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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 December 13, 2018

12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

Christmas is approaching fast, and lots of people not only tend to ruin their usual diets, but they also gain a few extra pounds. Based on studies, the majority of people tend to gain additional weight during the holiday season that starts at the Thanksgiving Day and ends with the New Year celebrations. Excessive eating is claimed to be the main cause for the additional weight gain, but it is also due to lack of physical activity and exercise.

A lot of individuals out there tend to set aside their fitness routines during the holidays since they believe that they do not have enough time to perform their workouts. And because they feel guilty after the holiday season, most of the gyms and fitness centers are packed with fresh members. Always bear in mind that you can still enjoy the holidays and stay fit at the same time. If you want to stay fit during the holiday season, especially during Christmas and the New Year’s Eve, here are some useful tips that might help you:

1. Eat Before Heading Out

First, it is best that you eat something before heading out to visits, trips or family dinners. By doing so, you will no longer be tempted to eat a lot or overindulge yourself since you have already eaten. Skipping on meals is not a good idea either, because you will only be forced to eat more later.

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2. Select The Treats

Make sure to select the treats that you eat in a wise manner. You should choose something that you can only enjoy during the holiday season and not something that is readily available all the time.

3. Avoid Skipping Meals

Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast! Even though it can be tempting to skip on certain meals, believing that it will make up for the treats you consumed in the previous day, don’t do it because it will only lead to counterproductive results.

4. Drink With Moderation

It is best to regulate your drinking since alcohol, coke or other juices will only add more calories to the ones you already eaten!

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5. Be Active

You should still perform your fitness routine whenever possible and if you can’t do that, simply walk more, park your car some distance away from the store or just use the stairs!

6. Get Out Of The House

Make the holidays a family affair and plan outdoor activities where everyone is involved. Even a snowball fight in the backyard will burn a lot of calories and will keep the children entertained.

7. Don’t Skip Your Strength Workouts

Always remember to perform your strength training in order to maintain that muscle mass you worked hard to get. You might be tempted to use lightweights and just do some cardio, but you can burn just as many calories by lifting weights. And with all of those extra stakes you had on the holiday meals, you might even gain some extra muscle. And this is much better than gaining some extra fat.

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8. Set Realistic Goals

You should set realistic exercise objectives. Aim for at least half an hour per day and you will be very happy when you will achieve that. If you plan one hour or more and not achieve it, you will only end up disappointed.

9. Enjoy Yourself

Also make sure to set realistic diet plans! Trying to restrain yourself totally from some foods will only make you eat more. Feel free to enjoy the treats that you really love, but in small portions.

10. Drink A Lot Of Water

This can satiate your appetite as well as keep you hydrated at all times. And it will also prevent a possible hangover if you overdo it with alcohol.

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11. Eat Less And More Often

Distribute your meals evenly throughout the day, and do not eat everything at once.  Instead of having 2 enormous meals, have 5 small ones.  Eat your dinner earlier and have a nice walk before going to bed.

12. Prioritize Your Workouts

Try to do them early in the morning while everyone else is still sleeping. This way you will also avoid remarks like “Oh, come on! It’s Christmas…”

So there you go! Twelve simple tips that will help you avoid gaining weight during the winter holidays, but will also allow you to enjoy yourself and have a great time with your loved ones.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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