Tag Archives: drinking

Should you take a break from drinking?

25 -year-old Robert Parmer didn’t give up alcohol for your classic reasons. He didn’t get in trouble with the law, or get a stern lecture from a doctor, or have a relationship go bad.

He did it for his health, and to see if he could give it up. Parmer gave up drinking a six pack-a-night for one month. He felt so good, he extended it for two more months.

“Once I did start drinking again, I was a lot more mindful of using moderation and making sure I wasn’t getting so drunk that I had to figure out a ride home… (I was) using a lot better judgement and having like one or two drinks over the course of the night instead of however many it led to because I got too drunk,” Parmer said.

Parmer was inspired by Dry January, a campaign started in the UK in 2012. Two million people worldwide pledged to do so this year.

Len Horovitz, M.D., an internist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York said, “Even a glass of wine is 250-300 calories. If you multiple that times seven, that’s 2,000 calories a week. That’s about a pound of weight lost a week if nothing else changes and you simply eliminate alcohol.”

While this 30 day challenge may not change your life, it could change the trajectory of your life. It can install some new habits and behaviors that you can certainly maintain.

Time to rethink that pre-dinner drink

Could that pre-dinner glass of wine really make you more hungry? That’s what a new study suggests as alcohol focuses the brain’s attention on food aromas.

Robert Considine, one of the study’s author says, “The joke is, every restaurant knows that if they give you a drink first, you’ll eat more.”

In his study, using MRI brain scans, they found that alcohol made the hypothalamus of the brain area more focused on food aromas versus other types of odors. The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that helps control hunger.

While the findings don’t mean that weight-watchers can’t enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, it does speak to the complexity of appetite regulation, including the role of alcohol.

More research needs to be done, as only women participated in this study. Men and women respond to food aromas somewhat differently, so it was best to study the sexes separately.

It’s also important to realize the alcohol contains a lot of calories. For some people it might also boost food intake. Overall, we do a lot of absent-minded eating. Just be aware that alcohol can encourage that.