I'm writing this while sitting at the airport with my significant other as we are about to depart on a much anticipated & deserved trip to europe. As we reconnect with old friends and make new ones, it's probably no surprise that wine will be on the menu.
My girlfriend, let me tell you she likes wine a lot.
I'm not writing this to convince everyone to drink it, but because it’s simply an example, of a preemptive cheat that can be used to help maintain weight with little effort. it's not going to help to lose weight but because it can take the edge off life if not abused. Taking the edge off is a health benefit.
Wine is not a weight loss tool.
I would never advocate someone begin drinking it if it's not their thing. What I would encourage though, is to find that 1-3 food items that you can incorporate into your eating daily or several times a week that acts as a buffer of sanity for you – something to take the edge off so that you can stay consistent.
Maritza(my girlfriend) may use wine, or other times dark or sugar-free chocolate. These things, while not exactly unhealthy, are also not foods you’d find on an “ideal diet” or an ultra lean body plan.
In other words, infuse eating moderate foods that keep the satisfaction factor high so that you can cruise into your next meal in control.
Because eating 80-90% tight 100% of the time will always beat eating clean. Monday through Thursday, and then just crushing crap Friday through Sunday.
The moderation way of doing things isn’t sexy. It’s not urgent or exciting, but it does work over time, guaranteed.
You may or may not want to drink wine. And again, I don’t want you to start if you don’t, but I think this is an important discussion to have, because the idea that you will just never drink alcohol again is silly. The advice “just don't drink” is not useful. On the real you will end up drinking at some point, and because of that, it’s important to talk about strategy.
How many of you have thought, “My diet would be perfect if it wasn’t for the booze!”
I get you. I wanted to take this opportunity to address how you can approach drinking.
Hence, the 3 ways to drink wine.
Can you handle wine? Here’s how to find out:
1) You can incorporate it semi-daily?
This will be an option for those people who, when having a glass of wine or two, will not end up overeating later. There’s a bell-shaped curve when it comes alcohol and if you go past that 1-2 glasses point, for many, it will mean opening up the appetite and eating more than if they’d just abstained.
You will also know if you can do it semi-regularly if it helps take the edge off your cravings.
For example, you get home from work fairly hungry. You have a glass of red while creating dinner and then when you sit down to eat an hour later, you don’t have to inhale and you don’t overeat – the wine has acted as a buffer for your appetite. Yes, certain types of booze can suppress appetite.
Finally, someone who has a couple of glasses of wine several nights a week realizes that they have to pick and choose their battles.
For example, if you are going to do wine, you can’t also do tons of starch plus dessert plus eat 6 times a day full meals, etc. Alcohol is not something you have on top of everything else – it is a conscious choice that requires you adjust somewhere else. I’m not saying skip meals and drink wine instead, but you have to be aware of the rest of your day. If you’re going to do wine, skip dessert. If you are going to do wine, maybe skip starch at dinner. You can’t have your wine & cake and eat it too ;)
One more note about this approach: if you are going to drink wine regularly, enjoy it. This is about reinforcing the experience of it. Take your time, actually taste it and savor it. And like desserts, don’t have any wine that you doesn’t absolutely bring you joy! Make it count.
2) One night a week, college-style.
This approach will be for those whose appetite does open up when drinking alcohol or who lose themselves around food, as a result of getting a little buzzed.
This second approach would be the equivalent of a treat meal. You consciously choose to go all in for one night to enjoy the wine that you love but probably shouldn’t drink more than once a week.
Maybe you save this for a night out or a nice dinner with your partner. You give up the guilt, have what you want and wake up the next day committed to your moderate eating plan.
NOTE: Please don’t start depriving yourself and going crazy at the gym to “make up for” a little overindulgence the next day. A better approach is to get back into your moderate approach right away so that when you hit the next weekend night, you don’t actually have to go overboard because you’re pretty satisfied.
Sharing a bottle of wine one night a week with an amazing dinner is fine. You won’t instantaneously gain 10 lbs.
The key is what happens the next day and the next week. If you try to atone for the overindulgence, you will arrive at the next weekend even more ready to “cheat” and the repercussions will be worse – and you can see how the deprive-then-binge cycle starts to feed forward.
If you are currently engaged in the deprive-then-binge cycle, then the first step is incorporating preemptive cheats that don’t potentially have compensatory reactions. For example, find those 2-3 food items – not “perfect” but moderate – that you can begin incorporating weekly to help you smooth out the highs and lows in your eating.
The deprive-then-binge cycle is a roller coaster ride. The more you deprive, the bigger the eventual overindulgence. The bigger the overindulgence, the more strict the deprivation will be next time, and so on. This is a trap. The only way to escape it is to slowly start evening out those highs and lows until you eat the same on Saturdays that you do on Mondays.
Once you get to that point, you might experiment with wine. Have a glass before dinner and savor it. Have the experience of it. Stay mindful to your response after.
Hopefully this gives you some insight for how you should approach alcohol. It’s individual.
Remember, mindfulness is everything. Having a glass or two throughout the week will not break your physique, but you have to stay in the moment with it. Don’t use booze as an excuse to throw in the towel, and start eating with abandon.
O.k. It's time to get on this plane. I'd like to thank you all for allowing me to share thoughts on how we can get through this life, happier, healthier and wealthier.
Track Of The Week - Red Red Wine