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Drinking Alcohol- giving it up

The empty calories are ruining the benefits of my exercise & healthy eating habits. I keep telling myself that I will not drink but always wind up drinking on the weekends.
What has worked for you? Any ideas short of AA??

Mon. Feb 19, 10:37am

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I approach alcohol the same way as chocolate and other things that should be taken in moderation: cut back.

I used to drink 4-5 drinks a night when I was out. I scaled back to one and usually have something I can sip, like a glass of red or white wine. I usually start out with club sodas with lime and have my one drink towards the end of the night.

I also started to think about why I drank. Usually it was just because everyone else did and also to "have fun". True, only having one drink might not seem so fun but neither are hangovers!

Monday, February 19, 2007, 11:12 AM

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I am a temporary non drinker, and I admit I miss it, but I want to lose the weight more than I want that drink. As I said, it is temporary, and I know that I will be having an occasional drink when I decide to maintain, rather than lose. I think you have to want this the same way. If there is something about your weekends that contributes to your decision to drink rather than stay on course, are you willing to change your weekends?

Also, the desire for alcohol is another form of sugar craving for me. Getting rid of all sugar will stop the cravings after a very unpleasant time, 2 weeks in my case. as soon as I allow sugar again, there they are, including the desire for alcohol.

Decide what you want more, change your life, avoid the triggers. And you will do fine. Health is a lifestyle. I have to choose to be healthy, 'cause it won't happen by accident.
Best of luck,

Monday, February 19, 2007, 11:19 AM

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why wouldnt you want to go to AA..if you cant give it up you might just have a problem?

Monday, February 19, 2007, 11:38 AM

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S/he also might not have a problem.

If you're worried about it being a problem, perhaps speak to a professional (or two, it's always good to get a second opinion, as many professionals carry their own baggage ito alcohol addiction).

If it is really about weight loss, look to your triggers. Once you make the change (provided you don't have a problem) it becomes much easier to order something non-alcoholic. As with weight loss, it's getting used to lifestyle changes.

good luck

Monday, February 19, 2007, 12:32 PM

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I'm going through something similar. I gave up drinking for a few months when I first started PT (four months ago). I've been drinking casually since then, and it's ruining all my efforts. I have given it up again. I realize that if I want to get anywhere with my body, I can't drink. I love beer! But, that is part of the reason why I need to lose weight to begin's a trade-off.

I started drinking a red-bull or two when I go out. It gives me a little buzz and I don't want to eat after I've had one. Either that or coffee...this girl has to have a vice!

Good luck. Think about what you really want.

Monday, February 19, 2007, 1:14 PM

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Don't give it up then

I really don't think the OP has a problem if it's just weekends they find themselves drinking...

Do what I do.. if I know I'm going to be out with friends that night and probably drinking, I'll drastically reduce my calorie intake for the rest of the day... have a 140 calorie oatmeal lunch instead of 300, have a 100 calorie snack instead of 200... or even just count the alcohol as your dinner all together!

I only drink a few nights out of the month, but have continued to lose weight fine but working them into my calorie limit.. you can do anything in moderation..

Monday, February 19, 2007, 3:19 PM

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i don't personally recommend eating so little before a night of drinking. and to suggest that someone have a liquid dinner of alcohol is, in my opinion, not good advice. i drink at least 1 glass of water during each alcoholic drink, and 1 in between each drink.

Monday, February 19, 2007, 4:09 PM

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I quit drinking for about 7 years. I figured it wasn't really doing anything for me and it was kind of an expensive habit, plus I lived by myself and I always had to be my own designated driver, so I just stopped drinking one day. I missed having a glass of wine with dinner for the first year or so, but after that, the only real downsides were hanging out with people who did drink- when you're the only sober one, people who are drinking are almost unbearably obnoxious.

One of the benefits of just plain stopping for 7 years is that recently, when I decided to add the occasional glass of wine to my dinner, I discovered that all the bad habits I'd picked up in college (drinking too fast, drinking too much, not actually tasting what I was drinking) were gone and that i was able to really appreciate the taste of a decent glass of wine.

When I stopped drinking, it was pretty easy to do so- I literally said That's it" and just plain stopped one day. However, drinking was never something that I really enjoyed all that much, and it was never a coping mechanism for me- I wouldn't come home from work and think "man, I need a drink." I've heard from others that if it's a coping mechanism, it's a real bitch to stop drinking.

Also, a lot of my friends became real assholes when I stopped drinking. They seemed to feel that my not drinking was a comment on their drinking. I found myself being lectured by drunk friends more than once about how they didn't have a problem with drinking and didn't understand why I didn't just want to have a drink with them.

