Giving up the Booze

The real reason alcohol derails your “perfect” body goals? (P.S. It’s not just about the liquid calories.)

how to quit drinking alcohol

About mid-December, I wrote down my New Year’s resolutions (something I rarely do because I believe in making change for the sake of really changing, not waiting for a certain date, but nonetheless, I felt compelled.)

My 2013 Healthy New Year Resolutions

  • No alcohol

  • Achieve my ideal physique/weight

  • Eat clean. No fast food or sodas, even in “emergency” situations.

Here’s an update: I have not consumed a drop of alcohol in 13 days.  Wow – what a difference! And that one has been hard.  Going to a bar and drinking water is tough. Attempting to soothe a very bad day that turned out to be a very bad week without sipping a glass of wine or escaping for martinis with friends has been even tougher.  That is, until I stepped on the scale.

Week one was impossible, but I did it. No noticeable benefits. No weight change.

Week two, not even six days after I stepped on the scale for my first weigh-in of the New Year and bam! – I am down seven pounds! This pacified the voices in my head telling me that one glass, just one glass of wine couldn’t hurt.

Clean eating has been super easy, even when the best sandwiches from the mom and pop deli down the street were being delivered to the office and my boss was buying. And do you know why?

It didn’t dawn on me until today.  We discussed in biochemistry – of course back then, I wasn’t too worried about it. When you drink alcohol, your body craves carbs and fat. This is because in order to digest the alcohol, it must use a significant quantity of specific molecules that are normally reserved for other physiological reactions throughout the body. So, your body says, “Hey, I need more molecules,” and sends a signal to your brain telling you that you want fat and carbs to satisfy the need to carry all necessary functions.

Alcohol digestion doesn’t happen quickly for many people and if it hangs around in your system for a couple of days, like after a binge, resisting cravings can be a real challenge. If you have a couple of drinks – even wine – every day or a binge one or two nights each week, well, good luck resisting the temptations of junk food, especially as you age. It takes a lot of energy to undo that damage. (Not counting, of course, the free radical damage.)

If you are struggling with your goals for truly achieving your “perfect” body, you might want to consider the role of alcohol in your diet.

Read this blog post from Fitness and the City – one woman found that giving up alcohol was truly the key to her “perfect” body success. I found this very inspiring and attribute some of my pursuit of these goals to this woman’s story. My biggest vice is social drinking (and shopping, but that’s a whole other issue.) I am ready to overcome my bad habit for results like this!

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2 comments

  1. I am with you on the no drinking thing. I decided to not drink for the month of January and I feel good. My long runs are on Sundays so it’s a no brainer. I have actually enjoyed going out and drinking water because then I can drive home and not deal with the metro! I am going out on Friday with the intention of drinking and I’m really not very excited. I have a feel it will be a 3 drink max for the entire night because my tolerance is going to be non existent and I just don’t need to be drunk!

    1. Thanks for sharing Megan! Yeah, I celebrated my birthday last weekend and broke the streak. It was not a good feeling. I am back “on the wagon.” It was amazing the difference not drinking made for multiple aspects of my life, including and especially my workouts! Let me know how Friday goes. 🙂

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