Drunkorexia: A Dangerous Quick-Fix Weight Loss Trend
Let’s face it, no matter what age you are, you are concerned about your body. It’s no surprise either, due to the fact that our society is obsessed with looks, beauty and being in tip-top shape. If you are worried about gaining the dreaded “freshman 15” you might go to extreme lengths to stay trim while still visiting the beer keg a few times throughout the weekend. If you have never heard of the term “Drunkorexia,” you may find it slightly comical; however, Drunkorexia is something that has developed among a large majority of college students, especially in women.
So you may be wondering what is “Drunkorexia?” Drunkorexia is a non-medical term that according to an article in Los Angeles Times, is not recognized as an eating disorder just yet. This “trend” is when a person exercises heavily, skips meals or barely eats to save their calories for binge alcohol use. It most commonly occurs among college students due to the fact that they are heavily drinking while trying to maintain their tiny frames or athletic shape from their high school days and to obviously avoid weight gain.
Although this trend may seem like it could have some benefits, the risks can be unsafe. This is mainly because the heighted time frame in which alcohol is absorbed into an empty stomach. This can lead a person to become highly intoxicated at a quicker level, which can be pretty dangerous, especially if the person has just newly begun experimenting with alcohol.
Below are a few tips that can help you keep off weight while enjoying a few drinks on the weekend.
Exercise. If you aren’t already, start now. Exercise combined with a strength training routine is essential in balancing excess calories due to heavy alcohol use. If you are a college student you should have access to your campus gym and all of its’ resources. Take advantage of it. Work out with friends or in-between classes. Not only will this help you maintain a healthier weight, but it will help you deal with the stress and pressure of exams, tests and midterm papers!
Watch what you eat. If you are going to indulge in a few extra drinks you should be eating during the day, not starving yourself. It would probably be in your best interest however to eat healthier throughout the day in preparation for those excess calories. Focus on a well balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole-grains and healthy fats such as nuts, avocado and lean meats. The dining hall may have some tempting options as it is essentially an all-you-can-eat buffet, but if you eat smart there’s no reason why a few beers can’t fit in your diet. There are also a ton of free apps for smart phones that can help you log calories and keep track of exactly what you’re consuming on a daily basis. They even have the ability to add in alcohol or beer.
Avoid the late night binges. Who doesn’t love a hot slice of pizza after a few beers? While this may be tempting as a late night snack, it will not help your waistline. This indulgence may be appropriate a few times a month, but not every time you go out. If you truly have the beer “munchies” opt for whole wheat crackers and cheese, popcorn or a light snack. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids after drinking which will also rehydrate you after a long night out. This is another reason why it is important to eat before you go out and consume balanced meals throughout the day so you won’t find yourself starving by 2 am.
The best way to obviously avoid weight gain from alcohol is to cut back your alcohol use or at least consume it in moderation. Trying fad diets to keep weight off is extremely dangerous and may cause you to overeat in the long run and eventually gain more weight. By maintaining a healthy, balanced, lifestyle, you will be better prepared to burn off those calories after a weekend of partying.
Melissa currently writes for Saint Jude Retreats, a residential retreat program that provides an educational approach to overcoming substance misuse. Along with writing for St. Jude’s, Melissa also enjoys blogging about health and relationships.