Alcohol is an excellent social lubricant. It decreases inhibitions, makes you less self-conscious and makes your personality a little more sociable. Some people can’t even socialize effectively without having a couple drinks first.
As with most things in life, unfortunately, there is a catch. Alcohol can singlehandedly ruing your goal to get toned and lean arms.
It does this through a variety of mechanisms:
1. It has a lot of calories.
2. It decreases self-control while simultaneously increasing appetite.
3. It shuts down fat-burning hormones in your body.
4. It disrupts sleep which in turn causes additional weight gain.
So the big question is, how do you reduce or even better, stop drinking alcohol? Well here are some strategies:
1. Make a list of reasons for stopping: Having a concrete list of reasons for reducing alcohol intake can make a huge difference. The list will motivate you and serve as a physical reference when you need some extra motivation.
2. Set goals: Having a specific goal will give you something concrete to work towards. For example, you could strive to have only two drinks per night on weekends. This is much more effective that simply trying to “drink less.” The more specific you get the better.
3. Keep a drinking journal: Logging what you do is a very effective way to monitor your patterns and eventually kick the habit. Not only does logging keep you more self aware, but it also lets you know what situations to avoid.
4. Avoid keeping alcohol in your house: Just like you don’t want to have junk food lying around, the same goes for alcohol. Disrupting access will limit intake.
5. Never drink on an empty stomach: Drinking on an empty stomach causes the most damage. Having solid food in your stomach before or while you drink will buffer the negative side effects.
6. Avoid peer pressure: The key here is to avoid peer pressure, don’t fight it. It’s much easier to simply avoid people who will pressure you to drink than to actually put yourself in a situation where you have to deal with them.
7. Avoid places that lead you to drink: If there are certain events, places or restaurants that lead you to drink, avoid them. Don’t put yourself in environments that will prevent you from reaching your goals.
8. Don’t expect overnight success: Contrary to popular belief, it takes most people several attempts before they can significantly cut back on their drinking habits. So don’t get discouraged if you have several setbacks, keep on moving forward.
9. When all else fails ask for support: In extreme cases, reducing alcohol intake may not be feasible if you go at it alone. There is nothing wrong with asking a doctor, counselor or therapist to help.
Drinking too much alcohol is a surefire way to ruin your arm-toning goal. We’ve had clients that can’t get in shape just because of alcohol. So follow the tips in this article to make sure you don’t fall into the same trap!