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How to Effectively Deal with Alcohol Cravings

How to Effectively Deal with Alcohol Cravings

Almost 31% of all deaths in the United States can be attributed to alcohol use. It’s actually the leading cause of death within North America which is why millions of dollars are spent each year battling alcohol use. There has been progress over the years because an organization like MADD (mothers against drunk driving) have lobbied to get rules changed making consequences stricter on those who get caught impaired behind the wheel.

However, even with so much effort is put towards controlling drinking and driving, we’ll still fail to make a huge difference in our society. I believe if you can control the cravings, then you might be able to reduce the overall fatalities greatly.

After doing some extensive research, I was able to put together a list of effective strategies to help people control alcoholic cravings. Let’s explore some of the top strategies:

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Remove Yourself from Risky Situations

One of the best ways to avoid alcoholic cravings is to remove yourself from any situation where you can drink. This is why people who are looking to stop drinking will avoid going to bars, or even ordering alcohol. However, remember this is only for the time being, and once you’re effectively able to control your cravings, you can slowly pull yourself back into alcoholic environments.

Friend on Speed Dial

When you first join AA (alcohol anonymous), the first thing they’ll recommend is to have a friend you can call when you have cravings. This friend should be someone who doesn’t drink or is someone who has been through the program. This way when you have cravings, you’ll be able to call someone for immediate support who will guide you in the right direction. Make sure this is a person you trust and one who has your best interests in mind.

Transition Slowly

It’s hard to control cravings from day one so space out your progress extending time slowly. For example, I would start by focusing on getting through a day, then two, a week, a month, etc. However, don’t let no one push you too quick and go at a pace which you’re happy with. If you transition too quickly then you’ll increase the likelihood of a major binge later.

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Meditate

We are now living in an era where spirituality is at an all time high…right? When you watch TV, you have people talking about meditation and relaxation. Amazon.com has stated that spiritual books are selling more now than before because people have taken a keen interest in meditating. So, the next time you are facing a serious craving, it’s important to meditate because this will help you focus on your well-being and take your mind off alcohol.

Eat Sugar

Alcohol contains a lot of sugar which is why you put on weight when you drink excessively. The next time you have a craving, I would recommend eating something sweet. Keep chocolate in your house or something which will control your cravings quickly. Here’s a great list of items which can satisfy a craving:

  • Chocolate
  • Energy drinks
  • Cookies
  • Frozen yogurt
  • Coke or Sprite

Think Consequences

Many of us are trying to steer off alcohol because of a very bad experience. Some are even trying to avoid alcohol because of something bad which happened to a close friend. The next time you have a craving, it’s important to think about the bad experience or consequence. Make sure you choose a “harsh” consequence so all you need to do is think about it and it’ll deter you from the craving your having.

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Detox Program

If you recently quit drinking, then you’ll be having withdrawals which might be very hard to control. If you find yourself having an extra hard time, then consider a detox program. You can visit a center or download a complete program online. The goal of a detox program is the following.

First, it’s to diagnose and treat symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Secondly, it’s to prevent serious events like a relapse, and seizures which do happen when quitting abruptly. If you find yourself battling with alcohol withdrawal then visit a center to find out more about how they can help. Here’s some more information on a complete alcohol detox program.

Substitute

One way to control cravings is to find a substitute for alcohol. This can be in the form of a sweet drink or even a hobby to keep you from going to alcoholic settings. A great way to explore some options would be to do a quick search online and see what’s available for recreation around you. Try out different things like sports, arts, or even traveling because I’ve found these are all great substitutes going forward.

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Featured photo credit: newyorker.com via newyorker.com

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Rizvan Ullah

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Last Updated on August 6, 2018

10 Benefits of Deadlifts You Probably Never Knew

10 Benefits of Deadlifts You Probably Never Knew

The Deadlift. It is the quintessential weightlifting exercise. According to David Robson, a bodybuilder, personal trainer and contributor to Bodybuilding.com,

“In my experience as an athlete, and based on the results witnessed by many of my personal training clients, the deadlift, if performed correctly, will build unparalleled mass while strengthening all the major muscles groups.

