Question: Dining out, happy hour, girls’ night, boys’ night, Saturday football and Cancun. What do all of these have in common?
If you want to loose weight, reconciling alcohol consumption with your goal of the ultimate physical perfection, or even to loose just a few pounds, can be tricky. This is because drinking is FUN.
Wellllll, fun to a point… maybe fun while you’re drinking but not so fun the next day. Which makes a girl wonder how “fun” this really is…
But because dieting sucks, we especially want to have fun and temporarily escape diet hell when we are trying to lose weight through the lame diet route.
Unfortunately, diets are not only torture but doomed to fail. Wait, no – they are not only torture, and not only doomed to fail, BUT they also perpetuate a cycle you may already find yourself in, where all attempts to stringently restrict calorie intake through discipline triggers “famine brain”. When the human brain activity is mapped, we can see the picture of our neural activity when dieting, which is identical to neural activity mapped for humans enduring a real food scarcity.
Famine brain means that your brain responds to this severe food intake restriction by sending your body very strong and, honestly, irresistible signals to eat everything in sight because, oh my goodness, didn’t you know, there is a famine! Your brain is not confident that there will be another opportunity for feeding, so not only do you compulsively inhale anything available once you finally respond to your brain’s commands to eat (and you will), but your brain has also engineered your metabolism to roll to a screeching halt so every morsel that can be stored as fat will be.
This horrible cycle that you know, as do I, from experience is the 7th level of Dante’s Hell, is called a “feedback screech” similar to when a microphone is held up to a speaker and a screech comes out because of the endless cycle of input into the mic and output of the speaker.
Next time you find yourself knee-deep in pasta or potato chips soon to be followed with deep remorse and a new-found resolve to restrict your food intake drastically, again, to make up for this “bad behavior” — STOP!!! It’s not helping!! Like I was saying before, your brain is always going to keep telling your body there is a famine, and the feedback screech continues while you get fatter, more miserable and increasingly less likely to feel joy on a regular basis.
Let’s agree not to sign up for that any more.
But I digress. How does alcohol fit into the framework of self-love where you give yourself healthy and delicious foods because it makes you feel good, although you could choose to eat cocoa krispies 24/7 if you wanted to because nothing is off limits?
Well, basically, alcohol can fit into any of the food categories except for Fuel (remember the four types of eating? Fuel, Joy, Storm and Fog are the only four kinds of consumption. If you’re not taking my classes and the four types of eating info is new to you, check out If I’m so Smart, Why Can’t I Loose Weight by Brooke Castillo):
- Drinking alcohol is a Joy eat when you enjoy and taste every sip.
- It is a Fog eat when you’re checked out mentally and still downing the vino without taking note of whether you want this or how hung over you’re going to be tomorrow.
- Alcohol is a Storm eat when you are throwing back drink after drink like you’re on a mission.
Make sense? Good!
Feel free to add any comments you may have or post questions – any and all are welcome.