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Party Harder by Staying Booze-free
Dr Sreedevi Yadavalli
“It’s two years now since I gave up drinking at parties, and I don’t regret it,” says Ritu, 43. “I gave it up the day I realized that I was drinking only because I thought I was having fun.

But actually, I feared the repercussions – the terrible hangovers and the weight gain, not to mention memories of embarrassing text messages and cringe-worthy conversations I indulged in with guys I fancied, when I was out drinking and partying. This is my second round of Christmas partying as a teetotaller, and I love it so much, I’m advocating it to all my friends,” she says.

Like Ritu, the number of party drinkers electing to stay sober as a lifestyle choice is seemingly on the rise. More importantly, this does not seem to be another fad – like vegetarianism and its ilk. “My skin looks better, and I certainly don’t seem to fight as hard as my friends do to maintain their shapes,” says Aravind, 46. So, what are the benefits of not drinking while partying?

You get to stay cheerful
Alcohol is a depressant. It winds you down, slows your reactions, slurs your speech and dampens your brain’s activity. These downsides are missed in the initial exuberance and the ‘kick’ that sets in with the first drink. If you quit drinking, or at least drink less, you will remain cheerful and enjoy the party even more.

How does the infection come inside my lungs?
When airborne droplets are inhaled, these infection causes enter your lung. When one part of your body is infected, these microbes could also travel through your bloodstream to your oxygen chambers

Your skin looks healthier
Heavy drinking causes the blood vessels in the face to enlarge, so you look flushed. Generally, alcohol has a dehydrating effect on the body and skin.

Your heart fares better
Those who argue that their daily glass of red wine protects their hearts will need to find another justification – studies say that this applies to men over 40 and to post-menopausal women. Excess drinking is linked to high blood pressure and heart disease.

You manage your weight better
A large glass of dry white wine has about 100 calories. When consumed along with fries at parties, this can undo quite a bit of the hard work at the gym.

Your digestive tract benefits
Alcohol induces gastritis (inflammation of the stomach). People fail to notice it, and over time, the condition becomes chronic. Gastritis leads to ulcer of the inner stomach lining, which could result in peptic ulcers. Alcohol is also known to aggravate irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

How to keep it down
Tips to moderate your alcohol consumption when you are out socializing:
  1. Eat first: When you arrive hungry at a party, you tend to drink more. If you put off your drinks until you’ve eaten your fill, you will automatically drink less.
  2. Stay out of the drinkers’ group: You tend to match the pace of others at drinking, so it makes sense to stay out of the group that’s known for its drinking.
  3. Opt for non-alcoholic drinks: If you really like swirling a drink while you chat up people, try a tall glass of chilled sparkling water, topped with ice and lemon – nobody needs to know that it’s not vodka and tonic! You can also try delicious fruit juices or mocktails in exotic colours, but do watch out for the sugar content!
  4. Drink water with your food: It’s a good idea to sip water with food, just as you would when you eat a home-cooked meal. This will minimize the need for you to consume alcoholic drinks just because you are thirsty.
  5. Delay the first drink: When you have a glass in hand, it’s but natural to keep topping it up or following it up with more drinks. Delay picking up your first drink for at least an hour.
  6. The safe limit: Remember that the safe limit is not more than two drinks (30 ml) or its equivalent (100 ml wine or 200 ml beer) through the entire course of the party.

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