under the drunkorexia banner assume that by starving themselves all day, they can then take in the same amount of calories in the evening without having to worry about it.
It sounds logical to a certain extent, apart from the fact that the calories they are consuming during the evening are empty calories with no nutritional benefit whatsoever. And at the same time, they are denying themselves each and every key nutrient their body needs throughout the day to do its job properly. Which in turn means that these 2,000+ calories they consume at night are a thousand-times more harmful and more likely to lead to weight gain than the calories they’d have consumed during the day. All while robbing their bodies of what they need to work properly, increasing the risk of serious disease and effectively crippling their metabolisms.
So whichever way you look at it, drunkorexia simply has no advantages or benefits whatsoever – it is counterproductive in every conceivable way.
As far as the experts are concerned, if you have found yourself in a position where you are ever skipping meals for the sake of alcohol, you have wandered into dangerous territory. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you need professional help, but you certainly need to take a step back and look at your lifestyle choices a little more carefully.
Realistically, anyone interested in reducing their calorie intake while still enjoying their weekly drinking session should be looking to strike a sensible balance. What this means is eating sensibly and healthily throughout the day, while at the same time being calorie-conscious when it comes to drink choices in general. Instead of a 650-calorie Mudslide, choose a 150-calorie white Russian, for example. And if in doubt, a quick call to the professionals for a few words of advice is all it takes to help move in the right direction – before things spiral out of control.
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