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  • College and Alcohol

    Hello fellow paleo enthusiasts, I need your collective advice on something important to me. I am really determined to go 100% paleo. When I followed the protocols down to a tee for 2 months straight in my junior year, I never felt more clear headed, energetic, and overall happy in my life (and my horrible acne completely disappeared). After a while though, I slowly slid back into my non-Grok ways. My acne returned, my energy plummeted, and my concentration and mental clarity completely vanished. I've come to the conclusion that I simply cannot have grains or sugars of any sort in order to function normally. However, there is one pressing issue . . . . .

    Lets say I do follow the Paleo protocols down to a tee once again. Will alcohol consumption on the weekends sabotage my efforts? I'm 22 years old and its very difficult to avoid alcohol for obvious reasons. I'm at the age where alcohol is unfortunately the social glue of my friends and peers (especially on the weekends). I guess what I want to ask ultimately is . . . . IF I GET HAMMERED ONCE OR AT MOST TWICE A WEEK, BUT FOLLOW PALEO PROTOCOLS STRICTLY OTHERWISE, WILL THE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION RUIN MY BODY'S ATTEMPTS TO USE KETONES AND FATS AS ENERGY?

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME

  • #2
    I'm 21 and in college and I drink in, and here's the key word, MODERATION. If you get smashed every weekend, yeah, it may start to negate your healthy lifestyle. But a few beers here and there may actually be good for you, with the antioxidants and all. You're probably drinking the Bud Lights anyway, and those aren't too high in carbs.

    I tried to abstain 100% and it got to the point where I was stressing out too much about the principle and not engaging in "play". Trade-offs....

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    • #3
      haha alcohol being the social glue is understandable, but i'm sure getting hammered is not a part of this glue

      sure, i go raw balls every once in a while, but always regret it and am now totally without the sauce

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      • #4
        You don't HAVE to drink. You choose to.

        Drinking will hamstring your efforts, so there you go. Choose.
        My Fitday public journal.
        Me vs. Russian Boar, hunt is on Aug. 20th. WHAT'S MORE PRIMAL THAN THAT?!
        Recently survived Warrior Dash, New England.
        Game Developer, ex-Chef, long time Fatbody.

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        • #5
          what about eating some protein, fat (nuts) while drinking....I have never like the spike and crash I get with alcohol and so in situations where alcohol is served I make sure to have some cheese or nuts or something to eat to temper that spike. Last night I had a beautiful glass of wine with a bison burger (sans bun) and a green salad. Fabulous dinner...I know college drinking is less meal oriented...but the strategy might help.

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          • #6
            I remember those days, being drunk 4-5 nights a week, lighting things on fire, being naked in strangers backyards... but I digress.

            Me personally, since I have been paleo I have gotten really good and sloshed maybe 5 or 6 times. What I have noticed is that what I imbibe seems to make the biggest difference in my condition following the boozing.

            The few times I have succumb and drank a lot of beer I have felt like crap the next few days, bloated, tired, and really craving junk. However, when I have drank a large amount of Scotch, whiskey, or wine I have just had the typical hangover symptoms.
            "Canned food is a perversion,' Ignatius said. 'I suspect that it is ultimately very damaging to the soul."
            - John Kennedy Toole (A Confederacy of Dunces)

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            • #7
              Perfect Health Diet Is It Smart to Drink?

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              • #8
                Well the best thing to do would be to simply try it. You want to go 100% paleo anyway right? So do that, then adjust your drinking habits until you find a comfortable balance.

                I followed a paleo diet for the last 2 years of college and still drank pretty regularly. I didn't get "smashed" often (usually 3-4 drinks), which is more than enough to get by at parties and bars. You can also drink wine beforehand and take it easy once you get there, or volunteer to DD relatively often.

                I don't think some drinking, especially in college, is as big of a deal for health as it's made out to be. Most of these people are eating frozen pizza and top ramen day in and day out. However, you don't NEED to drink.

                I'm 23, and I go out 3 nights a week now and don't drink. I'll still have a drink if someone offers me one, or if I take a girl out for drinks, but once you learn how to have fun without it, you really don't need it. People generally just assume I'm drinking because I don't really have many inhibitions.

                Hope it helps, good luck!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Joshy View Post
                  I followed a paleo diet for the last 2 years of college and still drank pretty regularly. I didn't get "smashed" often (usually 3-4 drinks), which is more than enough to get by at parties and bars. You can also drink wine beforehand and take it easy once you get there, or volunteer to DD relatively often.
                  What did you drink?

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                  • #10
                    Anything in your stomach when you're drinking is going to be more likely converted into fat. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the body automatically "attacks" the alcohol first and puts everything else on the backburner. If you're drinking all night on a full stomach of fat and protein, not only are you wasting those macros for health/fitness purposes, but they're probably being stored away in a less than optimal form.

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                    • #11
                      ChocoTaco has written somewhere about the best 'drinking strategy,' i.e. how to absorb those calories. In terms of maintaining weight, keys are: don't go for the sugary mixed drinks. Even Mark has written about this. You can also do some light exercise beforehand to 'ready' your body for the alcohol calories. And do not eat once you've started drinking, because your liver is busy processing the alcohol and everything else gets stored as fat. But it gets tricky because eating some saturated fat will help alleviate a hangover. And I find that any drinking, especially 'getting hammered,' will disrupt my sleep and leave me off balance for at least a day, as well as mess with my mood and therefore make it likelier to not eat primally. And the drinking itself tends to lower inhibitions and make it likelier to eat crap.

                      This might also be helpful - The truth about alcohol, fat loss and muscle growth | Intermittent fasting diet for fat loss, muscle gain and health

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for all the replies thus far guys. I definitely don't see alcohol as something I NEED to drink, but something I WANT to drink because I enjoy it. Goldsmith makes an interesting point. Stuff like vodka apparently has no carbs or sugar. So in effect, is it not a Paleo friendly beverage?

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                        • #13
                          I'm in the same boat, 24 years old and I attend one of the biggest party schools in the country. The biggest problem with booze for me is that, after a few drinks, I have very little control over what I eat. That old SAD diet ravenous hunger takes over and I can easily polish off a bag of chips with salsa or whatever else happens to be in front of me. Besides that I always feel crappy coming off the weekend, and not just the hangover. I think the best of both worlds can be had if you practice, like others have said, moderation. Logically I know it's not worth it but this is how people our age interact so you have to adapt.

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                          • #14
                            My advice would be to donate plasma just prior to drinking and don't eat anything. Then you have money for alcohol and you get drunk a lot easier so you don't need to drink as much. Win/win right?

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                            • #15
                              How easy is it to trim up while you're still drinking once or twice a week? Assume that the rest of the diet is very primal, you exercise, you're in your 20s, you're not in okay shape to begin with, and you're drinking low-carb stuff?

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