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Drinking and Its Affect on Dieting
There has been quite a lot of literature written in the past few years on the benefits of wine on overall health. However, there has also been a push away from people consuming 'empty' carbs like the ones found in beer and wine. On top of that, alcohol sugars are regarded by some physicians as harmless to the body except for possibly the liver. So, where does all of this confusing information leave us?
It leaves some of us still wanting to enjoy a beer or glass of something a little stronger from time to time. Should we allow ourselves to indulge in that pleasure? Should we shy away from nature's bounty of lost self control and frequent urination? Should we just eat to live and not enjoy our time on this Earth? Are the first three letter of 'diet' really 'die'?
Let’s back up for a second. Ignoring the possible impact that a couple of hundred calories may have on your diet for a day, the only issue doctors are 100% certain about when dealing with alcohol is regarding dosage. Anyone who has eaten the worm knows this concept well. A drink and a lot of drinks are two separate things and here is why.
First of all there is the issue of dealing with one's own drives and the push to succeed. These are the foundations of goal setting . You become what you think about ultimately. In terms of your diet goals, this is to lose weight or get into shape. Unfortunately, alcohol, and most other recreational drugs, go right after our conscious mind and blindside our self control. Forget about endorphin re-uptake and brain chemistry, what keeps us in line is our conscience.
Conscience is our restraint from doing remarkably dangerous or just plain dumb things. It is the six foot five inch 250 pound Nun with a yard long ruler in her hand slapping our knuckles just before do things that you know are wrong. However, as imposing a force as she can be, she has a very low tolerance for alcohol. In other words, she is a cheap date.
To put this another way, drunk people tend to make lousy judgements concerning what they should do and especially what they should eat. A couple of hundred calories of scotch is pretty meaningless compared to the whole bag of Doritoes you wind up scarfing down with it. And, just try sitting at a bar, having a few ‘tinis and not eating a few bowls of those stale bar-nuts. It can’t be done.
So, if after one drink you feel more relaxed and can maintain your self control, that drink really should not be a problem. But, if one beer is just the start of your party, then you should really just forgo alcohol all together as much as you can. It is not getting you where you want to go and, as fun as a loss of control might be, once you have seriously committed to achieving an important goal, taking two or three steps back regularly can only add to your chances of failure and increase your level of frustration… thus causing you to want to ‘unwind’ and, possibly, drink even more. Do not get caught up in this type of vicious cycle.
After all, achieving your goals is mostly a matter of sticking to your game plan, so why sabotage yourself anymore than you have to? The task you have set before yourself is going to de hard enough without having your willpower eroded regularly. Let your better judgement and conscience do their jobs. In the end, you will feel better about yourself.
About the Author: Thomas Tribble is an ex-martial arts trainer, now a Dallasite professional involved with helping others find their health goals and stick to them.