** This is a guest post written by Anne Warner**
Struggling to lose weight and can’t work out why your diet isn’t working?
Cut down on your intake of sugary and fatty snacks but still not noticing a change?
It could be that you need to lose the booze.
Alcohol is Loaded With Calories
Alcohol is loaded with calories that most of us simply don’t consider when we are calculating our daily calorie intake. But one bottle of beer contains the same number of calories as three chocolate cookies, so if you’re not tracking your alcohol intake alongside your food intake then it’s likely to scupper any chances you have of shifting the pounds.
The World Cancer Research Fund says forgetting the high number of calories in alcohol is one of the top reasons for diet failure. In the same research they also state that being overweight is the second biggest risk factor in developing cancer (after smoking), so cutting the booze to lose the pounds will impact more than just your body shape; it will also impact your health.
If you’re overweight and drinking alcohol on a daily basis then giving up alcohol could be the ideal first-stop on your weight-loss journey, or the reason your other weight-loss solutions are failing. Here are some tips and ideas on giving up for good:
How to Give up Alcohol
If you consume alcohol on a regular or even daily basis then detoxing from alcohol can be difficult to begin with. This is because alcohol is an addictive substance and regular consumption of it can leave your body dependent upon it to function without you even realising this is the case.
If you keep drinking alcohol despite knowing that it is damaging your health or upsetting those around you, if you regularly suffer from hangovers or other negative effects from drinking too much, or if you have built up a high tolerance to alcohol, then it could well be that you are dependent on it and now is the right time to quit.
Cutting down on the amount of alcohol you consume can be difficult because, like any addiction, your body will begin to have cravings for the alcohol it is missing, meaning you will need to have iron levels of willpower. This is why most people find it easier to quit drinking all together.
Resolve to give up drinking not for a week, or for a month, but for good. Accepting that you won’t drink again can make it easier to control the cravings and to have the willpower not to succumb to them. You just have to jump right in with both feet and do it.
If you find that the symptoms and cravings you are experiencing as a result of giving up alcohol are severe, it might be worth speaking to your physician for a full check-up and support.
Peer pressure is a very real thing, and often appears when someone chooses to give up alcohol. It’s important to understand and repeat the mantra that you not having a beer will have no impact on how your friend’s beer tastes. You are quitting alcohol, but you are not asking those around you to give it up too, so your friends and anyone else who is pressuring you to give up on your weight loss and health goals are not being impacted by your decision. Only you will benefit from your change, and only you will see your goals fail again if you don’t.
How Much Can Alcohol Really Affect My Weight?
It might seem difficult to comprehend that even drinking a moderate amount of alcohol can affect your weight, and halt your weight loss. But even if you don’t consider yourself to be a big drinker, you’ll be amazed at how many calories alcohol can add to your intake.
For example, a small can on Budweiser will contain 145 calories, so if you consume just two cans of beer each evening (a perfectly average amount) then that means that you are adding more than 2,000 extra calories to your body every week. It’s no wonder, then, that alcohol consumption can sabotage weight loss.
If you switch to drinking water (instead of high sugar sodas or juices) then those calories will be immediately removed from your diet without being replaced by anything else, and you will quickly notice the weight-loss benefits.