Emotions, food, and alcohol can make weight loss very difficult. A lot of people struggle with fat because they reach for food and alcohol when they’re emotional. Too much stress, anxiety, fatigue and boredom often times get us caught with our hands in the cookie jar and/or bar.
Alcohol and Weight Loss
This email came days after I uploaded the latest episode of CCtv How to End Emotional Eating.
I have been following you for a while now and I really enjoy all of the awesome info you share. I wanted to share with you that your recent video about emotional eating really hit home, but in a different kind of way. At first I almost stopped watching, honestly. Not because I didn’t agree or anything lol, no, it was because I recognized the info, probably from your blog or the slip into your skinny jeans program (which I still haven’t managed yet : ). But I kept watching. I suppose I dismissed these ideas before because I told myself that I don’t eat my emotions. And typically I don’t, I do however tend to drink my emotions and alcohol is probably worse than just eating emotions. But that wasn’t what I focused on in listening to your words today. I was thinking about how I can apply it to myself because I do over eat… So I thought about it and I really asked myself why? Why do I eat when I’m not hungry or I’m already full or when I don’t even want it or when I don’t even particularly like that food?! And I had a moment. I almost cried! I realized that I have a huge issue in my mind about wasting food.
Two things from this email stuck out to me. The first part was the line ‘ I do however tend to drink my emotions and alcohol is probably worse than just eating emotions.’ The second were the realizations of the beliefs Alisa had about feeling the need to clean her plate, feeling obligated to eat everything on her plate because she didn’t want to waste anything. Both are very common, consuming ways that sabotage your weight loss and wellness. Each, deserves it’s own how episode with tips and tools to fix it.
First, the Alcohol… Yes, Alisa is correct in saying that her emotional drinking is worse than emotional eating. (If you’re an emotional eater, you can find my top tips to stop eating when you’re emotional, here.)
How Alcohol Causes weight gain
Let’s go over the many different ways alcohol ruins your diet, health, and ability to lose weight, making you fat and unhappy in the process.
Alcohol is a sassy combination of simple carbs and alcohol, that has 7 calories per gram. Alcohol is void of nutritional benefits, while it has a stress reducing effect on your mind. (p.s. Red wine is the only alcoholic drink with trace nutritional benefits, because it’s made from grapes and some of their nutrients survive the wine making process. But, red wine also has a lot of sugar, and sugar is terrible for weight loss…)
You ‘feel good’ for 2 reasons…
1) the sugar
2) the alcohol
Using food or alcohol to improve your mood, causes an eventual crash, that will have you emotional again, and craving more to ‘fix it.’ First, I’ll explain why then I’ll give you tips on how to End Emotional Drinking. Then I’ll show your how to drink for weight loss…
Alcohol sugars spikes your blood sugar levels… How much this effects you is dependent upon your body type. However, if you drink regularly, your body becomes sugar dependent….
The alcohol also gets addictive because it affects your hormones. Anything that affects your blood sugar and hormones is addictive and terrible for your weight loss and wellness goals.
So while your drink has you feeling good, it’s simultaneously upsetting your blood sugar, hormones, and other important weight loss organs.
Alcohol is acidic. Sugars are acidic. Sugar + alcohol = pH imbalance, in you. Your body’s like it’s own little bio-dome. It needs a certain balance to stay healthy, lush and juicy. As soon as you drink it’s like pouring poison in your garden. When your body is exposed to alcohol it reacts likes it’s been poisoned.
As your cocktails are sedating you, your vital organs are also losing their ability to metabolize the sugar and alcohol effectively. In other words, your liver and kidneys get tipsy, too, and hit the snooze button on your metabolism. Your liver helps process what you eat and drink. When you drink alcohol is stops metabolizing food and instead helps your kidneys flush all of the alcohol from your system. Because your body is now working hard to pass (liquid) alcohol, it hits the snooze button on passing (solids) food, which in turn upsets your digestive system, because food is now building up in your pipes. The longer food sits inside you, the more toxic you become. The more toxic you become the more upset your body becomes. The more upset your body is the more it tries to fix you by, releasing hormones, or causing cravings for things that affect your hormones.
