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Does consuming gin everyday lead to weight gain?

Q: I am 37 years old. I used to have 2 pegs of gin with soda and lime cordial five times a week. Recently I have noticed that I have become overweight. I weigh 79 kg now. Earlier I maintained a weight of 72-73 kg. Is taking gin harmful? Is the extra weight due to taking consuming gin? What should I do to reduce weight?

A:Alcohol reduces the number of fat calories you burn, increases your appetite and lowers your testosterone levels for up to 24 hours after you finish drinking. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that it causes water loss and dehydration. Along with this water loss you lose important minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, calcium and zinc. These minerals are vital to the maintenance of fluid balance, chemical reactions, and muscle contraction and relaxation. Alcohol can also increase the amount of acid that your stomach produces, causing your stomach lining to become inflamed. Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to serious health problems, including stomach ulcers, liver disease, and heart troubles. The infamous beer belly is caused by excess alcohol calories being stored as fat. Many alcoholic drinks contain lots of energy. Calories from alcohol are also added to energy from the food eaten during the day. The combination of alcohol and a high-calorie meal is especially fattening, mainly because alcohol acts as an appetiser. If you drink before or during a meal, both your inhibitions and willpower are reduced. In this state, you are more likely to overeat—especially greasy or fried foods—which can add to your waistline. To avoid this, wait to order that drink until you're done with your meal. It’s possible to lose weight and still enjoy a drink the key is moderation. Do not eat less food so you can drink regularly and lose weight. Many foods that accompany drinking (peanuts, papads, chips) are salty, which can make you thirsty, encouraging you to drink even more. To avoid over drinking, sip on a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage. Sweeter drinks tend to have more sugar, and therefore more calories. Have the gin with just soda and lime not lime cordial to cut calories.

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