Hacking Your Diet
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You have spent your 20s and your 30s working hard to get where you are now. And by “where you are now” I mean a successful business, the occasional fancy dinner to sign a client on, the office celebration, or catching up with important people in your line of work just to make sure you stay connected. What do all of these moments have in common? Drinks. What follows? A hangover that takes you two days to shake off.
If you are the type of person who has worked hard when he/she was young, with the sole purpose of only getting to call the shots and of getting everything done over a glass of something in your 40s, then I have some really bad news for you. Although your body matures and you expect it to hold its liquor better, it does exactly the opposite. Tough luck!
Are you surprised this is happening? I don’t know how much you drank in your 20s and 30s, but I assume you had the occasional drink. Going out with friends, taking clients out, office parties, family gatherings and even relaxing at the end of a hard day’s work with a glass of something are considered a normal level of social drinking. Maybe most times you did not even feel a hangover the next day, or you could simply shake it off faster with a good cup of coffee and a meal rich in protein. But suddenly, and although you did not necessarily start drinking more, each hangover hits you like a ton of bricks. If you are like most people I know (who would not even risk half a day of a hangover or a bad morning on account of drinking on the previous evening), then you are seriously wondering what is happening to your body. Does your body react differently to alcohol consumption just because you are now in your 40s? Let’s expand on that:
Download the PDF to find out how to Handle the Issue of Social Drinking by clicking here
Why you should not start drinking in your 40s if you want to keep up performance levels
1. The lifestyle you have been keeping so far will come back to haunt you.
This is a good moment to revise everything you have done in your 20s and 30s. It goes without saying that “taking it easy” does not go hand in hand with getting your business to take off. An unbalanced lifestyle in your 20s and 30s forces you to enter your 40s with a tired body and damaged organs. Your stomach shrinks and your liver tires faster. If you have been neglecting these two organs so far, then finding a way to fit social drinking into your program in your 40s will be difficult.
2. Less water and more body fat will cost you in the long term. And it starts in your 40s.
I don’t know how careful you are about keeping your body hydrated or about your body fat levels, but get ready for some more bad news. As you get older, the body automatically dehydrates faster. So unless you are making an effort in this respect, assume you have less water in your system from the very beginning.
The concentration of ethanol –which is the intoxicating agent of alcohol – in a tissue depends on the water concentration. More water leads to a faster elimination. Less water leads to a slower elimination. And the bad news does not end here. If you are a woman, since your body fat percentage is higher (once again, ladies, take it up with Mother Nature), you will have higher peak blood alcohol levels than men, even when the consumed alcohol quantity is the same.
3. It affects your brain… The one whose performance you were looking to improve
Provided that you are currently reading this article, I will assume that you are interested in body and mind hacks for how to increase performance overall. Alcohol consumption leads to mental impairment and depression. These two conditions are not the right ones for making financial decisions. We tend to get over-stimulated when we drink. This leads to mood swings and an inability to assess a complex situation the following day.
You can only imagine that coping with a difficult situation is not made simple by alcohol consumption. It’s just like eating sugar when you feel low in energy will only make you feel much worse once the sugar high wears out. If you are going through any sort of emotional troubles, try a different approach than alcohol to soothe the pain.
On the long term and in extreme cases, you even run the risk of developing a disease called Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome (WKS), also known as the Korsakoff psychosis. This condition is characterized by memory problems, difficulty in learning and holding on to new information and difficulty in communicating with others. True, this does not happen when you have one glass of wine at dinner. But anything surpassing the daily dose of 1-2 glasses for women and 2-3 drinks for men comes with this risk.
4. Your liver will be affected and not only in the case of abuse.
I do want you to thrive in business, but I would not want you to celebrate each success with too much alcohol. It will take a massive toll on your liver. The terrible thing about alcohol is that as you drink, you tend to drink more. According to a 2014 study, a fatty liver in your 30s leads the way to increased tissue fat and inflammation, directly linked to cirrhosis. Also, nonalcoholic fatty liver is a growing pandemic, and one doctors have started monitoring more closely. You will tire faster, feel weaker and not be able to perform.
5. The big “C”: yes, alcohol is a cancer risk factor.
Do you have a friend suffering from cancer or who has died from it? Most chances are that you do. This means that you can feel how close the cancer threat is and how many things can lead to this terrible disease. But while you may know now for sure whether certain things can lead to cancer or not, know that alcohol has been classified as a Group 1 carcinogen since 1988. Mouth, upper throat, and bowel cancer are the most common forms associated with alcohol consumption.
I know for a fact that having cancer and working hard for your family all the while growing your business do not go hand in hand.
6. You are sabotaging your own weight loss efforts.
Never mind about eating well-planned meals every day if you insist on topping everything with a few glasses of alcohol. And to think you just got the hang of intermittent fasting. Do you need more proof than the beer belly? And it goes for all types of alcohol.
