The majority of the human population has been or will become concerned about personal weight gain at some point or another in their life, and the factors contributing to it. With recent discussions putting calories from carbohydrates, fat and sugar under constant scrutiny, it would only make sense that alcohol would soon be put under the microscope as well. Like most things, moderation is key, but there are some definite signs that the cause of your growing waistline is being influenced by your habitual cocktail indulgence.
1. You begin to "save your calories" for alcohol. If you find yourself having more than just the occasional drink, for example two glasses of red wine in the evenings, you may find yourself skipping necessary meals prior to the drinking. Skipping meals will cause you to consume more calories elsewhere. When you are having a high calorie beer (or three) it becomes much easier to choose unhealthy options that you otherwise would have the self control to say no to. Skipping meals regularly is not a good habit for maintaining a healthy body composition, as it causes blood sugar levels to drop (especially dangerous for diabetics) and the slowing down of metabolism. For some people this habit is unintentional, whereas many do this intentionally to hopefully lower the amount of calories consumed in a day. Either way, it is not recommended.
2. You eat more the day after a night of drinking.
This is more of an obvious observation, however it is necessary to make note of the science behind it when you are somebody who likes to indulge in a drink. The effects of alcohol on blood sugar levels have become well-known, not just during a drinking session, but also the days following. Alcohol is nothing but a toxin as far as our body is concerned, and this causes an increase in insulin secretion over time. The increase in insulin secretion causes symptoms of lightheadedness and fatigue, two huge causes of over overeating. Another reason for excessive hunger the day following a drinking binge is dehydration. People are known to often confuse thirst for hunger, so when you throw a hangover in with an already dehydrated body, the feelings of hunger are intensified.
3. You aren't aware of the calories you are drinking.
Unfortunately, alcohol is nothing but useless calories as far as the temple we call our body is concerned. Even more unfortunate is the amount of calories in just one small drink. Here are a few quick examples; In one 8oz glass of white wine there are approximately 200 calories. I know from personal experience that comparatively 4 oreo cookies contain 205 calories. One can of bud light has 110 calories. I don't know about other people's drinking habits, but I am not a one-and-done kind of girl, and this compounded by enhanced appetite, decreased inhibitions and low self esteem…well, it is a breeding ground for poor choices. Just like the off-smelling bald dude with strange facial hair sitting across from you at the bar, a week old sandwich filled with mayonnaise and cheap meat is surprisingly tempting enough to take home for dinner. Thank you alcohol.
I'm not saying that you shouldn't have the occasional drink, but just be aware of the effects that it is going to have on your body. Drink plenty of water, eat nutrient dense healthy meals throughout your day, and try to reach for lower calorie alcoholic drink options when possible.