If you’re looking to get lean, restricting your alcohol intake could get you there faster. One US study found that drinking just 24g of alcohol – less than two pints – reduced the body’s fat-burning ability by 73 per cent. Even when it’s swilling around in your system alcohol skews the water balance in your muscle cells and hinders gluconeogenesis – The formation of energy-giving sugar glucose – and relieves you of the energy you need for endurance.
Jonathan Edgeley, addiction consultant at sober-services.com, has ideas for cyclists who like a tipple:
- Make a Safe House – Remove all the booze in the house and keep it that way – this will encourage you not to have a quick drink and lose your challenge. You can decide how best to ‘remove’ any you have.
- Get a non-Drinking Buddy – Challenge a pal to a non-drinking contest and allow yourselves to hold one another accountable – check in with them on a daily basis to stay on track.
- Replacement Therapy – Replace your drinking activities with something else. (Cyclin instead of bottle recycling comes to mind). Have non-alcoholic drinks when you’d usually have a wine or beer or add an enjoyable food into your diet to feed your pleasure sensors.
- Break Routine – Create an alternative structure to your day and plan your free evenings and weekends differently. If you always reach for a beer when you get home or the football come on switch to a more constructive habit – taking a shower of having fruit drinks instead.
- Take Steps – Break the month down into manageable sizes so you can make a commitment not to drink for one week, day or even just an hour at a time, and repeat this whenever you’re tempted. Treat it similar to a training plan, though this is more of an abstaining one.
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