First of all, alcohol has a caloric intake of 7 calories per gram. This means empty calories with zero nutrients. Every sip of alcohol you take, you are taking in calories, and your body does not benefit from anything useful.
Second, alcohol increases appetite. Did you notice how when you go out and have a couple of drinks, plates of food, probably high in fat and carbohydrates, start circulating on the table and you just cannot help yourself because it all looks so good? It’s because your brain is over-stimulated and your leptin production is suppressed.
7. You look just as well as you feel – lousy.
It makes you pile on weight faster, and it makes your skin sag and looks old. I do hope I was blunt with this one because it is very true. Alcohol triggers rosacea, the redness of the skin on the cheeks and around the nose. This is because the blood vessels are enlarged and produce more blood flow. Also, your blood vessels will remain enlarged if you keep drinking and make a regular habit out of it.
And if you were planning on making some effort to keep your good looks for a bit longer, know that this intention and that of drinking alcohol do not go hand in hand. Alcohol consumption means an introduction of a large amount of sugar in the body. To break down this sugar, your body will tap into its collagen supplies, robbing your skin of its youthful elasticity. Hello, saggy skin, puffy eyes, and spots caused by hormonal imbalances!
8. You have an increased risk of heart attack.
Drinking causes your blood pressure to go up. This raises the risk of strokes, heart failures, and related diseases. You may have a big heart, and you want to keep taking care of your family. But you need to be alive and kicking for this one.
It all sounds scary, and I bet you have already taken out a piece of paper and trying to figure out how many glasses of alcohol you drink in one week. According to Professor Amitava Dasgupta, author of the Science of Drinking: How Alcohol Affects Your Body and Mind book, frequency of drinking is a criterion in determining whether a person is a moderate or an excessive drinker. This is the fine line between what is acceptable and what is harmful to your body and mind.
How does all this go with intermittent fasting and ketosis?
People who show an interest in intermittent fasting and ketosis want to lead healthy lives. This also comes with a lot of self-discipline and a desire to really understand what is good for you and what is not. Inevitably, when you start learning more about the processes going on in your body, you start to understand which habits are destructive and which are constructive.
Without knowing, we can make significant efforts, watch our diet, work out, struggle to keep everything in check, and then we ruin it all with a gesture as simple as getting another beer. Sure, you can pull this off in your 20s. Even in your 30s. But when you enter your 40s, your body reacts differently to physical stress.
Nobody said that a glass of red wine now and then is completely incompatible with intermittent fasting. However, excessive alcohol consumption should not have a place in your well-drafted meal plan. The reasons for doing either of them negate each other – intermittent fasting can help you feel much better, perform better, keep your body in top shape, whereas alcohol consumption can ruin all your hard work.
What do you do if your business is at that point when most of the transactions are done over a glass of something, at a restaurant or at the office. Claiming that you are too old to drink will make you appear too old in front of your employees. On the other hand, forcing alcohol down your throat cannot be the solution. Is there any way of making the two work? Since business is vital for you and your family, and your health is just as important. Must you really choose between them?
So what to do about it?
Fear not! Nobody is making you choose between your health and your business. Yet! But know that if you take no action now, the articles you will be reading in your 50s will be even more drastic, scarier, and, worst case, will include irreversible things. Your 40s are the best age for taking action to get your body in shape for the long haul. We all think that we will get back on track, but in reality, we simply ride our bodies to the very limit, without ever considering the damage done.
Don’t panic if you feel like you need too much information to make intermittent fasting work for you. Also, you must not feel discouraged that you can never drink another glass of wine from now on. It all depends on moderation and the right proportions. You can use the information presented so far to decide for yourself exactly how and when to drink alcohol. For example, it is common sense that you should not break your fast for alcohol. The increased acidity of your stomach alone will drive you up the wall. Not to mention how quickly it will get into your blood and will make your brain foggy.
There is no need to consider doing this alone. I have spent years learning how intermittent fasting works and how everything you put in your body triggers an unexpected chain of chemical reactions. Understanding these responses is the key of biohacking. This is the kind of information I am willing to share with you in a 30-minute free nutrition coaching call. You can get all the information you need, with precise details, built around your specific lifestyle.
Call me up, and we can see how to work around this social drinking issue!
Call now and get started!
Sign up for a free 30-minute discussion about nutrition and about how the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting can be a safe way for you to get back in shape and look as successful as you are in your business. Put half an hour into a conversation that will present exactly how IF and Ketosis can work wonders for you.
This article is part of a monthly series all about hacking your diet.
If you like this post check out How the Establishment Destroyed Your Health and How You Can Get it Back and How to Optimize The Time You Spend Buying and Preparing Meals.
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