Sharing a little bit about my journey to reduce drinking and tips to reduce alcohol intake if this is one of your goals.
Hi friends! How is the week so far? Hope you have a wonderful morning so far! Here I am working on the content for our 6-week group – all info will be posted here next Tuesday, so mark your calendars!
For today’s post, I wanted to talk a little bit about alcohol and some of the things I’ve done to reduce alcohol intake over time.
My Journey to Reduce Alcohol
Let’s walk a little bit into the past and history with alcohol:
– I’ve never been a person *who would overindulge in alcohol. While I definitely had moments (in college mostly lol) of overdoing it, I didn’t faint or do things I would later regret due to poor decision-making abilities, thank goodness. While I only drank what I considered too much on a few occasions, I often had two glasses of wine or cocktails over the course of the week.
– I’ve learned that “a lot” means different things to different people. While I wasn’t constantly euphoric, there were times (years?) when I had some sort of wine or cocktail every single day.
When we lived in San Diego, it wasn’t uncommon for us to drink a bottle of wine every night. While it felt completely normal and as a part of life, I realized it was too much and I wanted to cut back. (Note: drinking a bottle every night gets expensive too!)
(Caro agrees with my decision to downgrade.)
Some of the main reasons why I cut back on alcohol:
– Every time I drink more than one cocktail or a glass of wine, I slept terribly and woke up feeling exhausted the next morning. It’s really fun to start your day with such a low-energy note, especially when you’re chasing kids all day. I realized I felt so much better in the morning when I skipped the wine the night before.
– I realized that It usually became more of a pleasure or a pleasure. Drinking wine became something I did every day, not something I really enjoyed. Like any habit, it took a while to break, and it was worth it.
– for health. I developed a fear of gallbladder a few years ago and it turns out that my liver and gallbladder (BFFs) hate alcohol. It was a good wake-up call to monitor my intake and try to reduce it. Your body perceives alcohol as a poison and will stop other processes to try to get rid of the poison. Alcohol is treated quite differently than food.
Alcohol prevents deep sleep, as your body works to process the alcohol while you sleep. It increases your temperature and heart rate at rest, and also affects your insulin sensitivity. Wearing the Oura Ring and Nutrisense CGM has provided insight into how alcohol (especially after 7-8pm) affects my body.
– For reasons related to body composition. When I reduced my alcohol intake (as well as some dietary changes I made over time), I noticed a difference in body composition. I felt less bloated and bloated when I woke up, and I was also finally able to see some muscle I was trying to build.
What about social drinking?
This was a great contributor to regular cocktails, and also, as an introvert, I love the warm, fuzzy feel of a glass of wine talking with people I don’t know well. I feel like it’s completely off the edge, and it’s easier for me to interact with everyone in a social setting.
Honestly, I had to get over it.
I had to tell myself I *didn’t* need alcohol to chat with new friends at parties, and it’s true. You don’t need to feel comfortable in social situations or have a good time.
I also wondered if anyone would say anything when I chose water instead of a cocktail, and no one said a word. At the Squadron Pilots’ Christmas party, I drank water with lemon and no one cared. There are other ways I’ve worked on my social anxiety, especially with meditation, hanging out with smaller groups of people, and a little CBD here and there.
Have you given up alcohol completely?
number! I still like a margarita or a glass of wine 1-2 times a week, but that’s it. Some weeks I don’t have any alcohol, and some weeks I drink one or two nights a week, knowing full well that I won’t sleep well or have the same amount of energy in the morning. I just reduced my intake over time and I feel like dancing in the middle (rather an all-or-nothing mindset) has worked well for me.
Tips to reduce alcohol intake:
Here are some tips that helped me! Please know that I am not certified in anything regarding this and am just sharing my experience. If you suffer from alcoholism, please get the help and support you deserve. there Lots of resources here.
Drink something else you enjoy. Kombucha and hot herbal tea are great alternatives. I too looooooove Organifi Gold or Harmony (use the code FITNESSISTA) mixed with warm almond milk, a large glass of water (I aim for about 100 ounces per day), LMNT electrolytes, or a giant smoothie.
– Try a mocktail. The bartender can make a great mocktail if you tell him what flavor you like or how big you’d like it to be. There are also several versions you can buy at grocery stores and online options for non-alcoholic wines and spirits (although I haven’t tried any of these).
– Drink half. Instead of drinking a full glass, try drinking a half cup instead. I’ll order wine sometimes when we go to restaurants, and only drink a third or so of it (and know it won’t go to waste because the pilot will finish it instead of having a second drink).
Reducing intake over time. As with anything else, complete deprivation can backfire and lead to overindulgence later. It was helpful for me to be vigilant and to gradually reduce my intake. I reduced the number of days I drank alcohol each week until I eventually got to 1-2. Now when I get it I make sure to take my time and enjoy it.
Tell me, friends: how often do you drink alcohol? What is your very favorite drink?
Have a great morning and see you tomorrow with a recipe!