Declaration – This post is not based on any medical opinion and is my opinion alone. Everyone’s body is different, however my intention is to inform others like me, in the hopes that it can help. I have included some studies which I will reference.
I have always been that ‘curvy girl’ who carries an extra stone or two, and loves her alcohol. Don’t get me wrong I haven’t always been this way but like most girls, adolescence has crept up and destroyed my metabolism whilst at the same time increasing my love of G&T’s.
I love gin.
Now at the ripe age of 28 nearly 29 I have given in to the fact that my body is not going to get back to how it was without help.
Since my early twenties, I have lost weight, put weight back on, lost it again and so on and so on. How did I loose it? Yep you guessed it. Crash diets. I have tried it all, cuppa soup diets, smoothie diets, salad diets. You name it, I’ve tried it and yes it did work. I even lost two stone one time. Then the celebration of loosing said two stone commences and it slowly, creeps back on, without you noticing…. until BAM. It’s all gone back on plus a few extra.
My body is like a yo yo.
No wonder us human beings (yes men feel this way too) get so depressed about our weight. It’s exhausting!
So this time, with the gained experience and wisdom, I ignored the fashion magazines and social media posts entitled ‘Loose a stone in one week with these juices!’ and instead took the advice of athletes, runners and fitness junkies.
So back in August, I started up running again a few times a week around my villages and starting taking part in my local 5k park run’s every Saturday morning. I started counting my calories with My Fitness Pal and ate very healthy. What I was doing was working and I dropped half a stone. I was so happy and excited that the hard work was paying off.
However, a month in, no more weight loss, then the week after that still no weight loss. I had plateau too early, I still had a stone and half to loose and my Christmas deadline is looming.
Anyone that knows me, knows I love my gin and my red wine. I’m wasn’t an alcoholic but I did drink excessive and quite often.
What did I do? After having lunch one day with my bestie we were talking about it, she asked.
Her-Well how much do you drink?
Me-Um a lot?
Her-Can you cut down?
Me-It’s all or nothing with me. I can’t just have the one drink.
Her-Well thats your answer. Cut out the alcohol. For the time being anyway and see if it makes a difference.
I cut out alcohol.
I researched online about alcohol and the affects it had on weight loss. One article on Livestrong.com titled Does Drinking Alcohol Slow Your Metabolism? Talked about how, when drunk in moderation, alcohol can actually slow down your metabolism as it is broken down differently than carbs where the body doesn’t store it.
Moderate alcohol consumption is generally considered to be one drink per day for women and two drinks daily for men. One standard drink is 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer or 1.5 ounces of spirits. Drinking alcohol in this amount is not likely to interfere with weight loss, as long as it’s combined with a reduced-calorie diet. In a study published in the International Journal of Obesity in August 2004, overweight and obese adults were divided into two groups. One group ate a reduced-calorie diet with 10 percent of calories from grape juice, and the other group ate the same reduced-calorie diet, but got 10 percent of calories from white wine. At the end of the study, both groups had lost significant amounts of weight, with the white wine group having lost slightly more than the grape juice group.
So for those of you than have the control, this shouldn’t be a problem for you, and should start seeing the difference in your weight. However, if you are like myself and will continuing pouring the wine until its gone, or instead of measuring the gin, you free pour-then you may want to think about cutting out the booze at least until you at least manage to find some control.
Aside from the slight metabolic boost that alcohol may provide and the findings showing that moderate alcohol consumption can help you control your weight, research is clear that drinking excessively will cause you to gain weight. The findings from the December 2005 BMC Public Health analysis showed that people who had four or more drinks per day, along with binge drinkers — those who may not drink every day but drink heavily on regular occasions — were significantly more likely to become obese. If weight control is your goal, moderation is key.
Moderation is the key
So last month in October I decided to cut out all alcohol. That was four weeks ago and my weight loss decreased further from 6lbs to 13lbs. The first 6lbs was over a two month period in August and September and the the other 7lbs was over a month period in October.
As you can see from the graph, over the month of September I wasn’t loosing any more weight even though I was exercising and eating well. So in October I kept my food consumption and exercise the same with the only difference to my lifestyle being zero alcohol. What happened is I lost a little bit more weight I did in the first two months but in half the amount of time.
Now (November 2016)
Not only am I loosing weight but I also feel healthier and brighter and my skin and hair feel great too. Being a few pounds lighter makes me run faster and longer, burning more calories than ever before. I’m only a pound off of loosing a stone and I’m excited to loose more.
Where’s the fun?
I am no way saying “Cut out the booze forever and ever!” Because where’s the fun in that? For me, it helped give me a kick start and the confidence to make the decision on how much to drink. For example, last night I went to a birthday celebration and decided I was going to have a a few drinks (the first time in nearly 5 weeks). I made the conscience decision to have a glass of prosecco on arrival and about 4 vodka soda water and limes for the rest of the night. After all, vodka is low on calories and soda water and lime wedge is no calories so it was a sensible decision. A few months ago i probably would’ve had 2 glasses of wine whilst getting ready and prosecco all night which contains more calories than spirits (although not as much as normal wine) I also managed to stop drinking when I had enough where in the past I would’ve carried on and on.
Even when I woke this morning more or less hungover free the affects of the alcohol were still present enough to make me feel sluggish and not in the mood to run. This annoyed me most of the day.
I would rather run than have a drink.
This is first time I have thought I would rather be fit and running than have alcohol. It’s the start of something new! Im excited!
Now I’m even more focussed to loose the second stone!
Hope this encourages someone else too!