Booze has been on my mind recently as a couple of close friends have fallen down, are losing or have apparently lost the battle with booze.
Apparently 1:20 of us struggle with an alcohol problem. You can probably double this as most people underestimate units by 50%. Over twice the booze is bought and sold as people own up to drinking with health professionals.
Sometimes it can be a struggle – one you are either monitoring and controlling or one which can control you.
It might not be booze, it might be carbs, fast foods, gaming, gambling or drugs or a mixture. Cross addiction.
Your sweetness is my weakness. Indeed. An apt phrase for the lure of booze. The Casanova who understands you, the sultry minx you cannot say no to.
We can all read about giving up – and you may want to. For me, I like to help people keep things under control. If you want to give up entirely, if that’s what you really, really want to do then below are some strategies which clear the booze fast, clean up the brain and liver and generally fast forward what can otherwise be a slow struggle for some people.
The protocols at the end of the article but it’s worth reading through to get there, you’ll need;
- The ability to identify triggers.
- Excellent self-control and discipline.
- Ways to understand your thought processes and body.
- Ability to reflect and complete honesty.
First you drink the wine then if you are not in control, the wine drinks you.
First you make your habits then your habits make you.
Why do people do something repeatedly which they know to be harmful?
If you drink and you are happy then you can simply read this for information purposes, maybe you are addicted to something else, often cross addiction is present.
Because booze the most widely available, highly addictive and the most socially acceptable used social drug. It’s often the one which goes unnoticed until there’s a proper problem.
Can you imagine turning up at your mums on mother’s day and saying, I just gotta ring my crack cocaine dealer?
Maybe not, but it’s likely there would be some wine available with the meal, maybe before and a few drinks after if that’s what you like doing. That’s all well and good – until your drinking becomes a problem.
When is your drinking a problem?
When should you consider your drinking to be a problem?
- Is it preventing you achieving your health and fitness goals?
- Is it a daily compulsive habit which you find almost impossible to stop?
- Do you need increasing levels of units to achieve the same relaxation effect?
- Do you wake up thinking you shouldn’t have drunk so much frequently?
- Do you feel like your health, mind or body is being compromised by the amount of alcohol you are consuming?
- do you suffer from black outs or memory loss as a result of you drinking?
- Has anyone said to you, you dude need to cut down on your drinking?
- Do you think about alcohol at an occasion before thinking about the people?
- Have you taken a day off work due to alcohol or a hangover?
- Has the quality of your work been affected by the level of alcohol you consume?
- Have you been convicted of an alcohol related crime? More than once?
- Have you done something which compromises your work, family or job as a result of alcohol consumption?
- Have you had to drink in the morning to feel better? (that’s one of the key slippery slope ones that one)
- Are you the first one at the drinking venue and the last one to leave?
- Do you drink with inferiors? Hopefully not the dudes in the park – yet…..
You have in all these cases a choice between cutting down or giving up completely.
You can do alcohol free periods, Sober October, Dry January. I heard of another way ahead, 1 week per month, 2 days per week and 3 months per year. Off booze that is. Quite a good way to filter down your intake. Just gotta be disciplined about jumping on and off. Some people cannot do that.
If you can stop, but then start again – you’ll know the ‘creep’ whereby the intake slowly ‘creeps’ up until you are back on a level which is unsustainable health, family and life project wise.
A lot of booze has way more units than people recognise.
What about the calories? 250 calories for a 500ml tin of San Miguel. So, 2 tins and ½ bottle of wine. 850 calories. That’ll take you about an hour or more running quite fast to burn off.
So, do that 2 nights per week = 2 hours running. More than that, well you can do the maths. Every night? Finishing off the bottle and 3 cans?
1500 calories per evening x 7 = 10500 calories per week. That’s 1.5kg of fat. That’s 10 hours of running about 8 miles per hour at 85-90kg.
Or a shit load of training just to stand still. That’s not even counting, the nuts, crisps, hangover breakfast and additional sugar craving calories you get from that kind of brain and hormone disrupting intake of alcohol .
Even if you count calories and use exercise to burn off alcohol calories (which is also a sign of bulimic addiction patterns) there's an effect on the liver in terms of liver fat. Makes it harder to burn body fat, cause all you do is burn off liver fat first, replace it with beer calories later on, go round and round and make zero body fat progress.
Do you look forward to Wine O’clock? Or beer o’clock?
You are not alone. This is the time which takes some conquering. Prepare for this carefully if it’s your intention to come off or cut down from boozing.
