Alcohol Curtailment

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AWvsCBsteeeerike3
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Alcohol Curtailment

Post by AWvsCBsteeeerike3 »

Split from the Getting into shape thread:
Freed Roger wrote:
AWvsCBsteeeerike3 wrote:I'm at about 200 and would like to get down to ~175 or so. It's by no means a drop weigh fast goal, but one I'd like to maintain that involves losing some flab and getting more cut. So, about 5 weeks ago I dropped alcohol completely thinking that would help shed pounds. I even started finding extra ways to get steps in by taking the family to parks and hiking, going on extra runs, etc etc etc. None of that mattered because, well, it just made me more hungry. Dropping alcohol led to, in general, being more lethargic even though I was/am sleeping a lot better. With no time to modify an exercise routine that's already pretty packed, I'm not looking forward to modifying a diet that I rarely worried about but it's come to that. So, over the next couple months I'll probably start playing around with it with the goal of being able to have a plan come 2020 so a realistic resolution can be set to get down to 175 by 2021.

All that said, agree with Freed this is a really tough time. Lot's of people wanting to drink and eat to excess.
Kind of amazed that dropping alcohol didn't show weight loss results.
Though, for a while of abstaining, I craved sugars.

I honestly believe a beer or 2 a day is good for my health. Relax, less cortisol etc. But more than that, no.

Morning aerobic workout (running slow). That is money for weight loss. You set yourself for success. (I don't run mornings though, lol)

Keep at it man. Once you get some success, you'll feel empowered and know what works for you
Last edited by AWvsCBsteeeerike3 on November 24 19, 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AWvsCBsteeeerike3
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Re: Alcohol Curtailment

Post by AWvsCBsteeeerike3 »

AWvsCBsteeeerike3 wrote:Thanks, it's all kind of about finding what works at this point, I guess.

Regarding sugar, being diabetic, it's pretty easy to track how much sugar is getting into the body's cells. Not to go too deep into it, but essentially I take insulin to replace insulin the pancreas doesn't produce. Insulin gets sugar from the bloodstream into the cells and the cells use it for energy to do...whatever it is they're supposed to do. There's two ways sugar gets into the bloodstream: food and the liver constantly secretes it. It's not this cut and dried, but after a week or two of cutting out alcohol, I reduced the amount of insulin needed to cover the sugar produced by the liver by about 10%. But, there were definitely cravings to eat more sugar, and it was Halloween time. If I cut 5 units of insulin out as it wasn't needed to cover sugar from the liver, I easily made up for it with insulin to cover candy. I know that has to stop, and with the candy recently running out, it will. Regardless, it's probably a net neutral for amount of insulin required over the last month. So, it makes sense the weight hasn't changed that much.

Still, take, let's say 30 drinks out a week and that's easily 3000 calories a week that are missing. I'd have thought that alone would lead to a weight loss. But, as mentioned, I've been pretty lethargic. There's not that need to prevent being sedentary that alcohol created. For instance, if I wanted to drink, I'd make sure that there was beer to drink, a cooler to pack, something to smoke on the grill, and more than likely multiple trips to the store for, well, more beer as well as odds and ends I'd forget (apple juice, a certain spice, a certain type of wood, lighters, fire starters, etc etc etc). It created a lot of steps. And, then the clean up created steps. And, I'd eat less because I was full of booze. I smoked a little pork butt last weekend and 1. remembered everything at the store in one trip, and 2. ate a [expletive] more than I typically would have because I was starving. Plus, when the grill was fine, I just watched football. Didn't feel the need to do any odds and ends around the house to keep moving/burning calories.

In short, now that I've stopped, I realized how much extra effort went into drinking and maintaining weight that I never really thought about. You could probably argue I had a problem, or at the very minimum had an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. And, I wouldn't necessarily disagree. So, even without losing weight, it's been a postive thing to step back. And, like I said, the weight loss thing is a long term goal not one that I'm super focused on right now. Getting the booze out of the way is undoubtedly going to help over that longer time period.

AWvsCBsteeeerike3
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Re: Alcohol Curtailment

Post by AWvsCBsteeeerike3 »

Freed Roger wrote:I didn't know/forgot you are diabetic.

When I quit alcohol for a month, it didnt do much for my weight either. You got a week extra. Similar but different-instead of chilling with a beer, I'd have ice cream or something. Also, oddly I was lethargic. I'd lounge around reading and go to bed earlier. Then again, i was dry in January- a naturally lethargic month.

No booze for a short term, inevitably something fills the void, either diet or lifestyle wise. I bet 10 weeks, then you'd see weight drop.

Had some positives to no alcohol. Better sleep quality
A bit better in the AM

But Yeah. you got this.

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Re: Alcohol Curtailment

Post by AWvsCBsteeeerike3 »

AWvsCBsteeeerike3 wrote:Yeah the lethargy is extremely odd. I told Mrs aw it’s like a car trying to climb a hill in 5th gear when it should be in 3rd.

