As glamorous as a life in fashion modeling can be, there are times when enjoying the high life can get you in trouble. If you’re not careful, a carefully planned diet can be swept away in a whirlwind of party invitations, openings and VIP passes. Of course this is fine if you behave yourself and stick to a couple of vodkas and low calorie mixers. However the temptation of free drinks can get the better of even the most committed dieters.
Why does this matter, you might ask. Surely cutting your calories is a good way to stay in shape, wherever those calories come from? Well, the problem is that alcohol is empty of the nutrients that your body needs. When you’re dieting (particularly the strict diets that many models in our industry follow), you need every calorie to count. Everything you consume should contain nutritional value. Alcohol contains almost twice as many calories as other carbs, but a fraction of the nutrients.
And it’s not just about your health. To state the obvious, your future as a model really depends on how you look. If you are what you eat, then your modeling career will be much more successful eating healthy salads rather than downing White Russians at 4am! A healthy diet means a glowing complexion, a slim body and lots of energy, all things that you need to be successful in this industry.
More specifically, there are a number of reasons why too much alcohol will hurt your chances of becoming a successful model. Excessive alcohol overloads the liver, meaning that the food you eat is sent to fat cells rather than being metabolized. A malfunctioning liver reduces your body’s availability to burn fat and will make your diet ever more difficult.
For many dieters, alcohol is also a trigger that sets back their diet plan. As their blood-alcohol level rises and their inhibitions fall, they start to make decisions that they would not ordinarily contemplate. They indulge in party snacks like fried calamari, french fries or onion rings, then raid the fridge when they get home. And the next day is no better! Eating healthily is (sadly) no cure for a hangover, so the unhealthy diet continues with fried food, pizza delivery or other fast food. Let’s face it - there is no way you are going to have a salad during or immediately after alcohol consumption.
Not only will excessive alcohol cause weight gain, but it’s also bad for your complexion. This is an important one for aspiring models, so listen up! Alcohol quickly dehydrates your body, stripping your skin of the beautifying moisture and nutrients that it needs. Over time, frequent alcohol consumption even damages the capillaries in your skin, those tiny little blood vessels close to the skin. This can cause permanent redness on the skin - if you have an uncle or an aunt who are heavy drinkers, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
Lastly, alcohol also disrupts your sleep. When you’re modeling, a good night’s sleep is one of your best friends. It does wonders for your complexion, better than any cream. Interfering with that beauty sleep means that you’ll wake up feeling (and looking) tired. If you want to build a modeling career and stand out at castings, you need to look your best all day long!
For many of us it’s difficult to abstain from alcohol totally, especially if you love to drink and go out with friends and have a good time. Birthdays, vacations, even just some evening drinks with friends are all just part of a happy, social lifestyle. But try to keep your alcohol consumption to a minimum if you can. At the very least, stick with light beers or lower calorie options like vodka and soda. Alternatively, find other ways to socialize like playing a sport, joining an exercise class, taking evening walks or catching a movie (without the popcorn obviously!). Surround yourself with happy people that don’t need huge amounts of alcohol to have a good time.
And finally, just remember that while cutting back on your alcohol consumption might not always be the funnest option, the trade-off is staying slim, feeling great and looking beautiful!
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