Serotonin – your ‘feel good’ hormone. You’ll be triggered with a cravings for things that will help you feel good again
Cortisol – To help your body cope with the stress the alcohol causes. But cortisol breaks down muscle mass and creates stubborn and excessive abdominal fat, which is dangerous fat that can seriously affect your health.
Insulin – Causes sugar cravings to peak your blood sugar levels
Chronic exposure to alcohol also causes inflammation. The familiar signs of normal inflammation — heat, pain, redness, and swelling — are the first signals that your immune system is being called into action. Toxicity from alcohol and overabundance of sugar, inflames your organs, further throwing your hormones out of wack.
Alcohol is sugar
Alcohol slows your metabolism
Alcohol slows absorption of other more important nutrients
Alcohol increases toxicity, acidity, and inflammation
Alcohol affects your hormones
Alcohol makes you feel bad
Alcohol is excuse juice
If you repeat this cycle, enough it’s one hell of a nasty – drink – crash – crave – cycle, that’s extremely addictive.
It’s not uncommon for recovered alcoholics to start abusing food, too.
It’s not uncommon for sugar addicts, binge, and emotional eaters to flip over to alcohol.
It’s a shell game of abusing something instead of enjoying it, to but a band-aide on your bullet holes.
TIPS TO STOP EMOTIONAL DRINKING
Every time you’re craving a drink do a little self-check the same way you would check the hunger scale if you were about to eat emotionally.
1) Don’t Drink if you’re Feeling Funky
Where are you ok the happy scale?
How do you feel before?
How do you feel the next morning?
If you use alcohol typically you don’t want to wait for it, you want it now, you either hang around people who like to drink too – because you want to justify it – or you drink alone and hide it. Either way, on some level you’ll feel guilty, ashamed, sad, and disappointed with yourself if you’re drinking for the wrong reason(s).
2) Compete with the Urge
3) Sip Smart
– Drink one of these low sugar, low-calorie cocktails that are the best alcoholic drinks for weight loss.
4) Help your body Reset itself with Water
For every, one alcoholic drink chase it with a glass of water. This way you’ll help dilute the booze and make it a lot easier for your kidneys and liver to do their thing easier and faster.
Do at least 30 sweaty minutes of cardio. Sweaty cardio will help detox your body and also helps to regulate your feel good and stress hormones naturally which help kick start your metabolism again.
*BONUS TIP* Get Help
If you can’t shake the cycle on your own, or if you need extra support to deal and heal with the reasons why you’re using alcohol in the first place, seek professional help. There is absolutely no shame in getting the help you need. AA Meetings, psychiatrists, and therapists can give you the extra support, tools and help you need to end your emotional drinking.
These tips work if you work them.
So work it! You’re worth it!
I hope you liked this post. If you like it, please like it or share it so I know. As, always if you have any extra tips or feedback that can make others (or me) get better, please share them now with a comment below.
Heads up, Kitty Cat… these tips are a part of a bigger puzzle. Excessive drinking can cause hormone imbalances, toxic buildup, and metabolic dysfunction… and it’s a LOT HARDER to be happy, healthy and fit when you’ve got hormones and toxins working against you. I developed a free metabolic analysis that will let you know if you have signs of metabolic dysfunction… then I’ll explain what your body type is and recommend a strategy that will help you get Happy, Healthy and Fit fast. If you’re ready to rock, get started by filling out a profile here.
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Christina is a certified Holistic Nutritionist, Personal Trainer, & Holistic Fitness & Health Coach. After healing multiple personal health issues, getting off 7 meds, & losing 40 pounds, Christina teaches others how to get Happy, Healthy, & Fit quickly with the most delicious food and least intense workouts.