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It’s The Booze

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It’s The Booze

Sorry friends.  I am going to be a buzzkill.  We all have to actively decide what our relationship to alcohol will be.  That is going to look a little different for everyone.  I will also say that most of us require a pretty high level of disfunction and poor health before we use the term “alcoholic”.  You don’t need to be an “alcoholic”, whatever that means to you, to seriously compromise your health and fitness.  Just because a judge hasn’t ordered you to stop doesn’t mean how you drink is ideal for you.

If you feel like you are doing everything right and you just aren’t losing any weight, 9 times out of 10, it’s the booze.  “But I don’t drink that much”.  I bet that you drink more than you say because everyone drinks more than they think.  Some of the heaviest drinkers I have ever met in my life say they don’t drink that much.  Even if you truly “don’t drink that much”, I bet it’s enough to derail fat loss.  It doesn’t take that much to do that.

Here are 5 telltale signs that a short break from alcohol would be good for you:

1. If it has been more than a year since you’ve gone a month without drinking.  Everyone should take a 4 week break at least once a year.  Remember we always think we aren’t drinking very much.  A great way to really tell is to drop the number down to zero for a short period of time and check in with how you feel.

2. If you aren’t sleeping well.  Despite all the common myths about a nightcap, alcohol messes with your sleep.  Matthew Walker in his book “Why We Sleep” put it well by clarifying that the “sleep” you get when you’ve consumed alcohol is actually sedation, not sleep.  There is a massive difference in brain scan activity and in physical/mental recovery.

3. If you think your lack of progress is someone else’s fault.  I’ve noticed that alcohol has 2 hangovers if you are over 30.  The first is the one we all know: the headache, fog brain, fatigue, etc.  The 2nd hangover I’ve noticed lasts 2-3 days after where I am way more prone to making excuses, I’m more stressed, and I’m thin skinned.  Think of this as the mini version of a drunks personality.  If you’ve ever known a drunk, they are moody, nothing is ever their fault, the world is against them, and they feel entitled to all sorts of things they haven’t worked for.  Your progress is your responsibility.  I can put together a great plan for you and support you along the way but you need to do what you need to do.

4. If you are stressed.  If you grab a drink to cope with stress, you are playing with fire.  It is no longer social drinking, it’s self medication.  Since you’ll ultimately feel more stressed, you run the risk of running to the same solution, another drink.  This is how a habit that you can’t stop gets started.  Take some time off.  You’ll feel better right away and you’ll force yourself to develop healthier coping mechanisms.

5. If you are ready for some EASY results.  Alcohol makes it harder to lose weight.  It’s extra calories, it messes with your sleep, your recovery, it wastes your money, and messes with your attitude.  Cutting it out, even for a short period of time, is a weight loss cheat code!

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