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According to a recent study at the University of Missouri, more than half of all women claim they skip meals so they don’t consume too many calories on days when they know they’ll be drinking. Literally, 50% of women are saving up so they can drink their calories in alcohol. And it’s not just for special occasions – but, quote, “all the time.” But nutritionists warn that swapping alcohol calories for food calories can actually starve your body of essential vitamins, which can lead to serious deficiencies. In fact, it’s not even smart for weight loss. Dr. Caroline Cederquist is a weight management expert – and she says skipping just one meal slows down your metabolism. Also, any food you eat with your alcohol is more likely to be stored as fat. That’s because the body considers alcohol a toxin, so it metabolizes it FIRST, leaving unburned food calories to be stored as fat. So, on the days you’re going out with friends, Dr. Cederquist says eat normally – and choose a lower-calorie alcoholic beverage… like light beer, or a wine-spritzer.