As feelings of anxiety, fear, loneliness, or boredom increase due to the coronavirus pandemic, the desire to turn to alcohol as a calming or coping strategy might sound like a good idea. However, Experts advise to avoid turning to alcohol as a coping mechanism. While the occasional beer or glass of wine at dinner a couple evenings won’t cause problems, higher amounts of consumption could lead to additional problems:
Excessive alcohol use can affect the general health of the body and weaken the immune system. We should be finding ways to enhance our immunity and health to further protect our bodies from the virus.
When under the influence of alcohol, we have a higher tendency to take risks and not think clearly. We don’t want to do anything that will make us get sick or injured and then require hospitalization. Hospitals are currently overburdened and it also places you at a potential risk to the disease.
Excessive alcohol consumption, can cause weight gain. If you are trying to lose weight, or avoiding weight gain, you can improve your efforts cutting back on or eliminating alcohol. While you may not need to cut out all alcohol in order to see weight loss, it is recommended to make a few changes. Here are two main reasons alcohol can lead to weight gain.
- First, alcohol tends to be high in calories. Some types of mixed drinks can contain as many calories as a meal, without any beneficial nutrients! Alcohol is basically empty calories. This means that the calories have no nutritional benefit to your body. Alcohol has 7 calories per gram compared to 4 calories per gram for protein and carbohydrates.
- Second, we are more likely to make poor food choices when we drink. Drinking can lower your awareness, which can lead to an increase in mindless eating. While sober, you may be able to realize when you are full. However, after consuming a few drinks, it’s more difficult to read signs of fullness. We often end up eating when we are not hungry.
In times of stress, instead of reaching for alcohol, try one of these positive coping practices:
Read a good book
Take a bath
Try meditation or relaxation techniques
Go for a walk or a hike
Make a list of things that make you happy
Stay in touch with friends and family via phone, webcam, or texting
Keep a positive outlook
Please know that Blue Sky MD is here for you during this difficult time of social isolation. We are open and are also offering Virtual Visits for both Weight Loss & Hormone Therapy. Give us a call or schedule your appointment directly online today.