If you told me two months ago that not only would I give up drinking, but give up drinking for 50 days, I would have laughed in your face.
In fact, I would have been holding a gin and tonic with a slice of cucumber while telling you it was merely impossible because I had "too many" events on.
So when I was tasked with giving up alcohol for 28 days as part of a 12-week transformation program, I was not optimistic.
My goal was too lose fat initially, so cutting out the alcohol was necessary to kick-start my body into a caloric deficit.
According to Nicholas Chapman, Personal Trainer at Rushcutter's Health, if someone is looking to reduce their body fat (thus implementing a calorie deficit) alcohol had to go.
In fact, according to Nick: "A glass of wine can be equal to a bowl of steamed veg dressed with oil. The latter will make you more full, help with digestion and provide vital nutrients for your body. If you use your calories with alcohol instead of quality nutrition, it will only lead to you falling off the wagon."
While I was only tasked with the 28 days, the effects even after the first week were quite remarkable and this is the main reason I kept going.
From glowing skin to reducing bloating all over my body and generally just being able to wake up fresh as a daisy on a Sunday morning, the results were insane.
So, what are the actual benefits of giving up the grog according to Nick?
"Alcohol reduces your body's ability to sleep and produce hormones needed to recover from training," he said.
"Alcohol increases dehydration (leading to lethargy and then hunger) and can also increase the likelihood of making poor food decisions and general over consumption." Hello, hangover!
"Because of these reasons, a short time off alcohol completely, whilst getting your diet dialled initially on a fat loss program, vastly increase the chance of compliance and other all success."
While giving up the giggle juice has frankly been a breath of fresh air, there are other factors that are to be weighed in (excuse the pun).
For the first six weeks, I have cut out processed foods and carbs, upped my water intake to at least two litres a day, kept up a food diary (well, mostly), upped my cardio from nearly non-existent to 4-5 days and am doing strength training twice a week.
Don't get me wrong - it hasn't been all smooth sailing.
In fact, for some people they may see an ever greater result than I have.
But for now, I am simply proud of the lifestyle change I have made, the centimetres (18cm) that I've lost from around my body and the overall feeling of wellbeing that I have from my new habits.
As for the alcohol, it's not gone for good - but while I'm on a roll, I'll run with it!
- PuzzlesThe Australian Women's Weekly June Issue Online Entry
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