Lowering Alcohol Consumption Without Feeling Deprived

Last week I wrote about how different foods satisfy the appetite to different degrees, especially how eating a primal or Paleolithic diet appears to be effective for helping individuals avoid overeating without undue hunger.

Here is some advice regarding simple strategies that can help limit our alcohol consumption. The aim is not to use willpower. Using the right strategies, it is possible that you may find yourself drinking considerably less without any conscious intention.

Match Each Alcoholic Drink With One of Water. One tactic that generally works wonders to reduce alcohol intake is to match each alcoholic drink (for example, a glass of wine) with a glass of water.

Many people find that this tactic not only leads to less intoxication but also dramatically reduces the aftereffects of alcohol the following day. At least some component of a hangover is dehydration.

Hangovers may also be induced by toxic elements within the drink (for example, toxic congeners). Drinking water alongside alcohol helps combat dehydration and may also speed the elimination of toxic elements.

Do Not Start Drinking When You’re Thirsty. It stands to reason that the thirstier we are, the more we will tend to drink. The less thirsty we are, the less alcohol we will tend to drink.

It makes sense to ensure we’re properly hydrated prior to drinking alcoholic beverages. The aim should be to drink enough water to keep our urine pale yellow, and there should be no sense of thirst prior to drinking any alcohol.

Do Not Start Drinking When You Are Hungry. While the fact that thirst can stimulate drinking is quite obvious, it is less well-known that hunger can also be a factor. Alcohol can provide ready fuel for the body, and at least some people find that hunger can stimulate the desire to drink. For instance, some people crave alcohol if their blood sugar level drops below normal.

One common manifestation of this phenomenon is a tendency to drink a glass of wine or beer prior to dinner. Individuals coming home or entering a restaurant in a very hungry state will often reach for alcohol before anything else. I’ve found that when individuals manage their appetite better, they almost always drink less without thinking about it.

One simple tactic is to eat something such as a few nuts in the late afternoon or early evening.

Just following these simple rules will about halve the amount of alcohol an individual drinks. These techniques require no conscious cutting back, hence no sense of sacrifice or deprivation.

Two other strategies for containing alcohol consumption are to avoid getting too hungry or thirsty. Avoiding thirst is an obvious tactic. Hunger can also be a major driver of alcohol intake, particularly early in the evening.

Many people look to alcohol to get themselves out of the low-sugar hole dug by eating a sandwich for lunch and then nothing more before dinner.


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