I feel good. Feel strong. Can notice in the weight room that I’m a little stronger. So that’s good. But there were times when, like last thanksgiving for instance, my neighbor had a party the night before. I go over there. We stay up til like 4 am. Took probably 10 shots. Drank probably 10 beers. Woke up at 6:30 am and ran a couple miles. Then cook for the next 5-6 hours. Smoke the turkey, help with some inside stuff. Carve the turkey. Make a stock. Played football with the kids. All on 2 hours sleep and drinking all day. I was exhausted but had so much energy I couldn’t even sit down. Back to the car analogy it was like being in first gear. Didn’t have much power but no problem getting up that hill.

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Re: Alcohol Curtailment

Post by AWvsCBsteeeerike3 »

Freed Roger wrote:https://www.verywellmind.com/is-this-no ... last-80197

article on withdrawal from alcohol.

Reactions vary, obviously because everyone is different, and had/have different alcohol baselines.

AW - I think the lack of energy when abstaining is related to some dopamine Pavlovian type thing we get from alcohol. Has to be, because as we know, alcohol itself is ultimately a depressant. Or even from the routine and construct of looking forward to it. Socializing, grilling, watching sports, raking leaves, or whatever you associate with drinking beer - it will be different and maybe even gloomy, something you don't relish, (produce energy), as much without. Which is kind of pathetic.

For example, I love/loathe running the gnarly trails up at Pere Marquette SP. My routine there usually includes a stop in Grafton or Alton for a beer and some food. When I am short on time, and unable to stop for a beer - I feel a little depressed about it. a void. lol.

Your example of drinking and having some gusto the next AM. The effect from the booze is you have to wake up to take leaks, and a dump - so you are up anyway, and sitting still or looking at your phone in a groggy state isn't that great - so fresh air and doing something is the cure. Recently, on a trip to Moab got up around 5AM for3 consecutive sunrises- this was after a lot of hiking, running and drinking the day/evening prior-The advantage/curse of having to piss. Since I wasn't at home, I had to wake up, and I couldn't sleepwalk to the can, and then back to bed.

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Re: Alcohol Curtailment

Post by AWvsCBsteeeerike3 »

Pere Marquette is such a cool place. Been a while since I've been there, but that point where you can overlook all the rivers coming together is like heaven on earth. I used to go to that little winery, think it was called Piasa Winery way back when. Was an awesome little place, I wonder if its still open.

Dude, reading some of those withdrawal stories was crazy. I went through none of that. Maybe a little irritability and this lethargy thing. But, sheeeit. Cold sweats, seizures? That's rough.

I also talked to a guy that I work with who is in AA and that [expletive] sounds intense. Like admitting that you're powerless? Turning over to a higher power? No thanks. I asked him about like, if he really felt that way, like he couldn't control drinking even with the help of medines that would make him sick if he drank or hypnosis or simply re-wiring his brain and he said, more or less, his wife made him do it and that he did have to admit that he was drinking way too much and having a difficult time controlling it. I believe that, I had to talk to him about smelling like alcohol at the office. So, I know he was struggling. And, all the more power to those that go that route. It certainly wasn't a path I wanted to go down or felt necessary to do though.

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Re: Alcohol Curtailment

Post by JCShutout »

I know I don't drink much, and this isn't meant as judgy, I'm honestly surprised: 30 drinks a week? Is that normal for most people? I literally might have had 30 drinks in the last 3-4 years. I figured those who did drink regularly might be closer to 5-10/week. I had no idea folks approached that much.

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Re: Alcohol Curtailment

Post by Freed Roger »

JCShutout wrote:I know I don't drink much, and this isn't meant as judgy, I'm honestly surprised: 30 drinks a week? Is that normal for most people? I literally might have had 30 drinks in the last 3-4 years. I figured those who did drink regularly might be closer to 5-10/week. I had no idea folks approached that much.
I'm probably about 20 per week. works out to a one or two a weeknight, and then 2-3 on weekends. Beers that is. Trying to not do many of the high ABV. , and rarely the hard stuff.

I'd say that is too much. Which is why I choose to cut it back every so often. . Takes willpower, but I don't snack much when I drink. Rationalizing that the beer is my snack. If I do eat a lot, I know it's because I drank too much and the willpower is gone.
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night before recent 50k race in Moab, the brewery was packed with runners (some were doing the 50 mile). I drank 2 that night (5% max drafts by law in Utah)and had one at lunch. I think that was normal. I probably drank 5 after the race, over several hours and with a lot of water and gatorade mixed in. Also within the norm range for that - but higher than everyday for me.

I ran a 50k once where it was so damn much fun hanging by campfire with friends the night before. I had 4, but they were strong. I woke up about 2 hrs earlier than planned and realized I [expletive] up, and started pounding water etc to flush it out. I was good to go, enjoyed and finished the run, but probably sabotaged my performance.

