One of the first steps to most sensible weight-loss plans is to cut out alcohol from your diet. Trading in cocktails for something more nutritious is a key component of weight loss because the calories in alcohol have no nutritional value.
But lately, some have gone to extremes in an effort to lose weight without giving up alcoholic beverages. In a segment for Fox News affiliate KCTV5, Broderic Allen said that after losing 80 lbs., he wanted to keep the weight off so he found an innovative way to become intoxicated without the extra calories: he mixes his alcohol with dry ice and inhales the vapors.
"Once I lost the weight ... if you lose the weight, then you want to keep it off. So I figured I could have my cake and eat it too," said Allen.
Allen is far from alone in this practice. Vaporization devices have become available which allow people to suck alcohol vapor through a straw rather than drinking the actual liquid. In fact, people inhaling or vaporizing alcohol has become a YouTube sensation. But doctors warn that the trend can have serious health-related consequences.
"When you inhale alcohol, it goes directly into the lungs and circumnavigates the liver," Dr. Harris Stratyner, regional clinical vice president of Caron Treatment Centers told the Daily News. "The liver is what metabolizes alcohol, but when you inhale it, it goes directly from the lungs to the brain."
Since inhaled alcohol goes directly to the bloodstream without filtering and digesting, alcohol smokers risk a myriad of complications. First, it leaves people more vulnerable to infection because it dries out the mouth and nasal passages. People who inhale alcohol rather than drinking it may also be more susceptible to alcohol poisoning, which could lead to long-term health problems and even death.
"One of the things that prevents alcohol poisoning is that you usually vomit," Stratyner said. "When you circumvent the stomach and go straight to the lungs, you don't have that ability."
Stratyner added that the trend is stupid and highly dangerous, and should be made illegal. You can watch Allen inhale his alcohol in the video below.