Weight loss: Is Christmas booze making you pile on pounds? 3 unwanted side effects
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The spirit of Christmas can often involve enjoying a few more spirits, beers and wines than you usually would. As the year comes to a close, it’s lovely to let your hair down with a few drinks to celebrate, but what effect will those extra drinks have on your health?
Over the Christmas period, many of us end up having a few extra mulled wines than usual.
The festive period is a time to enjoy yourself and you deserve a treat for getting through the year.
However, too much alcohol over Christmas can take a toll on your appearance and on your health.
Not only can drinking too much over the Christmas period leave you feeling bloated, but it can also ruin your complexion and make you feel down.
Here are three of the dangers of Christmas boozing.
1 – Weight gain
Christmas isn’t a good time to be on a diet, with temptations everywhere from mince pies to Quality Street.
Indulging in extra booze over the festive season, whether it’s at your office Christmas party or catching up with friends before the new year, can add inches to your waistline.
Dr Charlotte Norton from The Slimming Clinic said: “Alcoholic drinks offer no nutrients to the body; only empty calories.
“With sugar content in drinks (such as wine) being incredibly high, it’s common to notice weight gain.”
It’s not just the alcohol either, as many of us once we’ve over-indulged become far more likely to succumb to a greasy burger or portion of chips to help “soak up” the alcohol.
Dr Norton said: “Over-eating to replace the consumption of alcohol is also very common.
“Before you know it, months may have passed and the pounds will have piled on without even realising.”
Andre Fournier, Co-Founder of Deleo adds: “As Dr Charlotte Norton mentioned, the festive period can have a real strain on the body, from binge drinking to over indulging on food.
Often, January is a time that individuals aim to shift weight gained and focus on dieting and exercise.”
2 – Skin problems
Alcohol affects every mucous membrane, from the pancreas and liver to the skin, resulting in significant skin damage.
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Hagen Schumacher, Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Adore Life said: “Over the festive period if you are consuming alcohol you should try to up your water intake to rehydrate the body and skin.
“Alcohol is known as a diuretic, which simply means it makes you use the bathroom more frequently than you normally would.
“This loss of fluids will strip the body of key electrolytes, which may contribute to the skin feeling dry.”
If you’re out drinking and want to minimise the impact, try matching each alcoholic drink you enjoy with a glass of water.
Hagen said: “Not only will consuming more water help the body to flush out toxins, it will help to rehydrate the skin and give it more elasticity making it appear plumper, and radiant.
“It may also help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles over time, as it helps to naturally tighten the skin, and maintain collagen levels within it.”
3 – It will strip you of your festive cheer
You might be feeling merry when you’re enjoying a glass of bubbly, but you’ll be feeling far from festive the next morning – and there’s a scientific reason behind it.
Dr Martin Kinsella, Founder of BioID Health said: “When we drink alcohol, our bodies manufacture more dopamine, which flows to the ‘reward centres’ of the brain, making us feel good and desire to do more of whatever it is we’re doing.
“In the long run, the body grows used to the dopamine surges provided by alcohol and begins to produce less dopamine to compensate.
“That implies that if drinking becomes a habit, we may develop a dopamine deficiency, which might lead to depression.
“The sad truth is alcohol has a destructive effect on mental health, leaving lingering effects, which can last for days, weeks and months.”
Dr Kinsella illustrates a sobering truth, but there are things you can do to cheer yourself up, he says.
Dr Kinsella said: “Ensuring you are eating nutritious meals and partaking in exercise will help to increase dopamine and serotonin levels.
“Making sure you get enough sleep is also imperative.
“If the lingering low mood persists, it is always best to seek help from a medical professional.”
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