I'm 52, made my share of mistakes with alcohol, so I do keep tabs on it. Got to have a regulator. Only semi-neurotic about it. Go at enjoyment pace.

I look forward to scaling back in January, see how it rolls this time.

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Re: Alcohol Curtailment

Post by Freed Roger »

AWvsCBsteeeerike3 wrote: Dude, reading some of those withdrawal stories was crazy. I went through none of that. Maybe a little irritability and this lethargy thing. But, sheeeit. Cold sweats, seizures? That's rough.

I also talked to a guy that I work with who is in AA and that [expletive] sounds intense. Like admitting that you're powerless? Turning over to a higher power? No thanks. I asked him about like, if he really felt that way, like he couldn't control drinking even with the help of medines that would make him sick if he drank or hypnosis or simply re-wiring his brain and he said, more or less, his wife made him do it and that he did have to admit that he was drinking way too much and having a difficult time controlling it. I believe that, I had to talk to him about smelling like alcohol at the office. So, I know he was struggling. And, all the more power to those that go that route. It certainly wasn't a path I wanted to go down or felt necessary to do though.
Hard stuff? I have never been much into it. I heard stories of relatives that were abusive drunks in younger years - but when I knew them they were sweet and docile occasional beer drinker. whiskey can make people mean.

Some people are predisposed to addiction and alcoholism. I know that is what we were taught in school, but I find it be true. It is like a time bomb waiting to go off with alcohol. Also, there is such a thing as a high-functioning alcoholic. Can drink a lot and mask the problems (at least on the surface)

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/add ... lcoholic#1 I have some of those signs, mainly the numerical limits being hit.

AWvsCBsteeeerike3
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Re: Alcohol Curtailment

Post by AWvsCBsteeeerike3 »

JCShutout wrote:I know I don't drink much, and this isn't meant as judgy, I'm honestly surprised: 30 drinks a week? Is that normal for most people? I literally might have had 30 drinks in the last 3-4 years. I figured those who did drink regularly might be closer to 5-10/week. I had no idea folks approached that much.
It's by most any standard too much. I'll touch on 'normal' in a second. But, 30 drinks can be accomplished surprisingly easy. Let's say 3 beers on Thursday night after work. 2 beers Friday afternoon before going out to dinner. 2 beers at dinner. 2 beers when you get home and a double shot of bourbon before bed. We're up to 11 with all of saturday and sunday to go. Say 13 beers on a saturday starting at noonish and drinking until about 1 am. That's like a beer an hour and gets you up to 24. Then, a couple mimosas Sunday at brunch and four beers over the course of the afternoon at a pool or something. Wala, you've drank 30 drinks without ever getting out of control and without ever affecting the ability to show up to work Monday-Friday.

It's a pretty constant stream of booze from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon, though.

One thing I've wandered a lot about over the last little bit is what is 'normal'? Is it normal to not drink at all? Nothing wrong with that, but it's certainly not 'normal'. Most Americans drink, to some extent, monthly. So, it's normal to drink.

If you start getting into averages, the averages are skewed heavily by what the heaviest drinkers drink which is well more than 30 drinks a week and gets the average to somewhere around 10 drinks per week. Cut the heavy drinkers out and it's somewhere around a couple drink per week which is fine and dandy. But, averages are measured by yearly drinks divided by weeks. So, it's possible some people are drinking a bottle of whisky in a night and then abstaining for weeks/months on end. Is that normal? Of course not.

Before going off, it's probably best to just say I've kind of come to the conclusion there is no 'normal'. People are going to drink more at a wedding than an average work night. And, the huge peaking factors make it difficult to really define a normalcy.

Further, as Freed points out, there are guidelines as to what puts people at risk for being an alcoholic or an alcohol abuser. But, what if someone takes those guidelines and schedules their drinking in a manner to specifically avoid crossing any of those guidelines. Oh, I can't have more than 14 drinks a week? Can't drink alone? Can't black out? What if I just drink once a week with friends and have 14 drinks from, say, 5 pm on a Saturday to 10 pm and then go to bed? Or, what if I skip a weekend but then the next weekend have 14 drinks on saturday and 14 drinks on Sunday? Technically, still not a problem, right? Sunday is a new week, afterall.

All that to say, it's really easy, especially when given guidelines, to manipulate the hell out of them and rationalize it away.

And, if you want to get into rationalizations and normal drinking and all that and see just how easy it is to manipulate. Here goes. The top 10% of heaviest drinkers that were aforementioned? They drink, on average, 80ish drinks per week. That's more than double 30 drinks per week, even a drunkard can do that math. So, I'm not even a heavy drinker. Probably above average, but that's okay. Like I also mentioned previously, it's easy to drink 30 drinks without affecting work or really ever getting 'drunk' so, eh, it works just fine for me. I'm not one of the problem drinkers and really don't have anything more to think about or worry about.

Not that I ever thought of it like that, but just saying. It's not tough to put together a somewhat coherent stream of consciousness rationalization that makes 30 drinks a week seem acceptable.

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