A 30-day no sugar, no alcohol challenge, really? Is it a kind of New Year’s resolutions?
If you ask your friends what they’d like to change, quitting smoking is an all-time winner, just as “exercising, going to the gym”, but there are also new ones that draw my attention:
- Not drinking alcohol
- Cutting out coffee
- Going sugar-free
What seems new to me is that these resolutions are presented as challenges, with a fixed period, from 10 days to 3 months.
Usually, people who quit smoking hope that they will never smoke again. It’s not a surprise: we all know that smoking is a major health risk. So if you managed not to smoke for 3 months, you truly hope that you’re on the safe side for the rest of your life.
But most people that I see starting a “no sugar, no alcohol challenge” have a different view: they don’t perceive alcohol, coffee or sugar as dangerous as tobacco but still, they have their doubts.
- They know that alcohol, coffee or sugar are not good for their health, but they don’t know for sure which consumption will have negative effects and when.
- There is still some controversy about the real health effects. Take caffeine, for instance: is it good or bad for your health? Even doctors don’t agree about that! Look at my review of medical studies which have opposite conclusions and make up your mind 🙂
- Regarding sugar, there is also this feeling that the food industry has been cheating for financial reasons. Have a look at this video where sugar is presented as the new tobacco:
We know that many foods contain hidden sugar to enhance flavors but also to keep us buying again and again, more and more, even if it’s bad for our health. But we can’t do without sugar. That’s why a “no sugar, no alcohol challenge” is just for a month or two, unlike quitting smoking: it’s a kind of detox for a limited period of time.
No Sugar, No Alcohol Challenge: Why Not?
- I think it’s a good start in changing habits.
- It’s a kind of test for your willpower with a mental comfort, knowing that this effort will end in a few weeks. Deciding to change for the rest of your life is another story.
- It’s not a big deal if you don’t succeed.
- Will you have the desired health effects? Nobody knows until you try it.
- It’s always good to take your health in your own hands.
- If you really want to track hidden sugar, you have to read all labels in your grocery store and you will learn a lot about all you ingest without paying attention 🙂
- You will probably eat more vegetables and spend more time cooking in your kitchen.
- If your challenge is a success, you will lose a few pounds.
No Sugar, No Alcohol Challenge: No, Really?
- It’s a drastic change, both mental and physiological, with a high risk of failure.
- It’s a limited time effort, going back to normal afterwards will prevent long term effects.
- In some of way it reminds me these extreme diets which trigger the well-known yo-yo effect.
- Alcohol is a kind of “socializer”. If you go to parties or social events, you will have to keep explaining why you don’t want to drink alcohol. People can’t understand your decision.
- You will probably lower your metabolism and your energy with these challenges.
- Exercising more would be a good idea but it’s another challenge 🙂
- Your muscle mass will probably decrease, and if your no sugar, no alcohol challenge made you lose a few pounds, be sure that they will come back very soon.
I feel that this “no sugar, no alcohol challenge” makes sense only if it starts a real change process for the long run. I am convinced that small, repeated changes lead to great results. As said in the last post: change is based on small goals and small wins, facilitation, self-monitoring and minimizing temptation.
It wouldn’t make sense to run a marathon once a month to lose weight! The result would be pain and injuries, not weight loss. A better idea would be to start walking and then running (or any other cardio, see my MET page for more information), two or three times a week.
What about Quick Results?
The only drawback in this method is that you don’t see results immediately.
For me it’s not a problem 😉 but usually people that I help in person want quicker results.
In such cases, I give them an “executive summary” about ephedrine: what it is, what fat burn results they can get, what are the risks, how to stay safe (cardio vs HIIT) and what are the best products in my view.
Thus they can make an informed decision. And if they decide to buy, I know the good places and the ones to avoid 😉
For instance, today and til the 2nd of February, the best choice (for me) is by far to take advantage from i-Supplements’ flash sale (coupon code stinger15):
To sum it up: quitting alcohol, coffee or sugar or any combination is OK, as long as it’s not one-shot… especially for those cutting out alcohol 😉