Yes, many will argue that the squat is the King of Exercises, and will contribute to more strength and size gains than any other exercise.

While it is true that the squat does rank as one of the best size builders (and on this basis alone should be included in everyone’s program), the deadlift, in my opinion, builds the upper and lower body like no other movement.”

The deadlift is done by simply grasping your free-weight bar (with as many weights as you can feasibly – not comfortably – lift) and lifting up until your standing up with the bar hanging in front of you, arms extended.

1. Increased Fat Burning

Alwyn Cosgrove, a personal trainer and fitness author, recently wrote about a study where: “Overweight subjects were assigned to three groups: diet-only, diet plus aerobics, diet plus aerobics plus weights. The diet group lost 14.6 pounds of fat in 12 weeks. The aerobic group lost only one more pound (15.6 pounds) than the diet group (training was three times a week starting at 30 minutes and progressing to 50 minutes over the 12 weeks).

The weight training group lost 21.1 pounds of fat (44% and 35% more than diet and aerobic only groups respectively). Basically, the addition of aerobic training didn’t result in any real world significant fat loss over dieting alone.”

Lifting weights and resistance training will burn more fat than just dieting or dieting with cardio exercise alone.

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2. Better Posture

Deadlifting increases your core strength and adds to core stability, according to Robson. Deadlifting targets all of the muscles responsible for your posture and enables you to keep your back straighter during regular daily activities.

3. More Muscles Worked

The Deadlift works more muscles than any other exercise, including the squat. The lift engages all of the major muscle groups, according to exercise physiologist Kevin Farley. If you need to do one exercise, this is the one to do. The Deadlift works your lower and upper body, including your back muscles.

4. Increased Real Life Lift

When you do other lifting exercises, like a bench press, for example, you’re not doing anything you might really do in real life. When are you ever going to have the need to lay on your back and push something in the air — unless you’re giving your two-year-old “flying lessons.” The Deadlift develops the muscles you need to actually carry something, like a bucket of water, those heavy grocery bags or your neighbor’s dining room table.

5. It’s Safe

The Deadlift is one of the safest weightlifting exercises you can perform. You aren’t going to get pinned under the weight or have to worry about it pulling you over backwards. If you get into trouble, you can simply drop it…making for a loud bang, no doubt, but no damage. You also don’t have to have a spotter to perform this exercise.

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6. Improved Grip Strength

According to Outlaw Fitness:

“Deadlifts are renowned for their ability to build massive amounts of grip strength, and for good reason. Your fingers are literally the only things connecting you to the weight of the bar. Your forearms have to work incredibly hard as you progress in weight to keep the bar from falling out of your hands. Subsequently your grip strength grows by leaps and bounds.”

7. Increases Hormones

Now don’t worry, these aren’t the hormones that will make you more emotional! Instead, by doing at least 8 to 10 repetitions of Deadlifts with significant weight, you can increase the amount of testosterone and growth hormone produced by your body.

Testosterone increases muscle growth and improves muscle repair while growth hormone, which is produced by your pituitary gland, promotes tissue healing, bone strength, muscle growth and fat loss.

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8. Cheap and Easy

A lot of exercises require a lot of equipment, special shoes or whatever. Not the Deadlift. Just a bar with some weight. Pick it up. Simple. You can usually find freeweights and a bar at a thrift store – or being given away by a friend – making it even cheaper.

9. Increased Cardio

Believe it or not, doing 10 repetitions of Deadlifts will increase your cardiovascular ability. You might want to make sure you have somewhere to sit down when you’re done!

10. Prevents Injury

The Deadlift can help prevent injuries by increasing the strength of your muscles around critical tendons and ligaments. Supporting joints with strong muscles is crucial to preventing injury, especially in the hamstrings and lower back, according to Outlaw Fitness.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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