It's confession time folks. Raise your hand if this has ever happened to you…
You've a big night planned with your friends, or a hot date, and you just know you're going to be drinking quite a bit of wine, beer, vodka, whisky – basically lots of alcohol.
So, you've prepared yourself. You've stocked up on the essential painkillers. You've drunk at least 3 litres of water and you've cut back on your food intake all day to save those calories for alcohol consumption.
Seems perfectly fine - right? Surely saving those calories will help keep your intake in check for the day, which is better than over indulging altogether, yes? Once in a blue moon isn't going to hurt you…
Well - actually… it's not that great an idea. At. All.
A recent study has shown that almost half of women and a quarter of men say they skip meals to conserve calories for alcohol in a bid to lose weight. The same study also discovered that this wasn't a rare occasion type scenario. This was happening every single week.
In fact, it occurs so often experts have even christened the phenomenon – Drunkorexia.
So, ok – if you do this, you're not alone, but that doesn't mean it actually works.
Victoria Osborne, assistant professor of social work and public health said the practice was a ‘toxic combination causing physical and mental damage,’ putting women and men at risk of alcoholism.
She said: ‘Apart from each other depriving the brain of adequate nutrition, consuming large amounts of alcohol can be dangerous.
Together, they can cause short- and long-term cognitive problems including difficulty concentrating, studying and making decisions.’
On top of that, starving yourself before a binge drinking session puts you at risk of developing serious eating disorders, alcohol abuse problems and increases the danger of alcohol poisoning or chronic diseases in later life.
But What About Weight?
Health hazards aside, this practice can also do a serious number on your metabolism.
Research shows that skipping just one meal a day slows your metabolism way down meaning you're more likely to put ON weight, than lose it.
Furthermore, all that grub you crave when you're out - doner kebab anyone? - will be stored as fat since your body will prioritise burning through the excess alcohol first.
Essentially - saving those calories could actually be worse for you.