the alcohol issue!

  • To my fellow BFLers! I hope everybody's challenges are coming along well, whether you are on your first challenge, second challenge... etc! I started on the 22nd of November (this week) and i'm already loving the new clean healthy diet. starting was DEFINITELY the hardest part.

    I just wanted to know everybody's view on alcohol. i know a glass of red wine with dinner is exeptable but my situation is a bit different- i'm extremely torn! I know it would be more beneficial for me to completely avoid alcohol, but this is body for LIFE and i know i had to make it work for me. i came to the realisation that i couldnt cut it out of my diet completely- especially being 19 years old. instead i have cut back. I pondered this for a while... i realised that i wanted to avoid hindering my progress as much as possible. especially because i work so hard in the gym and in the kitchen. when i go out, whether its to a party or out to a bar or club i usually drink about 6 drinks. and i usually go out once a week. or sometimes just once every 2 weeks.

    I realised i have 2 options: either waiting until 12am at night (so it was technically the next day) - so this might mean going out on saturday night, starting to drink at 12am because sunday is my rest day. OR have my rest day, for example, on the actual day i want to go out and drink (which means i can start drinking whenever i want) but having the risk of feeling tired or not being bothered to work out the next day. or even sleeping in through my first meal or 2.

    Now i know most people are probably thinking "just give the alcohol up its that easy!". even though i completely agree with this, i know that if i cut alcohol completely out of my BFL program im just going to give up because it going to be too hard. and i really want to finish this. if anyone could suggest the healthiest alcohol to drink that would be awesome. in terms of sugar.. carbs ect.

    Your advice would be greatly appreciated!!!

  • You're right, this is Body for LIFE, but the first twelve weeks are called a "challenge" for a reason. In my opinion, six drinks in one evening is just going to derail your efforts, period.

    The mom in me has to make a couple of points here outside of the BFL ramifications. I'm guessing from your screen name that you are from Australia, and I don't know what the drinking laws are there, but here in the states you would be underage. There is a 19-year-old where I live who fell off a staircase on her head after having a few too many on a football Saturday. She is very fortunate in that she did not end up a quadriplegic, but she still has a long rehab ahead of her.

    From your post, you know the right thing to do is to give alcohol up completely during the challenge. At the very least, I urge you to stop after one drink and switch to diet soda or water.

    Want it. Plan it. Do it.

  • I can relate - I think if you have to "give up" things - whether it's alcohol, pizza, or donuts, you are going to feel deprived.  And if you feel deprived, you are less likely to succeed altogether, so good for you for realizing that you need to take a moderate (vs. severe) approach to your lifestyle.

    I'm almost 30 years older than you, but I too would find my social life curbed by a ban on alcohol, so I am taking a moderate approach.  My goal is 2 drinks a week, and I have them on whatever day.  I allow myself more, but only if I can still stay under my calorie limitation.  One thing I have found is that I feel the effects of alcohol much more since I am eating so much less, so beware.

    As far as best drinks to have - I would suggest sticking with pure alcohol (not a lot of mixers - no margaritas unless you know for sure it is made with fresh lime juice vs. mix; juices and cream/milk is going to increase the calorie count substantially).  Stick with wine, a martini (classic), or a bloody mary (count the tomato juice), or a light beer (I like Amsdel light, and I also find beer very filling).

    When you are drinking, make it a habit to have 1 drink, then 1 glass water/seltzer.  That will help with not drinking as much and no getting too drunk!

  • Aussiebel,

    I'm sure there are hundreds of thousands of 19 year olds around the world that engage in alcohol consumption, at least that was the case 35 years ago!  In my humble opinion, moderation is the key.  One approach is to switch your free day (1 day = 24 hrs, right?) to begin at 8 pm Saturday, and run through 8 pm on Sunday. Enjoy a drink or two on the Saturday evenings.  Having six sounds a little excessive, and depending on the timeframe over which you are inbibing, may cause loss of sobriety.  Drink a non-alcoholic beverage, such as water with a slice of lemon or lime added, between the alcoholic ones.  I've always enjoyed a microbrew beer or two on my free days, with no readily discernible negative effects.


    Once I discovered the joys of weight training, all other passions were transcended.


  • I have a feeling that once you begin to see your body change, your views will shift, and your desire for alcohol will diminish. The program will tranform your life in so many ways that you will not want to fill your body with anything that might derail your dreams!

  • I'm not 19 (an old guy of 51) but I do enjoy a nice glass of wine. We all have to live our life and make choices and determine within ourselves what we want out of life. What I have chosen for myself is that I want to live a healthy lifestyle. I see far too many of my friends and neighbours in their  50's and 60's who struggle to walk around because of poor health.....their quality of life very poor.....and I've decided that I don't want to be like that. So what I need to do is look at my life and absorb things into my life that will add to a healthy lifestyle and at the same time turn away from those things that would hinder my healthy lifestyle. In regards to alcohol....we must realize that there is absolutely NO nutrition value  in it. It is purely empty caloriies. Having said that the same can be said for cookies...icecream....candy etc. So what do we do? What has worked for me is I have treated wine/beer as something to have at a free meal/free day. As I plan my week if I know my wife and I are going out Saturday night I will usually make Saturday my free day. It doesn't matter what time we get home at night but I know that when I wake up the next morning it's back on schedule. Hope this helps.

    fit4life "The dream must be bigger than the pain"

  • Aussiebel,

    I have been performing this challenge and like you I have come to the realization that my social lifestyle would prohibit excluding drinks.  I hope that you have sensibility to realize that drinking however will set you back.  It is an empty calorie.

    With that in mind, I would say good vodka being the closest to pure alcohol is TECHNICALLY the best thing you can drink.  That being said I would instead recommend, Wiskey & Diet Coke (Jack & Diet) as this will cut down the alcohol content of your drink.  Also, mix it up intermittently with straight Diet Coke (people won't notice).  Beware drinking so much as to prohibit working out the next day (don't make two sins out of one).

    Look also for Metamucil (fiber drink).  When people talk about empty calories it is an issue because you can digest and store the energy too fast (fat).  Protient, Vitamins, phitonutrients & fiber all slow down your digestive process.  Drink metamucil right before going out to drink to control the impact on your glycemic index.  This is a not a perfect solution but it is better.

    Also, don't think that drinking substitutes for good meals.  You need protien even when you drink to keep your body from generating bad hormones (fat storing hormones).

    Hope that helps,