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Before and After Qutting Drinking

Happy New Years!

The photos on the right are of Chicago resident Andy Boyle, shown before and after he quit drinking.

The left side is after he quit drinking, at 230 lbs.

The right side is before he quit drinking, at 306 lbs.

His weight loss happened over the course of two years after he stopped drinking and started making some healthy changes in his life.

Combined with his lack of drinking, he also:

  • Began eating healthier.
  • Began exercising more.
  • Bought a condo.
  • Wrote a book and multiple movie scripts.
  • Performed in multiple comedy festivals.
  • Went from a size 42 waist to a size 36 waist.
  • Discovered it really was more fun to be a healthier weight.
  • Got more sleep.
  • Felt more motivated and productive.
  • Saved lots of money.

However Andy also discovered at the same time that many people are prejudicial against people who don't drink. They say things like (these are quotes from Andy's website):

"C’mon, dude, just have one beer! It’s not like you’re going to meetings or whatever!”

“I can’t trust someone who doesn’t drink.”

“You’re not fun unless you’re drunk.”

“When you don’t drink, it makes me feel bad about myself, which makes me not like you.”

“I can’t date someone who doesn’t want to get drunk with me, sorry.”

 And frankly, Andy is on to something here. But we need a word to describe this phenomenon. I am going to call it "Pro-Drunkism". It is like Racism and Sexism, but it is basically describing a biased sentiment in favour of getting drunk and a bias against people who don't like getting drunk.

Now speaking for myself, I must admit I enjoy drinking a beer regularly. At least once per week. I know it is unhealthy for me, but I figure I exercise so much that is evens out fairly well. Still it does make me wonder what would happen if I switched to red wine instead.

Here is my reasoning. It is widely known that drinking 1 or 2 glasses of red wine per day has health benefits. Now I don't see myself drinking that much or that often, but it does get me thinking about the amount of calories found in beer vs wine.

eg. 100 grams of beer has 43 calories [according to Google].

That is 154 calories for 1 can of beer (356 grams). Two beers would be 308 calories.

Wine in comparison has 85 calories per 100 grams. Or 125 calories per glass (147 grams).

Thus 1 to 2 glasses of red wine per day would be 125 to 250 calories per day. That is still less than the 154 to 308 calories for 1 to 2 cans of beer per day. It is a small difference, but still lets do the math.

At 2 glasses per day versus 2 beers per day the total for 1 years worth of calories is:

WINE: 250 calories x 364 days = 91,000 calories - - - - divided by 3500 = 26 lbs of fat.

BEER: 308 calories x 364 days = 112,112 calories - - - - divided by 3500 = 32.032 lbs of fat.

WATER: 0 calories x 364 days = 0 calories - - - - divided by 3500 = 0 lbs of fat.

So yes, wine, purely on a calories basis is healthier in theory - unless you guzzle it like you do beer, in which case that would be really unhealthy. 62.94 lbs worth in a year if someone guzzled wine in the same volume like they do beer.

However the easiest and most obvious health choice is to simply drink water instead. A person on a two beers per day habit could potentially lose 64.064 lbs over a two year period just by switching to water and making no other changes to their eating habits. (This assumes a stable diet in which their only excess was an over-consumption of beer.)

Which admittedly could explain most of Andy Boyle's weight loss success.

Now I am not saying that Andy was drinking two beer per day. Not saying that at all. Some of his health changes obviously came from his changes in diet and exercise as well. But it really goes to show people that if you make healthy choices you can really change your life around.

So if you are looking for a New Years Resolution for 2016, how about "switching to water [or wine] instead of beer"?

And while we are at it here are some other New Years Resolutions:

#2. Make Healthier Choices.

#3. Exercise More.

#4. Spend More Time Outdoors.

#5. Spend More Time with Family.

#6. Get an Energetic Dog and go Dog Walking Regularly.

#7. Try a New Sport and Stick With It.

For more ideas check out our past New Years Resolutions on CardioTrek.ca.

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