We all know that alcohol is detrimental but due to social obligations, we are bound to have few drinks and its difficult to say know in certain situations. Occasional drinking doesn’t affect your waistline adversely but always remember every extra peg counts. You don’t need to shut the doors of your social life but moderation is the key to maintain or lose weight.

Alcohol doesn’t have any nutritional value but only empty calories. It is considered by the body as a toxin and is metabolized first on a priority basis. While the body is busy in processing alcohol, carbohydrates and fats from food are not broken down properly and are converted into fats and stored in the body. When you drink too fast, the liver is not able to remove alcohol from blood at that much pace and it reaches brain affecting your vision, speech and mobility.

Alcohol also affects your body’s ability to absorb nutrients as it irritates the gastrointestinal lining. In fact, the large amount of acid produced to metabolize alcohol can cause many gastric disorders and affect liver as well. This is the reason many heavy drinkers are malnourished and have low immunity.

A strong diuretic alcohol causes water loss and dehydration. Many important minerals and vitamins are lost in this way. This can adversely affect the body’s fluid balance and other reactions.

The next worst thing is the soda or soft drinks that are added and the snacks used as accompaniments. Soft drinks add an extra amount of calories and snacks that accompany drinks are usually high in energy and fat further worsening the situation. Alcohol increases the appetite and we end up consuming too many calories.

Handy tips to reduce the effect of alcohol:

1) Try to limit the intake. If you normally have 4-5 pegs, promise yourself to reduce it to 2-3.

2) Have your drinks with plain water or ice. Say no to soda and soft drinks.

3) Have grilled/barbecued/ roasted snacks but limit the intake.

4) Never rely on alcohol to overcome your stresses and pains.

5) Prefer red wine wherever possible as it is lower in calories.

Be smart and learn to say no. After all, it's your health.