Are You Sure You’re Craving Alcohol?

Are You Sure You’re Craving Alcohol?

Today I�m just going to be talking about
just a couple of simple things that you can do if you are getting cravings just after
you’ve stopped drinking alcohol. Or a bit later on like I do sometimes so stay
tuned. I’m Kevin O�Hara for
and I just wanted to make a quick video of a couple of simple things that you can do,
that you can introduce into your life, if you are getting cravings, even after a couple
of days or a couple of weeks or a couple of years like I sometimes do. A craving is really just an urge, it’s something
that comes up out of the blue sometimes. It’s often triggered by things in your environment
and people around you. Basic trigger mechanisms are at work here. Your craving is basically something that either
that pops up in your emotions as an emotional feeling, as a physical feeling. Or it can pop up as something that you are
thinking, just a thought that’s coming into your head. What I really want you to ask yourself is
are you really craving alcohol? Is it an urge for alcohol or is it an urge
for something different? If you think about the craving like – did
you ever get an itch somewhere where you just can’t find where to scratch? This itchy feeling, I often get it after I
walked in the bottom of my legs, it’s just like an internal itch somewhere. I don’t know what the hell it is. That’s what I think the craving is like. And often I think, 60% or 70% of the time,
you�re talking about this urge being to do with the lifestyle that you’re changing,
it�s to do with – not so much the alcohol but the hole that is left behind after you’ve
stopped drinking. So you go through your normal alcoholic routine,
you come home from work and you take a drink whenever you’re sitting on your couch at home,
you go to the pub, all those times when you do drink, once you take alcohol out that equation,
then you’ve left a gap and it’s often that gap that you’ve got to fill. But sometimes it’s a lot simpler than that. Filling in the gap, doing things that are
going to progress your life forward and move your life away from alcohol. That’s going to take time but a couple other
things that you can really do in the moment are to do with what your body is interpreting
as the craving for alcohol that it is actually something quite different. The first one of those is water and this is
something that I had in spades when I was drinking and when I stopped drinking and still
sometimes I get this every so often. Now when I was drinking, as I said I used
to work in a fairly manual job, so I was using a chainsaw most of the time. Most of the time I�d be covered in a lot
of protective gear; the helmet and safety pants and gloves. Living in Ireland you�re often wearing jackets
and heavy jumpers, that kind of stuff to work – rain gear that kind of thing. When I was working I�d often get thirsty
and by the end of the day, that thirst would manifest itself in my brain and my thoughts
as a need for alcohol. First thought that would pop into my mind
often when I would finish work would be I�d love a pint now, I would love to sink a cold
and clear pint of lager or Guinness or whatever it was at the time. I have talked about this before but halfway
through the day, I would subconsciously be backing off away from drinking water to enhance
that first pint, to enhance the flavour or the taste or the satisfaction of that first
pint. By the time I was finished working in the
evening, I�d be gagging for a pint, I�d be really,really thirsty. And I�d often go into the pub and order
two pints on the go, because they were Guinness and because Guinness took a little bit of
time to pour and to settle and basically arrive right in front of me on the counter, on the
bar top. So I�d order a couple of pints and that
first one would just go down almost straight away because I’d be that thirsty. It was only afterwards when I started thinking
about this and once I stopped drinking, that I realized that it was actually thirst. It wasn’t anything to do with the Guinness
or the craving for alcohol but it was actually just being dehydrated. The Guinness was doing nothing to satisfy
the dehydration, I should know – alcohol is a diuretic. That was one of the times that I knew was
basically just times when I threw out my drinking life that I just basically mistook feelings
of thirst for cravings for alcohol, this was what I used to drink when I got thirsty, it
was the thing that I used to drink, was get a few cans of cold lager on a sunny day. So that’s one of the things to look for. I still get it every so often, now I still
get that and I thought of when I’m really thirsty and it is. I think about it and realize that my mouth
is completely bone dry, at the back of my throat is bone dry, that my body is craving
for is some water to drink and my mind for that one second would start to interpret those
feelings as wanting a cold beer. This especially happens if I�m thirsty,
when I�ve come in from a walk, often I go for a walk before we meet up in a restaurant
or something like that, I’ll be thirsty going into the restaurant and I sit down and might
be a couple of other people there that are drinking beer and that automatic thing happens. So that�s one thing to think about, is your
craving actually a thirst for water? It’s one of the big things that people face
just after Christmas if they’ve given up alcohol in January. There’s a lot of alcohol that’s being consumed
beforehand, which is dehydrating and has dehydrated your body, and you’ve been probably drinking
alcohol in place of water so you’re not really dehydrated. How long has it been before you�re actually
dehydrated, I mean before you were actually hydrated? Think about all those snacks that you’ve been
eating while you were drinking, especially over Christmas when there�s a lot of that
kind of stuff around. So when people give up, they tend to feel
the symptoms of dehydration. Which can mean sometimes feeling nauseous
or getting headaches that kind of thing. Make sure that you�re hydrating yourself
enough, especially in the evening if you haven’t switched to something else. You haven’t figured out what to replace the
alcohol with at this time, then you probably need to drink a bit more water. So just make sure that you are hydrated and
that should cut some of the cravings. Just as another thing, that�s just reminded
me off, if you are switching out from alcohol to something else, try and stick to healthy
drinks. Try and drink water is the main thing. If you can get a lot of water down you, that’s
going to do you a lot of good into the long run. It’s going to do your body a lot of good. If you can change one thing in your life that
