balance on.......booze

It’s the weekend again and no doubt alcohol consumption may increase for some of you, so here’s a few pieces of information on how alcohol affects your body short-term and long-term:

Beer bellies - alcohol consumption is strongly linked to the size of your waist. This is because it’s high in calories, packed full of sugar and enters your blood stream very quickly. Research in men shows that increased alcohol intake equals increased trouser size. In women, one study did show that moderate drinking (one to two small glasses of wine) did not affect the size of your outfit, but anything above that did.

Beer goggles - a study recently scooped an award for showing that alcohol consumption makes people see themselves as more attractive, but at the same time had no effect on how attractive they appeared to others. If this is the case, it means we should be chatting ourselves up on a night out!

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Wine head - it’s not just your belly and your eyes that alcohol has a bad relationship with. Alcohol decreases the quality of sleep, decreasing the amount of REM sleep, making you wake up more often and making you sleepier and low in energy during the day.

Wine head doesn’t just affect your sleep, as you’ll know it carries on the next day. Your hangover may lead to stomach problems, headaches, low energy levels and blood sugar imbalances. These imbalances may cause you to crave sugar foods and undo all of the great work you’ve put in to get yourself healthy.

Just the one? One to two small glasses of wine or a half/pint per day may offer some protection against type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It is likely that women should drink less than men, probably one drink compared to two for the guys. Small amounts of alcohol appear to increase HDL cholesterol and also to decrease the likelihood of clotting.

Ask yourself when you go out if you drink lots because you enjoy it and you crave that Sunday morning wine head, or do you think that it’s the done thing? Are you easily led or do you just have a few and lose track? If any of these apply to you, have a plan for a more balanced evening:

  • Drink water in between alcoholic drinks
  • Take a set amount of cash and no card
  • Team up - there’s power in numbers and if a few of you are keen to decrease your alcohol intake, decrease your weight and increase your health, then your gang will become the social norm and others will follow you.
  • Move abroad - ok so this is a bit extreme, but many cultures see drinking as a sociable event without having to consume copious amounts. We could learn a thing or two from our worldly-wise neighbours.

These are just a glassful of ideas, you can plan your own that works best for you.

balance your beer, balance your scales :-)