There's a huge pressure on young women to be thin. There's also a huge pressure to be "the cool girl" who can hang: Party all night, drink all the beer, and do it again the next day.
Eventually, something's got to give — and for some people, that thing is usually food.
The idea of cutting food calories in order to "save" them for alcohol isn't a new concept, and neither is the name that people call this behavior (drunkorexia). But according to experts, it's becoming more and more common, especially among college-aged girls.
Lindsey Hall's her drunkorexic behavior led to further anorexic and bulimic behaviors, and landed her in rehab when she was 24.
Nearly a third of college students say they've engaged in drunkorexic behaviors, according to a report from CBS News.
"Drinking on an empty stomach usually means that someone will get drunk faster, given that food helps to absorb alcohol," says a recent study from the University of Houston and the Research Society on Alcoholism.
Not only will they get drunk faster, but they're consuming less food, they're also taking in fewer calories in general, meaning they probably don't have to worry about gaining weight. In fact, they may even lose weight, and all without compromising their social life.
What they do compromise, however, is their health.
Lindsey Hall, a publicist in Denver, Colorado, says her drunkorexic behavior led to further anorexic and bulimic behaviors, and landed her in rehab when she was 24.
"They told me I had the bones of an 82-year-old when I first went in," the 27-year-old told Women's Health magazine. "I didn’t believe them. Because I wasn’t seriously underweight, I didn’t think I had a problem." Hall had stress fractures in her legs, low electrolytes, and multiple cavities as well.
Hall documented her rehab and recovery journey on her blog, which she still updates regularly to show people that you can recover, and you can still struggle, and you can live a normal life.
Hall now considers herself in recovery, and while she still drinks, now she does it smartly.
"I’m still 27," she told Women's Health. "I go out on dates, I have wine. I try to just manage it as I go." The key is to get help from professionals, and identify what triggers the behavior. It doesn't necessarily mean that you have to stop drinking, and it certainly doesn't mean giving up food in order to drink.
"You can have a couple of drinks and be just fine," she added on CBS. "It’s freeing."