will make a big difference and a big impact almost immediately, it’s to hydrate yourself
more. Keep drinking water and get yourself hydrated. Make sure you drink, I don’t know what it
would be, I drink probably about 4 litres of water a day, I don’t know what that is
in American standards. Avoid sugary drinks or those non-sugary drinks
Coke, Fanta all that kind of stuff. They’re just crap, it’s not going to do you
any good. It’s going to do you more harm than good. These drinks are really not going to satisfy
any of your cravings or it might satisfy them in the short run. But there’s a lot better things for you to
be taking into your body which I’ll talk about now, and that’s carbohydrates. Carb yourself up, this is very important. Like I say the alcohol has got a lot of sugar
in it. That sugar might have turned into other things. But there’s a lot of buzz around your buzz,
sort of thing. You�re getting a sugar hit and that sugar
is addictive on its own. You might have a sugar addiction as well as
an alcohol addiction. Some of the cravings that you might be getting,
might be for sugar. One of the best ways of getting good sugar
into your diet is by complex carbohydrates. You might find that the sugar is causing you
to have low blood sugar which is going to give you a drop in energy. Once you get a drop in energy then your willpower
is going to suffer as well. So you need to keep those carbohydrate levels
and the sugar levels up. But as I said, it’s a lot better to do it
with good complex carbohydrates like rice, beans, brown bread is good but I wouldn’t
recommend too much of that, wheat products and stuff. Try and get it from many unprocessed sources
as possible. Fruit is a great one – I mean I love bananas
too. They’re a slow releasing carbohydrate, deliver
sugar over a sustained period. Instead of giving you that big sugar hit and
then you get the corresponding drop afterwards. Bananas are just a brilliant source of long
term sustainable carbs. I’ve often talked about the dangers of the
poison in alcohol, the toxins in alcohol and how your body is treating those. But in a lot of drinks like in Guinness and
in beer and that kind of stuff, there is some small bits of goodness. There is sugar, there’s plenty of carbohydrates
and if those things that your body has got used to and your body is going to crave. When you stop drinking, you�ve just drop
this big source of fuel that your body has been using. And now you’ve got to try and replace that. If you don’t replace it, you’re going to find
yourself lagging. You�re going to find yourself having problems
with your ability to keep up with everything, your energy levels are going to lag behind,
and you’re going to find this whole journey to be much more difficult. Try and get as much of that carbohydrates
from naturally whole foods that you can fruit and vegetables. Like I say bananas are my favourite, rice,
beans, pasta – brown pasta, whole wheat pasta. Avoid the white crap as much as you can. If you can get really good thick dense bread
that’s made out of good grains then go for that and avoid processed crap including chocolate. I mean this is doing you no good it might
give you that spike of energy but you�re getting that corresponding dip which is bad
for you. So what should you do? First keep yourself hydrated. You’re probably going to be dehydrated after
you’ve quit drinking. You need to keep up those levels of water
flooding through your system. I mean we�re made of whatever 70-75% water. So you have to keep replenishing that stock
and make sure you stay away from the crappy processed drinks like those fruit juices that
just sit on the shelf for months on end. They�re sugary drinks that you get in the
bottle that are all fizzy and they�re just crappy. They�re no good for you so you should try
and avoid them. If you can get some decent homemade smoothies
into, you that’s a benefit. Because you�re getting hydrated and you�re
getting the vitamins and minerals and all that stuff from the fruits and vegetables
that you putting into it. Next carb yourself up, eat regularly, eat
regular good whole foods good carbs, eat smart all the time. This is the time to start thinking about your
body, your long term future. If you want to live a long life, not only
you live a long life more importantly live a life that is full of vitality and health
– one way you can do things right up until the end sort of thing., you need to start
being super cautious about what you put inside your body. I mean this is what’s been going on all along. For me, the change was completely radical
when I stopped putting alcohol inside my body and all the crap that that entailed. Not only the rubbish of the alcohol but the
rubbish that I was using at the same time. Think about every morsel of food, every drop
of liquid that you put into your body and it should be doing you good. Don’t be putting crap in there because crap
in and crap out. You are what you eat and what you drink and
that’s basically what it boils down to. Before I go I wanted to tell you about something
I come across the other day about processed foods. It was this American chiropractor from
Alaska, I think it was Anchorage. She owned a healthy alternative chiropractic
practice. She bought a Happy Meal from McDonald’s and
she kept the Happy Meal for six years. She opened up this Happy Meal after six years
and it looked almost as if she’d bought it the day before. Now there was nothing changed, there was no
signs of fungus or degradation or anything. She said that she shows this now to her patients
just to have them avoid this type of food. And I know she’s a chiropractor but whenever
I eat food like that, any crap food, I haven�t ate them in a long time by the way, but whenever
I started eating fatty foods, my joints in my knees swell up and I can really feel it
in my back. There’s just different parts of my body start
to swell up, different parts that shouldn’t be swelling up. I�ll put a link to that down below, in the
post below so you can take a look at what this Happy Meal looked like. Happy Meal, yeah, this is the thing that people
give to their kids. Anyway that’s it for this week or that’s it
for today. Should have another video up on Thursday and
another one of the videos for the new course, the new stress course. If you have any comments at all then leave
a comment down below. Love to hear what you have to say about keeping
yourself hydrated or carbed-up. If you’d like to leave a like button, click
the like button below if that’s your thing then please do. It helps the channel to get recognition and
stuff like that. Anyway until next time. I’m Kevin O�Hara for Alcohol Mastery. Onwards and upwards.

