Quitting Alcohol.. It May Be Time

Hi guys,


For a while I've been flirting with the idea of quitting alcohol..


I had 3 weeks off recently, felt great.. I caved in this weekend and had some drinks after a gig, felt good to start, but spent too much money, ended up eating too much, felt like sh!t the next day.. and still do..


My job has me working away so it was a 5am start this morning, when im away im as bulletproof as possible, I train hard and that's because its just me here, no peer pressure.


When I'm back out with the band, I don't usually drink while singing cos it affects it right from the first sip.. but after Im playing catch up which ends up me getting too drunk to talk to anyone..

In the past ive had 4 months off and went out 4 times a week, felt great and my bank balance was better.. 


My training recently has seen me get my abs back and using a mix of the body by science method and kiefers method I'm feeling strong, but then alcohol comes along and bloats me, makes me miss my sunday morning yoga class and be generally a lazy dude!


I wondered if any of you guys had any tips or could share your stories on quitting the drink.. cheers


 \m/(>.<)\m/ www.trucke.co.uk - my rockband!! \m/(>.<)\m/


  • If one day you had a drink and keeled over in pain, went to the doc and they determined that if you had any more alcohol you would need a liver transplant, you would probably never touch it again right? so why can't you do it now? the reason is that it is not important enough, when it is you will do it effortlessly.  It's the same as smoking, people say they can't quit, but if they cough up blood and find out they have cancer then all of a sudden they can quit, it becomes important, I was able to quit both of these things with ease once that fact became clear to me.  The problem is that like with almost everything, providing the answer to anything solves nothing, it has to be internalized by the individual until they get that "holly fuck" moment, then there's no turning back.  
    One of my coworkers also quit smoking this way, he was 2 packs/day and said to me "fuck I want to quit but I just can't", to which I just replied "it's not important enough to you yet", of course he was angry right away and came out with "don't tell me how I feel you cocky son of a bitch", "well now you're defending the smoking so let me know how that works out for you, if you had to you would quit tomorrow".  He was finally able to quit after watching his wife's friend die of lung cancer, apparently it became important.

    I agree with this.

    I am not saying it is easy. I'm not saying there won't be some sort of cravings.

    But with almost anything (almost), a little (or a lot of) self-discipline and self-control will cure almost any craving.

    I do not claim to be 100% perfect at this. But I do know that temptations to drink, smoke, eat sugar, etc. can be overcome.
  • RekaReka ✭✭✭

    After I read the title I was expecting some sordid story which ended with you waking up naked in some bush, covered with bruises and no idea how you got there :D


    I haven't quit it yet but I drink little now, just for celebration, enjoying a good dinner, really making it a big deal and part of a good time. When I decided that no drinks before and on workout days that helped a lot because now I only have 1-2 evenings per week to drink and sometimes it's easier to skip even on those. I also hoped that it would help with fat loss but so far that didn't happen.

    It doesn't get easier... It's you who gets better.


    Is your social worker in that horse?


    Success has a price, not a secret.

  • Unless you are physically dependent (which I doubt because you are here on this healthy forum), then quitting is easy.  Alcohol promises everything and delivers nothing.  Being AF gives you everything that alcohol promised but never delivered.  It stops you from burning fat and every time you wake up with a hangover you regret it and feel broken.  Don't cave to the peer pressure and buy yourself something fab with the money you save.

  • I'm the wrong guy to ask, but on the 4-day stretch "will-power test periods" when I make sure I am in control vs. not being in control...on a Monday, I simply resolve to not drink until "Friday" for example...and that is that.


    I noticed that through my long history of drinking I have created a neural superhighway of reaching for a glass and lifting it to mouth in an almost rhythmic pattern that no doubt would beat like a drum if I watched a sped-up video of myself when drinking.  I know this, because I have slowly been weening my way toward cannabis vs. alcohol and I reach for the glass of ice water I have in the place of a cocktail, and seem to drain in at the same speed.


    My personal way to combat this to a degree when drinking cocktails is to take small sips vs. regular gulps, and I give my superhighway what it expects, as well as giving myself the taste it may crave...yet the same cocktail may last three or more times longer, and the ice has melted away by the middle of the drink vs. having plenty of ice still in the glass when going for a refill like when I'm not doing this technique.  


    Sorry if that was all worthless, but it has helped me.

    Seeing through the chaotic.
  • I don't drink any alcohol anymore because even one drink and my sleep is all disrupted and I feel like crap for days afterward. It's just not worth it.

    I did find that the type of alcohol made a big difference when I was drinking. Red wine is the worst and so is any drink/ food with high sulfates. Beer is bad because I'm sensitive to gluten. The drink that bothers me the least is gluten free beer. Hard ciders are second but they have too much sugar. My husband is German and he swears that he gets less of a hangover from beer when he is in Germany so it could have to do with preservatives as well. Also never drink beer from the tap! Most places hardly ever clean out those things and I'm sure there is mold and who knows what in there. A friend recently told me that corona is technically gluten free according to the US labeling law. It is made from barely so can never label itself as gluten free but it has less gluten than some foods that label themselves as gluten free based on the part per million testing.

