Cutting Down on Drinking

A big reason I gained so much weight is because I drink a lot. I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of guys over 300 pounds drink. I didn’t drink when I was young. The night of my 21st birthday was the first time I was in a bar and I had 1 beer and a shot. I probably didn’t get drunk for the first time until I was 22. Drinking along with bad eating habits is just a recipe for disaster.

As I got older, I drank more often. I remember buying a 6 pack and 2 months later it would still be in the refrigerator. Now? If I buy a 6 pack, it’s gone in 3 days. It has become a big change that I have noticed over the years. I consider myself a “weekend warrior.” You know the type; you might even be the type. Work during the week and pound them back on Friday and Saturday nights. It’s a part of our culture and it is very easy to fall into the trap thinking that weekends are meant to drink.

If you want to lose weight, you need to stop drinking. Period. While one drink a day may be healthy for you, it’s not something you can rely on for now. It’s one of those things that sounds good on paper but in reality does not work for obese people. A single drink can have as much as 1oo-200 calories and when you are trying to lose weight, calories matter. Try to limit yourself to only having a drink on holidays and your birthday. That is literally once a month for most people. Enough so you can enjoy a drink now and then with friends and family.

I suspect a lot of obese guys reading this will tend to drink a lot. I obviously have no scientific proof but I have personal experience and I know bar regulars are usually obese. Alcohol is a diuretic. It means you produce urine. In drinking terms, it means breaking the seal and having to urinate every 15 minutes for the rest of the night. When you urinate, you become dehydrated unless you take in more fluids. But since you are drinking alcohol, it just makes you urinate more. So what happens? You get hungry. Drinking that 6 pack can lead to scarfing down a bag of potato chips and by the end of the night, you blow past your calorie goal by 2,000 calories. I’ve been there and done it. A lot. So I get it.

So how do we change? We replace a negative habit with a positive habit. For me, that means after I eat dinner, I go for a hour long walk. The key is to find something you like that will break the habit of drinking. If you are an alcoholic or think you may be, obviously it won’t be that easy and you might need some help. But for the rest of us, we just need to switch the habit of sitting down and drinking while watching TV with something more productive.

I’ve always tried diets here and there over the years. The one thing I have realized more than anything is you need to cut down on sugar and alcohol and eat more fruits and vegetables. All the exercising in the world doesn’t mean a thing if you are drinking 10 beers and 800 calories before bed.




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