10 thoughts on “Are You Sure You’re Craving Alcohol?”

  1. loved the video really made me think about some of the things that I've been eating and should change by the way love the E books downloaded them on my smartphone thanks a bunch Kevin:-)

  2. 13 days into sobriety and doing well here. Thanks for explaining some of the tricky hurdles we come across.

    Btw: how exactly are you filming this while hiking?

  3. Hey Kevan,

    Fantastic video.

    One thing about complex carbohydrates (specifically gluten containing such as brown bread/pasta).

    Due to the Amylopectin A and Gliadin, brown bread particularly absorbs into the blood stream very fast thus has a higher spike on blood sugar. This is higher than say a mars bar or snickers for instance (as noted on the GI Index). So somebody going through alcohol withdrawal/weight issues should avoid complex gluten containing grains which is what you did emphasis which is good knowledge definitely. Sweet potato/fruit/brown rice may be better choices (you did mention fruit). Currently 1 month in, one of the best choices I've made no doubt.


  4. Silent Trendsetter

    it seems a little unrealistic to make such radical changes all at once. quitting alcohol is difficult enough without trying to also completely change your diet. one step at a time I say

  5. 4 liters is 135 oz of water…im American so that means you drink 8 bottles of water a day which is the recommended amount of water a day for a person

  6. I was 17 days sober , then saw my family drinking and I couldn't resist. Idk what's wrong with me, I was upset they decided to buy alcahol. Some how I have a problem and they told me I need to stop but when I smell alcahol I want some so why do they buy? Omg

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