    Just give yourself a limit like 1-2 drinks and only 2 nights a week. If you still feel bad from that give it up completely. If you can't stop at only 2 than give it up completely.
  • Thanks for the answers, lots of different viewpoints..all good advice!


    The times when I feel it most are most definitely the next 2 days after drinking.. To me, right now its more about the loss of strength and vigour and drive on those days.

    The point Jason makes is what happened to my mum, she smoked 20 a day then my gran died from emphysema, my mum stopped like that!  I really don't want a day like that to come, I'd prefer a more paved road to Damascus.. So, I need to keep organising important things to do on Sunday mornings so that I cant drink the night before..  It makes me ask myself why do I drink, why do you look forward to it... Its because it takes my mood and responsibility out of my hands, I don't need to drive me for a few hours, it relaxes me.. For at least the first couple of hours then it can become blurry and that's when I need to stop.. But, the parts of my brain that can make those decisions are switched to off at this point. So you cant win. You just wake up feeling like a piece of crap and about as bulletproof as a banana...  


    I think Karen's right but maybe I am dependant, just not to a chronic extent, maybe in some form I am an alcoholic.. I think asking yourself "can you have fun without alcohol?" and if its no then you're depending on it.. except we are socially conditioned that this is acceptable..


    I'm not bashing alcohol because it raises spirits, its the elixir of celebration and I feel I still want to be a part of this, I think what is needed is smart choices and cutting back a hell of a lot.. maybe a few beers, maybe none.. But its the control I want, I want to be able to drive home, I want to be able to get up early on a sunday and go to yoga.. But also I want (now and again) to give up control, to let it take me on a ride.  and its dealing with these dichotomies and the caveats they bring that is hard..


    I have a muslim friend he doesn't drink, he just came 2nd in a Miami fitness model competition last week.  I congratulated him and I found speaking to him was quite inspiring.. I told him that I hadn't drunk for 3 weeks and he was like well I don't even have the choice, his weekends are full of seeing his family, getting some decent sleep and good training, he said he always makes sure he has lots to do in the mornings.  I found that inspiring but also when I think of what I could be doing instead, especially doting on my family more then it made me feel bad.. That would be a great motivator in itself. maybe that's what I need..

     \m/(>.<)\m/ www.trucke.co.uk - my rockband!! \m/(>.<)\m/

  • A friend recently told me that corona is technically gluten free according to the US labeling law.


    This is interesting. Two years ago at my college reunion I wanted to drink, but wanted to make sure I was able to get the most out of it... stay up late talking to people I hadn't seen in years, but remember all their names and that one time we hung out 5 years ago, etc. I picked Corona because I thought of it as a lighter beer, and decided to just stick with that all night. I've since learned it's 4.7% ABV, not exactly the lightest of beers. Nonetheless, the plan worked, and while I spent the night drinking and talking, I had my shit together the whole time and didn't feel that bad in the morning. I recently repeated this at a friend's wedding with the same results. At the wedding in particular, which was all gluten-free food, I had no business not feeling awful in the morning since there was some rum and whiskey involved as well, but it wasn't nearly as bad as expected. Perhaps gluten is part of the reason? 


    Hotspoons, I believe the working definition of addiction is being unable to stop despite a desire to, and in the presence of clear and serious consequences (losing friends, driver's license, not making rent...) You'll have to evaluate that for yourself, but it doesn't sound like what's going on.


    For me, I seem to do well if I set an intention for the night... I want to drive home? I know exactly what that does and doesn't allow me to do based on US blood alcohol limits. I want to feel it but keep it together? Something light and lower ABV, no liquor. And I still occasionally make the decision to throw those rules out the window, but that's not a decision I make after the first drink. It has to be intentional before I start the night. If my night takes a turn from my intention, it's time for a reevaluation. 

  • A lot of the big name brand beers fall somewhere in the spectrum close to being gluten free (according to the USDA under 20ppm is gluten free). Due to the fact they aren't really beers, well, not real beers anyway. They are so low in gluten because they use more adjuncts than grains for brewing, depending on the beer it's corn or rice.


    Before my wife was forced to go gluten free we both ate gluten, afterwards we both stopped. I don't have a medical condition that forces me to be gluten free, but it's just easier, and after being off it for some time and then consuming some I notice the effects. Something I love which is (craft) beer effects me very negatively due to the gluten, bad sinus problems. Gluten free beer or ciders don't have the same effect.

  • Star ChaserStar Chaser Powered by Shred
    Has anyone tried substituting kava tea for alcohol? I heard this is a new trend in health circles. I've tried the tea but apparently you need to brew it pretty strong to get the drunk like effect. Might give it a wirl at the next party.