Monday, February 19, 2007, 4:46 PM

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reduce your calories throughout the day when you know you are going out that night. eating fewer calories will allow one or two drinks to be as effective as 4-5. also, if you dont want to do fewer calories, and have a couple hundred to spare for whatever it is you'll be drinking, order some kudzu extract from some herbal store on the internet. kudzu is an herbal extract that is used as a liver tonic. studies showed that people who took kudzu drank far less than those who did not take it. however, me being the college student that i am, learned that you can get the desirable drunkness from just a few drinks when you take a few 5 calorie pills of kudzu before a night of drinking.

Monday, February 19, 2007, 5:07 PM

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What has worked for me?
Counting calories.
I find that I have become very stingy with my daily allotment of calories. I hear myself saying things like, "Does that taste good enough for the 150 calories it is going to cost me?" or "I've got 200 calories left for the day, would I rather spend it on a glass of wine? or maybe that 1/2 sliver of cheesecake in the refrigerator?"
My alcohol consumption has gone down without any intention of my cutting back.

Monday, February 19, 2007, 5:50 PM

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i limit my drinking to only fri, sat, and sun. it was hard at first because i liked a glass of wine or cocktail after a long day. but i realized that drinking during the week made me feel less alert at work the next day. after a few months of imposing this structure on my life, i don't even want to drink during the weekend... and when i do, my tolerance is so low that i can have only a few glasses of wine or some beers.

the biggest benefit is that i got rid of excess calories and have had an easier time managing my weight than before. and it's easier for me to say no to a cocktail. good luck!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 1:22 AM

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I'm quitting too OP. I decided on Sunday. My triggers are going out on weekends. I have decided to give it up for at least one month

Good Luck!

Your advice seems great and sounds like it makes sense, mariarose

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 10:56 PM

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Does the kudzu really work? I have only recently heard about it.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007, 12:08 PM

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You are much better off quitting milk and dairy than quitting drinking. If it is only a matter of weight loss, there are easier ways to drop pounds. Red wine especially has documented health properties, and is fruit based. The consumption of milk as well as other animal-based foods is correlated (not proven but a strong correlation) with cancer and heart disease. I have not heard of a single study that suggests that about moderate drinking.

Friday, March 02, 2007, 10:54 AM

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The problem with moderate drinking... that you can lose your will to "moderate".

I try to make a conscious decision before I go out or before I pour a glass of wine as to what and how much I will drink. I might decide that I have enough points (I am a WeightWatcher) for two drinks and that's it.. that's all I can have.

If it's going to be a long night out, I often have wine sprtizers and try to have a glass of water or seltzer between each one.

But no matter what, I make the decsion about how much I will drink BEFORE I start so that I don't let the "just one more" mentality take over.

Friday, March 02, 2007, 2:06 PM

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Hi, I have not been drinking alcohal at all for 2 weeks. I feel better, hydrated, less bloated..and I am not a heavy drinker. I think a break for a couple of months is a fabulous idea! go for it!

Friday, March 02, 2007, 2:28 PM

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Not a heavy drinker by any stretch of the imagination, but do have a night out and a 3 or 4 beers every so often. The light bottled beers are only about 95 cals. Drinking from a bottle reduces alcohol consumption from 16oz to 12oz. I have been steadily losing weight for a few weeks, and found that a fairly moderated 'night off' from the diet every so often has had little impact on my weight loss. I exercise up to 6 times a week, too, so those extra calories are fairly quickly burned off.

Enjoy yourself every so often - after all, isn't weight loss and that supposed to be a lifestyle change? What's a lifestyle if you can't let your hair down every now and again?

Friday, March 02, 2007, 2:37 PM

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i'm sorry to say this, but you don't "wind up drinking", as you put it. you decide to drink. your desire to drink obviously outweighs your desire to NOT drink. the next time you are out, order a water FIRST thing. you'll have a glass in hand and be able to drink freely whenever you feel like it. for your next drink, have another water. with each sip, remind yourself of the calories you saved. and you may find you choose to drink because you don't enjoy yourself in the "bar scene" unless you drink alcohol, or that the guys are not as cute, or that you actually don't have to "wind up drinking" to have a fun night. if the idea of going out without imbibing scares you, maybe you should check out a meeting.

Friday, March 02, 2007, 2:40 PM

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Dude, if your friends go to bars to hang out, you quickly learn that hanging out in bars is only fun if you're drinking. Hanging out with people who are drinking when you're not is excruciating. And if bars are the only place you and your friends hang out, it gets really hard to stay social.

It can be done, it's just not much fun for a while.

Friday, March 02, 2007, 4:56 PM

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