You’ve probably read how the occasional drink can actually be good for your health. It can fit in well with a healthy lifestyle by lowering stress and even reducing your blood pressure. So does alcohol on your diet have to be a total no-no? Well, more than one drink a day probably is.
Alcohol, as you’ve been told over and over again, is full of empty calories. But what’s life without a few empty calories? So although you can probably lose some weight and enjoy a drink a day, have a think about some of the information below.
- Zero nutritional value
Alcohol has no nutritional value whatsoever, and actually contains 7 calories per gram. Those are what we call ‘empty calories’. If you’re limiting your daily calorific intake, you should use up those calories eating or drinking something that is going to improve your health, rather than spending them on alcoholic drinks.
We all know that alcohol can dehydrate your skin, leaving it red or blotchy both during drinking and in the morning. But drinking also has longer term effects on your skin. Drinking alcohol tends to permanently enlarge the blood vessels near the skin's surface, causing itchiness, uneven tone and red spots. If you've ever seen the skin of a long-term alcoholic, you'll recognize exactly this redness.
- Alcohol is a diuretic
Diuretics are substances that cause water loss and dehydration. When you lose water, you flush out minerals such as potassium, zinc and calcium as well. Your body needs these minerals to keep the fluids and chemicals in your body in sync, as well as for contraction and relaxation of your muscles.
- Poor quality sleep
Alcohol may help you to drop off in the evening, but the quality of your sleep will be poor. It’s certainly not the restful sleep that your body deserves. If you need to bounce out of bed and run to a photo shoot, you need a good quality dose of beauty sleep!
- Health problems
Alcohol causes your stomach to produce more stomach acids, which cause inflammation in your stomach lining. This will not normally cause immediate problems with your health, but if you drink frequently and in large amounts you can get ulcers, heart problems or liver disease.
- Lower inhibitions
It’s hard to stick to your diet when a drink has lowered your inhibitions. To make things worse, alcohol is actually an appetite stimulant too, which drives us to high calorie snacks like chips, peanuts or fast food. This slide in willpower often continues well into the next day when we order takeaway or eat fried food.
What Not To Do?Don’t skip meals to “save calories” for drinks later in the day. Face it, most of us have skipped a meal because we know there’s going to be a party or a dinner or a friend coming over for drinks later. This is a bad idea for a number of reasons.
The meal that you’ve skipped probably has much more nutritional value than the drinks you’re planning to have. Drinking on an empty stomach is never a good idea either. Meanwhile the ‘empty calories’ in alcohol will rob you of your energy and it won’t do your complexion any favors either.
So before you go for that alcoholic drink, weigh the pros and cons. One drink might be good for you, but less is more.