Drunkorexia is a colloquialism for self-imposed starvation or binge eating/purging combined with alcohol abuse. The term is generally used to denote the utilisation of extreme weight control methods (such as the aforementioned starvation or purging) as a tool to compensate for planned binge drinking.
As the party season approaches more and more women to feel under pressure not only to look good at the party but also to show they are partaking in drinking alcohol this can lead to them into restricting their calorie intake of food during the day and use those saved calories on alcohol. This can be seen as them trying to control their weight, and often they also like the feeling of getting drunk on an empty stomach.
In a recent research study conducted by healthcare provider Benenden revealed that 40 per cent of 25 to 34 year-olds admitted they skipped meals so they could ‘use’ the calories on drinking.
The Wine:1 diet – is like the 5:2 where fasting allows adherents to binge-drink without gaining weight, this a more extreme version of ‘drunkorexia’ and one which is potentially even more dangerous.
This leads to an unhealthy approach to both food and alcohol because it encourages a cycle of bingeing and restricting. As alcohol has no nutritional value, it means women aren’t getting what their body needs. As with all habits, the more someone does it, the more entrenched it can become.
It can become a form of an eating disorder, however, it is a more socially acceptable version, as someone with a glass of wine in their hand seems fun. It’s more difficult, socially to say no publicly to drinking than restrict what you eat privately” Dr Joanne Silver
The charity Drinkaware warns that while being aware of the calories in alcohol is positive, swapping food for wine can turn into a ‘dangerous obsession’ and skipping meals can cause acute alcohol poisoning. Doing this regularly can put you at risk of chronic health harms like liver and heart disease and some cancers.
It also warns that alcohol reduces the amount of fat the body burns, so excessive drinking will lead to weight gain even if calories have been saved for it.
A healthy way to enjoy the party season is to eat and drink in moderation. Some tips to work off those extra calories – walk up the stairs at work rather than take the lift, park the car further away and walk, during the lunch break go out for a walk you could also walk to work or the children to school. Adding a daily 30-minute walk to your daily routine will not only help with weight control and get you, fitter, it will also support your mental wellbeing.