I’ve recently cut down alcohol substantially (not entirely but significantly) and I’ve noticed that I don’t seem to be wanting to eat more to make up for it.
For reference, I’m floating around 74-76kg, at 300-310W. I’ve been pretty stable at that weight for a few years now, without any particular attempt to diet, beyond recording calories for a few days every now and then.
Recently, I’ve gone from drinking every night (not getting drunk, but at least 2-3 beers) to drinking occasionally and little, but tracking my calories, I’m suddenly in deficit by approximately how much I was drinking before.
I’m not feeling particularly hungry, workouts are going well (and as always, I’m fuelling the workouts) and I’m getting all the usual benefits from cutting down on booze.
I can relate to this. I’m sure we all know, those beer fuelled calories are just empty calories with no value towards satisfying hunger. One of my ‘beer issues’ was once I’d had a few beers I’d started craving and stuffing my face full of the other bad stuff, Pizza, Curry, Burgers, Fast food (not all at the same time haha).
This. I have nearly been off alcohol for a year and this was my experience. I haven’t felt a need to directly replace those calories directly with other stuff and I did see some weight loss/ stabilising of said weight over the last 12 months. For me its been one of the best things I have done.
This is definitely me - it’s not so much the beer calories (it’s hard to get a handle on how much is actually absorbed - my n=1 is it’s the one food group that I find a calorie isn’t a calorie), but I definitely have a tendency to raid the fridge/ kitchen after beers.
Creamer is tough to cut, but I’ve been having good luck with 1st cup having creamer, then slowly topping my cup off with coffee as I drink it, but not adding creamer. By the time I’m done with my morning joe, it’s pretty much black. So it’s a gradual weaning of creamer, but you don’t have to cut it out cold turkey.
I’ve stopped alcohol completely and vastly reduced my bread intake. I’m also trying this Lumen thing (I had to do something different to loose weight) So far down 2kg (the scales do say fat loss - but who knows?) since 1st January. 179cm 89kg and 23% body fat so there is a lot to go at. One of the things Lumen has had me do is dramatically increase my protein intake to over 140g a day. One of the effects seems to be I am no longer ravenous after long rides when I get home. I’d tried eating lots of carbs on the bike last year but still ended up emptying the fridge when I got back.
I signed up with an online nutritionist, and it seems to me that the protein is a higher percentage of the total food intake. The meal plan includes porridge with a whey protein supplement as breakfast, I guess that helps with the hunger.
Well I don’t know about performing better, but I’m able to go on a spin after a few beers. Some of my best zwift races have been the morning after too! My head is generally fine as I mainly drink craft (compared to when I drank macro beers) - the volume of crap I eat with or after beers seems to impact how I feel more (n=1).
I haven’t really noticed “on bike” heart rate differences, but resting heart rate is definitely a lot higher the morning after.
I cut out having a glass of wine a few nights a week when I started tracking calories back in mid-Dec and saw that those empty calories would be better replaced with recovery or on-the-bike food to fuel workouts. I’m down from 193-lbs to 180-lbs in like 6-weeks with 50-60% carbs, <20% fat, rest in mostly plant-based protein (beans, pea protein). I’ve also tried to cut out any late-night snacking unless I’m way under my calorie total from a ride and need to get some more carbs in - at which point I kill some fibery cereal w. unsweetened soy milk. I do still take a small square of dark chocolate though. Maybe that’s my wine replacement.
I’ve similarly tried to cut back. My wife is pregnant and I inadvertently stumbled on Athletic Brewery NA beers she purchased. Their IPA and hazy IPA are surprisingly good (not just yeasty water like older NA beers). Drinking them provides a similar psychological enjoyment and they’re only 70 calories each (albeit empty calories).