Approximately 18 million Americans are addicted to alcohol, and information from the World Health Organization shows that there are 140 million people in the world with alcohol disorders. The good news is that you can cut your cravings and even end your addiction, and I will show you how. For more details, you can see my book, The Addicted Brain and How to Break Free.
KNOW YOUR ALCOHOL CRAVING TRIGGERS
If you are setting foot onto the alcohol craving battleground, then you have a better chance at succeeding if you know your triggers. You cannot overcome what you do not understand. First you need to know: what is it in your life that leads you to crave alcohol? Are you trying to escape stress and/or depression? Are you trying to fit in socially? Is alcohol the only way you know of cheering yourself up? Once the trigger(s) is established, you can focus on how to remove yourself from these situations and how to incorporate positive ways of dealing with the ‘demon of drink’.
EAT A BALANCED DIET
There is indisputable evidence that alcohol cravings can be curtailed with the right diet and nutrients. A big component in alcohol craving is – sugar! Often a craving for a drink is really a reflection of low blood sugar that can be remedied with food such as cheese and crackers or an apple—the foods I recommend when people are craving carbs since it’s the same issue. If you eat a balanced and healthy diet, with enough complex carbs and protein, you can often overcome your alcohol cravings without being coerced or feeling pressured, and you lower your chance of relapse as well.
Research shows that specific amino acids such as L-glutamine will lessen your alcohol cravings, reduce stress and give you a better chance at recovery. Bear in mind that a poor diet can lead to brain imbalance, triggering further cravings!
Here’s a great example of how this all works:
Bruce, a 35-year-old realtor with a high pressure, competitive job came to see me for anxiety, depression, and low energy. His intake questionnaire revealed that he drank a 6-pack of beer every 2 days or so. Ignoring that specific issue, we began several sessions of counseling, including stress reduction techniques such as meditation.
I also prescribed a series of supplements to address his physiological imbalances, including a high potency multivitamin- mineral formula with high B vitamin content, chromium 200 mcg twice daily (for blood sugar balance), tyrosine 500 – 1000 mg twice daily for energy, and glutamine, 500 mg three times a day, for low mood and substance cravings. For his convenience, I later shifted him over to my Brain Recovery AM & PM formula.
When I asked two months later about his beer drinking, he first gave me a blank look, then lit up and exclaimed, “Funny you should ask. I just noticed a 6-pack that had been sitting in the refrigerator for weeks, untouched, and kind of wondered why I hadn’t been drinking.” Not only do the habits disappear, but so does the feeling-state and memory of this even having been there.
BEWARE OF THE CONSEQUENCES
One way to put things into perspective is to continually remind yourself of what consequences could ensue if you give in to your alcohol cravings. Ask yourself these questions over and over again; is this drink really worth it? How will I feel in an hour’s time or in due course? Is this drink worth sabotaging my efforts to curb my cravings? Arousing the negative emotions associated with giving in to your cravings could help you to stay focused and largely avoiding ‘relapsing’ to same old habits.
LIVE A BALANCED LIFE
All work and no play can leave you overly stressed and with unbalanced brain chemistry. This imbalance may lead you to seek external ‘remedies’ to help chill you out. And guess what tops the list here? It is therefore important to actively seek ‘me-time’ to unwind from your daily cares and ensure a healthy balance between work and life. Doing so will ensure that you largely keep stress at bay and alcohol cravings away!
For more details on beating alcohol and other addictions or simply, cravings or habits, you can see my book, The Addicted Brain and How to Break Free.
Article Image: Microsoft Clip Art