These days I rarely drink alcohol. Maybe once a month. And I am proud of that fact. For starters, I need to clarify my position on drinking. I am not the run of the mill health nut who is going to tell you that you should stop drinking or one that doesn’t have a history of alcohol abuse. In all honesty, for a few years, I believed that running around wasted was pretty fun. I have some interesting stories to tell of when I was drunk, for example, falling down the stairs after a night of Tequila drinking or watching Hangover Part 1 on a Sunday afternoon nursing a severe hangover myself.
As a teenager and in my twenties I spent a good amount of time partying and traveling. So I consider myself more of a party drinker than a stress drinker. I enjoyed being drunk. I liked alcohol. I’ve had good times with an alcoholic drink in my hand. But as I got a little older I realized that there were certain things I could only do when drunk; such as, having fun or talking to a cute girl. My fitness level went down, and I was unhappy with a lot of things. I started to dislike many things I was doing. I didn’t like my lifestyle anymore; I didn’t like my body. I wanted to stop drinking and partying and be more active. And here am I now, writing these lines about how drinking sucks on a Sunday morning, in a town like Bangkok where I could easily get seriously wasted on a Saturday night if I wanted.
These days if I drink more than once a month, or in moderation, I have trouble sleeping; have a brutal hangover the day after and I will hate myself for another two days after that. Also, it’s hard for me to have fun when others are drunk, as a result, I do not go out a lot anymore. Hardly the glamorous Bangkok lifestyle, but I have a different life purpose these days.
If you need help to drink less and get your life under control, here are a few tips that can help you.
- Never drink alone
Never have alcohol in your home. If you have alcohol in your home, you or someone you like, or at least tolerate will eventually drink it. Drinking alcohol alone to manage social situations or emotions can be very dangerous, and for many people, it is a lifelong struggle to quit drinking.
- Get active
Being active helps tremendously in feeling better and drinking less. Many times individuals who are prone to addictions also get ‘addicted’ to a healthy lifestyle. For example, when I moved to Thailand I wanted to learn Muay Thai, I changed my life from being sedentary and spending my nights at parties, to training twice a day and feeling awesome.
It doesn’t matter what activity you enjoy. Any sport that you enjoy will help. Muay Thai, MMA, CrossFit, etc. Anything works. Many times, physical activity that demands a high level of skill or has a strong community aspect works even better.
- The people you surround yourself with
Some in the field of psychology believe that the five people we surround ourselves with most of the time influence how we spend our time. And this has an effect on what we are doing. It was a tough decision to leave some of my good and very close friends when I decided to move here for new, healthier lifestyle. If our close friends like to drink and party until sunrise or go to sleep early because of a 7 am Bootcamp the next morning, we might do the same. It helps to join a gym which offers group classes and has a strong community aspect. Not only are you exercising regularly, but you will also meet the same people over and over again and start some friendships. Most of them will be extremely health conscious.
- Healthy diet
Lastly, but certainly, in no way least, start eating better food. When you drink less, there is a greater chance of not overeating and of eating less processed food. We never tend to eat salad when drunk at 2 am or the day after some serious drinking. Eating more salty and fatty food is linked to drinking alcohol. The good thing about drinking less is that you cut an out a good amount of calories from your diet.
If you eliminate or severely reduce alcohol from your diet, you will consume automatically fewer calories, and subsequently, lose body fat without going on a raw food paleo ketogenic diet which only allows ice cubes to eat.
Try to start somewhere with drinking less. One step at a time. Any good Health Coach or Fitness Professional can support you with your journey. If you believe you have a severe alcohol addiction, a qualified healthcare professional, such as an addictions counselor might be worth to consult.
At the moment I try a little challenge with two of my clients to not drink any alcohol for one month. (Just to make things clear, they do not have an alcohol problem. We do it in regards to body composition). Join us!
And let me know your thoughts and experiences about drinking less in the comments below or a message and share this post with people you know, who will benefit from these ideas. Thank you