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5 Signs You’re Drinking A Little Too Much

5 Signs You’re Drinking A Little Too Much

A glass of wine with dinner, just one more beer for the road, a misty memory of the evening before. How do you know if the amount you are drinking is starting to get out of control?

Here are the five key signs that you are drinking to excess.

1. I need a drink…

You can’t say no to a drink, you crave alcohol and cannot wait for that 6 o’clock glass of wine or bottle of beer.

There is a point when having a social drink is not enough, you just need to have a drink. What started as a way to relax and put a stressful day behind you is now something you must do to relax.

2. I need to drink more to feel the same buzz…

Just that one drink is no longer enough, you need at least two or three beers to get the same effect or you find you are no longer putting the bottle of wine back in the fridge. As with any addiction you body will build up a tolerance and there is a risk you can slip into alcohol dependency.

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There are different levels of dependence and it may not necessarily involve drinking excessively, you can start with a psychological dependence, the ‘I need a drink’ feeling  or believing ‘I cannot relax without a drink’. Sadly this can all too quickly become a physical dependence where your body will show physical symptoms including shaking, sweating or nausea if you do not have alcohol in your system.

3. I have a drink most days…

Social drinking is perfectly acceptable, but when you find you are drinking most days, you need to consider if you have a problem. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states ‘”men should not exceed 4 drinks per day or a total of 14 per week and women should not exceed 3 drinks a day or a total of 7 per week”. The American Heart Association suggest even lower levels stating that “men should not exceed 2 units/day and women should not to exceed 1 unit/day to stay healthy.”

You need to be particularly careful when you drink at home, a single unit of alcohol is classed as a measure of spirits, half a pint of average strength lager or two-thirds of a 125 ml glass of wine. Outside of the controlled measures of a bar, it is easy to find yourself serving much more than a unit and slip into drinking more than you think you are.

4. I drink alone…

Finding yourself reaching for a drink when you are by yourself could be a sign of a problem. Research has shown that drinking alone can be linked to heavier drinking and a greater risk of addiction.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying a drink at home, but be aware when you find you are regularly drinking when you are alone.

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5. I don’t have a problem with drink… Honestly…

Denial can be a big sign, if you find you cannot admit you are drinking too much. When you hear yourself saying ‘I’m not that bad…’ or ‘I just have a drink or two,’ consider if this really is the truth.

This is where friends or partners can be vital to help you. Admitting you have an issue is a massive step but can be helped by those around you helping you see your drinking is becoming an issue. If your partner or friend is in denial your role in helping them recognise and acknowledge the issue is vital. You can be pivotal in getting them on the road to recovery.

What are the risks of alcohol?

There are many health risks associated with long-term alcohol abuse. These include high blood pressure, risk of stroke, liver disease, fertility problems, impotence and an increased risk of cancer.

To understand the risks of drinking, the following is what will happen to your body as you drink more alcohol:

  • Moderate drinking – 1 – 2 units

You may notice an increase in your heart rate and your blood vessels expand. You will become more sociable and talkative.

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  • 4 – 6 units

The alcohol starts to cause a reaction within your brain, with your judgement and decision making gets affected. You may start to feel more reckless and uninhibited. Your coordination and reaction time are reduced.

  • Heavy Drinking –  8 – 9 units

Your speech begins to slur and you may suffer from blurred vision. The alcohol is unlikely to be out of your body overnight so you will most likely wake with a hangover.

  • Excessive Drinking – 10 – 12 units

Your coordination will be seriously impaired and you are at a serious risk of having an accident. You may feel drowsy and depressed due to large amounts of alcohol in your bloodstream.

Of course, in addition, you need to consider the cost of alcohol and the large numbers of empty calories contained.

How to get back in control…

If you realise you are drinking too much you can take steps to recover, the first stage is to acknowledge you are drinking too much and to be willing to make a change. If you are at an early stage, you can look to reduce your alcohol intake and give your body time to recover.

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Having a break from alcohol can help you greatly. Research by University College London has seen individuals who gave up alcohol for four weeks notice improvements to their liver function, blood pressure and cholesterol levels and were also at lower risk of developing diabetes and liver disease. A break from alcohol can be useful to ‘reset’ your drinking levels and detox. Your body and your wallet will thank you!

However, if you are alcohol dependent, you may find that a sudden reduction may cause withdrawal symptoms including nausea, sweating, a craving for alcohol and shaking. Here it is best to seek professional advice before attempting to cut down on your intake. In this way, you can be advised of a sensible programme to reduce and then eliminate your dependency safely.

Enjoy life, in control

Nobody is denying that a drink with friends or family is a great way to enjoy an evening, or that a glass of wine with a meal is anything but positive. However, it is all about recognising how much is too much and to enjoy yourselves without needing alcohol.

Learn more about drinking in popular culture with the sober drinking game, where you can learn what famous people from William Shakespeare to Dudley Moore said about drinking!

Cheers!

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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