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Alcohol and its effect on a healthy Lifestyle

     It's time to talk about alcohol. Generally speaking, there are two kinds of ways people think about alcohol in the context of changing lifestyles. Some drink whatever they want and have no problem with alcohol in its effects. They consider it “a little refreshment” from time to time (which might be every other night for some). The other group is very concerned about every drop of alcohol that they might consume. And might get quite anxious and won’t be able to enjoy themselves at all. 

The best option might be that you should avoid alcohol altogether. But on the other hand, our purpose is to teach you methods which you could follow all your life. And on the other hand, a better quality of life is the very purpose, so a moderate amount of alcohol in good company might be one of those things you can allow. First of all, you might want to know a couple of things about alcohol. Let’s start with calories. Every gram of pure alcohol gives you 7 kilocalories, which are also called empty calories, because you get nothing useful from them, as you do with food. But this usually isn’t the problem; it is the added sugars inside alcoholic drinks that are the biggest issue. Let’s take a look at some common alcoholic beverages that we drink. 

Besides the calories, there are some other problems with alcohol. Alcohol reduces our willpower and we overeat or snack much more often under the influence. Then there are neurotoxic effects, hangovers, and other nasty stuff that we won’t go into. But all of this doesn’t mean we should completely avoid alcohol or treat it like poison. Alcohol is an integral part of our culture; the key is to be mindful of alcohol consumption. 

First thing: Choose the correct alcohol. The best options are:

  • Dry red wine
  • Light cider or long drink
  • Strong sugarless spirits, like vodka, gin, and whiskey

Avoid sugary alcohol like:

  • Regular cider or long drink, 
  • Sweet wine
  • Liquor

The second thing is to apply the same principles that were covered in the controlled indulging chapter. It is much better to plan ahead when, what, and how much you’ll be drinking. It is much easier to do when you don’t have every kind of alcohol lying around the house. The best way is to only buy what you drink. It is much better to underestimate and under-drink than overdrink. Of course, if this is never an issue for you, don’t bother with this advice. 

Third principle: do not use alcohol as a beverage to go with food. This isn’t a good habit for many reasons, even if it is considered normal in many families. Alcohol has its time and place and it isn’t at every family dinner.  

So, here were the most essential principles of healthy alcohol consumption. For most of us who don’t have an alcohol dependency, the principles above will be enough. For those who think they are not in full control of their consumption, should seek out information about alcoholism treatment. An excellent place to start is to consult with your healthcare service provider.

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