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Weight loss & alcohol

Updated: Jan 13

Plate of healthy food and tape measure

Today was weight loss group day. I attend every single week, and I have been doing pretty well recently. But recently I have been doing even better. In fact, I am very close to target.

As soon as I joined the group, I asked to join the social team. I knew this would keep me going there, keep me motivated and engaged, and ensure I cannot skip weeks, which ultimately, would lead to piling the pounds back on. It's a lovely social group, full of laughter and companionship, and we are all in the same boat. Trying to lose some weight to feel healthier and look a bit better. I have made a lot of friends there.

The one thing about these groups, is that as long as you remain within the limits the diets sets you, alcohol is "fine". It does not matter which brand you choose, all pretty much allow alcohol. If they didn't, they might not get many through the door. But what if alcohol is a trigger food for you, as it was for me?

A trigger food is something you should try to avoid, because you feel you cannot stop consuming it if you start. Lots of people avoid things like bread, chocolate or biscuits for this very reason, or crisps. My trigger foods were definitely crisps, probably bread, and most certainly alcohol. One glass of wine was never enough. As soon as I had emptied the glass, I would be heading back to the bottle for another. Even after one glass, it would strip away all of my good intentions and excellent food choices for the day, and two or three more glasses would follow. I smashed through my allowances each evening, and every week I would report a maintain if I was lucky, a weight gain if I was not. I was paying my weekly subscriptions to stay the same, basically. It was frustrating.

The last time I was a member, four years ago or so, I had a friend on the social team, who did the same as me for over six months. Then one evening, a determined look on her face, she said: "I am not doing this any more." She assured me she was not about to quit.

The following week she turned up, and she had lost a whopping 4lbs in weight in a single week. Everyone was delighted for her, and she went on to smash through the losses every week, straight to her target weight, without a single further gain or hiccup. Amazing!

What had she done? She had given up alcohol. That was all. She looked fantastic too, her skin was glowing, her hair looked shiny and fabulous, her eyes bright. Did she miss alcohol? Not a bit, she said. Her weightless and health had simply become more important that the vodka she used to feel she could not go without. I met up with her a few weeks ago in the supermarket, and she still looked fabulous, still slim and happy and beautiful. I asked her if she was still alcohol free. "Oh, yes!" she replied, "I haven't needed any for years!"

Good for her. Every time I step on the scales myself I remember her brilliant successes, and it motivates me too. Ever since quitting alcohol my weight loss is back on track, and I have very little to lose before I reach my target weight. I cannot wait.

It is not easy to lose weight, as any of us who have tried will testify. But losing that need for a shot of something your brain tricks you into wanting makes it so, so much easier. Is it really worth it? Just imagine all the lovely food you can enjoy if you do not spend your allowance on booze. In fact, if you still need the ritual, there are hundreds of alcohol free alternatives you can enjoy for relatively no calories, such as alcohol free gin and diet tonic over a a bed of cooling ice with a slice of lemon, or a delicious alcohol free pale ale fresh from the refrigerator.

It really can jump-start your healthy eating lifestyle if you are feeling a little stuck.

Amanda x

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