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  • John BrissonJohn Brisson The Legend Formerly Known as Ron Swanson ✭✭✭

    Has anyone tried substituting kava tea for alcohol? I heard this is a new trend in health circles. I've tried the tea but apparently you need to brew it pretty strong to get the drunk like effect. Might give it a wirl at the next party.


    Be careful rare possible liver damage.

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    I also offer coaching:  http://fixyourgut.com/health-coaching-information/


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  • Has anyone tried substituting kava tea for alcohol? I heard this is a new trend in health circles. I've tried the tea but apparently you need to brew it pretty strong to get the drunk like effect. Might give it a wirl at the next party.

    I tried kava a bit when I lived in HI--seemed appropriate and I'm wound pretty tight, so a friend talked me into trying.

    Tastes gross, gives you cottonmouth, but really mellows you out and puts you in a good mood. 

    I didn't continue with it because it ripped my guts up to an unbearable degree, along the lines that ibuprofen would (that's purely an impressionistic observation, but I wonder if it ties in with John's liver warning).

  • edited January 2015

    I was dependent on alcohol, have had periods of sobriety up to 4 years, right now I'm at 5 months.  Eventually I got sick of my foolish behavior that accompanied my fifth/liter of vodka a day habit, which usually came in the form of embarrassing texts to everyone in my phone, every night.  The shame got me started.  The prayer got me through the first few days.  Now it's easy.  It might be harder for you though if you aren't actually substance dependent.

  • I haven't had a drink in 5 days and it gets easier day by day. By that I mean I want to kill people less every day.  I use coach.me (formerly Lift.do) on my phone for some reinforcement. 


    I also think of styrofoam, because that's what I think I've been turning my liver into over the past 20+ years. 

  • RekaReka ✭✭✭

    Ben Greenfield has a recent article featuring the changes in bloodwork after 30 days of no alcohol. Some of them are dramatic but the person used to drink nearly every day.

    It doesn't get easier... It's you who gets better.


    Is your social worker in that horse?


    Success has a price, not a secret.

  • The hardest part of quitting drinking:  finding new friends and trying to figure out what to do with your wife and kids.


    I've all but quit myself - yeast overgrowth has destroyed my aldehyde dehydrogenase and I can't handle it anymore - at least until I build back my gut and my system.  The last time I tried drinking without Glutathione and Charcoal on hand ended up a total disaster - yeast rash for 3 days after just 1 glass of wine.  Now that I'm on a yeast killing protocol, alcohol is just a no go.

  • What do you mean by "trying to figure out what to do with your wife and kids?"

  • What do you mean by "trying to figure out what to do with your wife and kids?"

    You'll probably be spending more time with them.  It was a joke.

  • I'm not yet at the stage where I am giving up alcohol, although I have considered it. Much of my social life involves the occasional alcoholic drink, so it's not an easy task, especially when many of the non-alcohlic alternatives are probably no better and sometimes far worse.


    I used to love beer, although I could never drink more than 3 pints of it. As part of the process of coming off wheat I moved to gluten-free beer, but it wasn't too long before I felt that wasn't significantly better given the grain origins of much of it. I then switched to cider, or occasionally wine, but after a few weeks of doing that, I felt that the cider (no matter which of the multitude of varieties I tried) just seemed to have too much sugar. The wine just made me feel crappy the next day.


    Since then I have moved onto tequila and after trying various different mixers (tonic water or bitter lemon came out best), still felt that it wasn't really for me. I have decided to trial vodka and yesterday tried to obtain a (reasonably priced) potato-based one, but without much luck. In the end I came home with a charcoal-filtered grain-based one. I shall see how that goes. Fortunately, I have a Polish friend who is making a trip to Poland, and who said will get me a bottle of Luksusowa potato vodka to try.


    In short, it would seem that my alcohol journey is one that has taken me from the red side of the Bulletproof alcohol spectrum to the green side. Will it ultimately lead to me coming off the stuff altogether? I don't know.


    As an aside, finding an acceptable mixer without loads of rubbish in it may prove to be a hurdle. I can see myself making my own rather than going store-bought.

  • As an aside, finding an acceptable mixer without loads of rubbish in it may prove to be a hurdle. I can see myself making my own rather than going store-bought.


    Whiskey, neat. Whiskey + rocks. Some whiskeys open up nicely with a bit of water too, so for higher end stuff, whiskey and water actually isn't a cop-out drink, although I like the change in flavor as the ice melts. Whiskey soda works too, so long as it's real soda water / club soda, with no sweetener (tonic water has the same sugar as soda!)


    Dave released a new alcohol infographic, and while whiskey isn't as BP as vodka, gin, or tequila, it is still green, and I think it is by far the most drinkable on the rocks or with the simple mixers I mentioned. In the infographic Dave also mentions a "real whiskey sour with fresh lime or lemon juice." Sounds nice. 

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