A pre-emptive brain calming drink is a great idea, load up on magnesium, calming aminos and brain supporting nutrients.
Different people have different reasons why they say they like to drink.
Reasons can vary – but whatever the reason the persistence of the habit eventually is more about the booze than the initial driver to booze too much.
People often say they take it to relax.
They take it to unwind to feel good.
They use it if they are anxious.
It’s social – there’s just loads of social occasions where it’s available.
Everyone likes a little drink, it’s normal.
This is all fine, if you can pick it up, put it down – keep to sensible units each week and you don’t drink every day.
Here’s a few resources which can help you if you need it.
Some good advice here and release you are certainly not alone. Another great site / resource is https://joinclubsoda.co.uk
If you do decide to give up, cut down or drink more responsibly then;
Take each day one at a time, forever is a long and scary time.
Focus on the positives, be excited about the journey.
Make a list of the negatives and then the positives.
Create alternatives, not drinking can leave a massive perception of vacuum – where there’s a deficit you need something to fill it.
Deal with first things first, stopping the booze is a major hurdle, try not to stop carbs and treats at the same time, actually you might need them. Sugar cravings go mad the 1st few weeks of withdrawal. It's a brain chemistry thing.
Have a look on a few blogs like the ones above, there’s some excellent resources out there and also there’s always AA.
When you avoid or reduce something you always need to replace it with something else. That can be an activity and or a community, normally both are necessary.
Cravings pass but they can be strong. Mostly people continue to drink or take drugs in order to avoid the withdrawal or cravings – so this is a vital part of abstaining. Booze cravings go quite quickly but your thought patters related to reward take a longer time to become reprogrammed.
Often a drug addict will say things like that they can only give up when the pain of staying on the substance is greater than the pain of going through withdrawal.
Creating an affirmation to help control the booze monkey can also help.
You can think about NLP or cognitive behavioural therapy.
Giving up having a drink with your friends might not be the best idea, better to say; “I give up drinking alcohol with my friends” along with some strong reasons. Then you can still enjoy things and a nice 'drink' just not an alcoholic one.
“My health, my family, and my financial situation will all benefit if I stop drinking alcohol”
I value these things now and I value these things in the future. That's why I choose not to drink alcohol.
If you decide to keep drinking, then you can project into the future and anticipate the likely unfortunate outcomes.
Or you may be happy with the risks and decide to continue to have alcohol as part of your life.
FAST TRACK PLANNING
- To help with cravings use serotonin and GABA precursors. Use exercise for endorphins. Anything which calms you down can be used. Even higher dosed calcium and magnesium can help.
- The best serotonin precursors include 5HTP and tryptophan, for GABA – you can use things like valerian, passion flower and other calming teas and herbs.
- My R5 aminos containmany of the ingredient needed for these purposes. The ingredients should support;
- Serotonin + melatonin
- Brain calming
- Deep restorative sleep
- GABA and magnesium status
- Magnesium smooths the path to building GABA and serotonin, you can use magnesium on its own or along with cofactors, it works really well with B6 other b-vitamins are needed for detoxification, stress management and proper brain function.
- Theanine helps with general chilled brain support, makes the brain less prone to compulsive tendencies. There’s a good wack of theanine in the Alpha Greens along with NAC for liver support and detoxification.You can also pick some additional Theanine online.
- The quicker you can get the poison out of your body whatever it is, then the quicker you’ll get over the withdrawal symptoms. Relapse is less likely the calmer you can keep the brain in the initial withdrawal stages. Sauna and liver support are essential.
- Fast tracking liver detoxification and regeneration is the subject of another article, for now you need to love milk thistle – also if you decide to carry on drinking then milk thistle need to be your friend. There’s a good dose of milk thistle in with tons of other anti-inflammatory herbs in the metabolic optimiser. That’s 270 capsules of high strength anti-inflammatory, fat burning and detoxification support.
- There’s plenty of other liver supporting herbs – one of the best ones is called TUDCA. You can get that on Amazon. Use 200-800mg depending on how bad your liver enzymes are.
- Another favourite is NAC, which is still the preferred (NHS) method of protecting the liver in case of accidental poisoning from pain killers. Yep you can kill your liver with 8-12 paracetamol.
- Pre-empt the craving and wine O’clock with a good strong, non-alcoholic drink. Ginger cordials a great option, on ice straight up. Pop a heaped scoop of R5’sin there for good measure.
Good luck and don’t forget to ask for help if you need it.