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Ever asked yourself ‘How do I fit alcohol into a healthy lifestyle?’

  • on December 8, 2018
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There have been moments when I’ve considered the above question……sometimes whilst actually in the pub, sometimes prior to visiting.

I’ve even on occasion pretended to be on medication to avoid the awkward, one more, don’t go home yet…(Eeek, I’ve blown my own cover!)

AND

I’ve driven, so can’t leave the car……this has not been a very successful ploy. Which  resulted in runs and walks the morning after, to collect said abandoned vehicle.  Which I always considered to ‘balance the calories’.

With Christmas looming and a whole heap of celebratory lunches, dinners out and last day of school…do I have to give up my social life?

 

I found this great article in the telegraph written by Max Lowery.

I recognise some of my own habits and a few great tips, loving the quality over quantity.

Hope you enjoy the read.

 

You shouldn’t have to put your social life on hold to reach your goals; in fact, trying to do that can make it much harder. The more you obsess about your diet and workouts, the more likely you are to mess it up or lose motivation.

 

So, where’s the middle ground? How do you keep drinking alcohol while getting fitter? Can you make the booze work for you?

Socialising can be a problem if we fall into bad habits, but with a little willpower and self-awareness you can very quickly form new patterns of behaviour that help, not hinder. I’d like to think I’m a living example: for five years, I drank my way through a career in the City, suffering horrendous hangovers, damaged relationships and a general feeling of complete s***ness. Now, I’ve formed new habits so I can drink – I still love beer! – without doing untold harm to my body.

You won’t be surprised to learn that binge-drinking is the main bad habit. There are lots of reasons why people end up binge drinking, but I think that most people can relate to the following two:

  1.  Simple force of habit. Without even realising, I got into the habit of having a drink in my hand whenever I was in a bar. I also established a routine of drinking quickly without giving it a thought.
  2. Social insecurity. Alcohol can be a useful social lubricant, especially when we meet new people. Getting drunk rids us of our inhibitions; we stop caring about what others think and just want to have fun. We stop judging ourselves and live in the moment.

What to do? The five simple steps below helped me to change my drinking behaviour.

 

Go out intending not to get drunk. 

Have you ever tried repeating ‘I will wake up at 7am’ before going to bed? You’d be surprised by how often it works. Equally, try saying to yourself ‘I am not going to get drunk’ multiple times to yourself. You’ll find you are far less likely to get drunk.

 

Give yourself an excuse to say ‘no’ to another drink.

Plan a workout with a friend the next morning, make an early-morning commitment, such as a work meeting or exercise class, or just make something up! Anything to give you an ‘out’.

 

Quality over quantity.

Find an alcoholic drink that you genuinely like (I find spending more money helps!) Sip it slowly and savour the flavours. This one completely changed the way I drink; I learned to appreciate alcohol, rather than using it as a means to an end.

 

Drink water. 

Get into the habit of drinking one glass of water for every alcoholic drink. Not only will it sober you up, but you will be so thankful for it the next day! You may even realise that you don’t want alcohol, but just want the feeling of a drink in your hand. I now often use soda water and fresh lime juice as a non-alcoholic alternative.

 

 

 

DO NOT DRINK SHOTS.

Another game changer for me. I was able to stay in control just drinking beer or wine, but as soon as shots entered the equation that was the end of it.