Why College Social Pressure Can Be Detrimental To Your Weight Loss Efforts

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To state the obvious, many young women are unhappy with their bodies. As a 21 year old female college student, I can attest to the daily pressures. Academics are demanding, extracurricular commitments can be a nuisance, and managing relationships is a poorly orchestrated balancing act. Time constraints make it difficult to exercise, and limited budget and food options create a challenge in eating a healthy diet. College is a breeding ground for stress. From my observations, most co-eds unwind from the demands of the academic week by having a drink or two. Or ten.

When trying to lose weight or maintain your figure, alcohol is the kiss of death. While its incredibly high calorie content is an obvious reason, there are many other consequences that could be a detriment to your weight loss efforts.

Alcohol impairs our judgment, which is obviously a considerable social risk. However, it also impairs our ability to say no to drunk eating. I have personally witnessed my roommate, a girl no taller than five feet, consume an entire large pizza and pint of ice cream in twenty minutes, which was wildly impressive to say the least, but I digress… While a hangover may sometimes include anxiety over any drama that may have happened during the night, for a girl with body issues, the faint memory of the poor food choices is usually accompanied by guilt, and if you’re like me, a brief period of self-loathing. Mental strength is an important factor in creating a healthy lifestyle, and the morning after drunk eating can oftentimes be a discouraging realization.

A hangover is customarily preventative of any productive activity, like working out. Physical exertion while dehydrated can be dangerous, not to mention unappealing. Exercising is a healthy method of stress relief, far more effective and beneficial than hitting the bars, but it is not always considered to be as “fun.” Alcohol and working out are counterproductive to each other, but it is possible to find a balance. Moderation is essential, but self-control is typically easier said than done.

There are less caloric alcoholic beverages on the market today, but loopholes and shortcuts do not lead to the same results as commitment. It is very hard to say no, especially when some college cultures encourage social bonding over alcohol. A word of advice would be to keep your goals in mind. If you are of age, there is nothing wrong with responsibly enjoying a drink with friends. But if you are unhappy with the way you look or the way you feel, alcohol will not help in changing that. If losing weight is a priority, it is important to cut out the alcohol. Your friends may not understand at first, but your liver will definitely thank you!

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