Alcohol and I have quite the love hate relationship. I love it for the social dynamics it offers and the reprieve it can provide after a stressful day. On the flip side, I hate it for the mental and physical disruption it also can cause.
I have tried eliminating alcohol out of my life entirely, which proves to be personally difficult. When I abstain, I become a recluse as I avoid most social situations. As a social person, this doesn’t work well for my headspace.
Additionally, the minute I tell myself I am not going to drink, I feel restricted and my desire to drink becomes stronger and more often. Once I “cave” and have a drink, I spend the rest of the day tormenting myself with guilt and shame for making my body a toxic wasteland and ruining my sobriety.
Where’s the health and wellness in that?
After much deliberation, I have come to the conclusion that drinking or not drinking does not need to be the determining factor to weather or not I myself, can lead a healthy lifestyle. As with anything we consume and the passions we follow, the key to ultimate health and wellness is BALANCE.
Keep in mind, we’re all very different. Some folks can handle a few drinks and some simply can’t. Knowing who you are allows for you to make the best decision for your well-being.
Whether or not to drink should be a decision made based on you, your lifestyle, and your particular goals.
If you do decide that you’re going to partake in the libations, there are a few things you can do in preparation to maintain your health and wellness.
THE NEED TO KNOWS ON ALCOHOL
When alcohol is present, your body’s main priority is metabolizing said alcohol. It will hold off on digesting any protein, fat, or carb until all the alcohol is processed. If you are going to eat while drinking, keep food quality high. You’d much rather have have your body store chicken and veggies over a honey butter chicken biscuit (yummm.)
Alcohol can effect our hormones by lowering testosterone which can negatively impact our ability to build muscle. Depending on your goals, skipping the booze maybe best if trying to build muscle and get shredded.
We can think of alcohol as the opposite of fiber whereas it slows down our metabolism and interrupts our bodies normal processes.
Finally, expect to see some scale fluctuations due to alcohol being a diuretic. For example, you may be lighter right after drinking due to it’s dehydration effect, however as your body works toward homeostasis, you may retain water for a few days after, reflecting in a higher weight.
PREP FOR THE NIGHT OUT
- Get in a a good workout so your metabolism is active
- Set a limit to your consumption before you head out
- Keep daily food intake protein/veggie-heavy
- Count alcohol calories toward your daily carb goal
- Skip beer, sugary mixers, and pre-made drinks like frozen margs (sad face)
- Stick with soda mixers and add fresh lemon or lime to your drink. The citrus helps your body become more insulin sensitive.
- Drink water in between drinks.
- Prepare for late night snacking with high protein/veggie healthy options.
Alcohol can be totally fun or totally destructive. It’s up to you on how you want your relationship with alcohol to look like. Start by asking yourself why you want to drink, what are your goals, and how do you react under the influence. Your ultimate decision should be only around the enhancement of your life.