Even though you might a fitness freak, a runner or even a strict diet follower, yet, have you ever wondered why you eat more when you are at a party or out with friends?
It’s the drink! Why is it that you end up snacking more when you have a drink or two? What may seem simple pleasure, may actually end up being a huge put on, as far as your health is concerned.
A packet of chips or a fried snack may come with unwanted side effects like excess calories and weight gain. While in other times, we may be able to control the urge, but when eating them with alcohol, the chances of saying no, come down drastically.
Research has now explained the connection. Alcohol can decrease our defences in terms of portion control and picking healthy eating choices. It also lowers our inhibitions.
The craving is way higher when we are hungry and drinking. People end up grabbing more helpings than what they would otherwise have.
“Studies show that people will consume more at meals when they’re including alcohol or have been drinking before the meal,” said Ginger Hultin, a dietitian.
There is evidence that alcohol can influence hormones related to satiety. It suppresses the effects of leptin, which is a hormone that suppresses appetite and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1).
Some research suggests that alcohol might stimulate nerve cells in the brain’s hypothalamus that increases appetite. According to another study, neurons in the brain that are generally activated by actual starvation can also be stimulated by alcohol which can cause an intense feeling of hunger.
“Animal research shows that, independent of other factors, when alcohol stimulates this part of the brain, it can trigger a sharp increase in appetite, which can lead to overeating,” Hultin said.
Another effect of alcohol, which is more known, is that it lowers blood sugar. The effect is that it makes is want to eat more sugar and carbs. Because of this, diabetics are at a higher risk for low blood sugar levels when they drink.
“Drinking alcohol can impair the liver’s ability to release the right amount of glycogen, or stored glucose, into the blood to keep blood glucose levels stable,” Hultin said.
So, what are some ways to curb this craving –
Drink with a balanced meal. “Include whole-grain, complex carbohydrates, healthy fat, and protein so that your body is nourished and satiated from the start,” Hultin said.
Avoid unhealthy snacks. Chips, candies, pizza and other desserts are tempting but making way for healthier options, will only benefit us.
Keep yourself hydrated. This will save you from consuming calories. “Alcohol is dehydrating, so make sure to sip on plain or sparkling water if you find yourself wanting to snack,” Hultin said.