10

votes

Are paleo and partying mutually exclusive?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created February 26, 2012 at 3:45 PM

So here's the deal. I'm a 22 year old female that just moved to a cool new city. I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy going out with friends, having a few (or more than a few) drinks, dancing my ass off,and then grabbing a bun-less burger at 3 am.

I eat low-carb paleo pretty stringently during the week. My question is: will I ever be really healthy/lean if I continue to go out and drink, or do I have to give it up all together to expect results?

I feel very torn on this one. I'm trying to lose the last 10/20 lbs, and I've had some great success with paleo in the past when I was in isolated living situations, had complete control over what I ate, and didn't go out. While that certainly felt good, I was also pretty lonely. Now that I'm out of college and at my first real job, it's becoming painfully evident that you are only young once, and I want to take advantage of every minute of it.

Am I chasing a pipe-dream in thinking I can have it all? Is my health unlikely to change for the better until I suck it up and give up the alcohol?

Af49bced416926d9f88e47a7e705d99d

(20)

on June 29, 2012
at 06:49 AM

i think the fact that the poster had to ask for advice about this shows that deep down she knows the answer for herself. be true to yourself... cultivate meaningful relationships... learn about what is going on in the world. and yea, have a good time, just don't sacrifice yourself in the process. in terms of weight loss, eating after drinking alcohol is one of the worst things you can do.

Af49bced416926d9f88e47a7e705d99d

(20)

on June 29, 2012
at 06:35 AM

just my thought process.. but i don't know if not keeping any alcohol in the house will necessary keep you from drinking irresponsibly, though i see your point about not wanting to get in the habit of having a few after work (stressful work can have that effect). if you are already worried about it "creeping up on people" sounds like you aren't on healthy terms with it. it's like how the french do... keep it around, and it becomes less of a "thing". alcohol just isn't a "thing" when there are more interesting/exciting things going on... keep your love, life passions strong and you'll be fine

C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on June 14, 2012
at 02:05 PM

I'm not afraid of a raccoon.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on June 14, 2012
at 06:28 AM

Yeah! Stabby is always fair game, but if you act on it you are too! Don't forget...

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

(6092)

on February 27, 2012
at 03:30 AM

Good point. +1

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on February 27, 2012
at 02:18 AM

I did not say that alcohol should be automatically excluded. I merely suggested that OP may want to check one of her premises.

016de26fe61daf799662d3b7b2468324

(688)

on February 27, 2012
at 02:16 AM

Cakes in capes...you mean muffins?

Medium avatar

(2923)

on February 27, 2012
at 01:00 AM

Robb Wolf seems to have the most sensible approach I've come across (and he doesn't push the Puritan attitude that's wrecked so much of our approach to dieting). You're not gonna get people to give up alcohol, so stop stressing about it. Relax, do it smartly, and don't overdo it seems to be his main message.

Medium avatar

(2923)

on February 27, 2012
at 12:55 AM

A glass of a good Rioja (for the benefits of red wine) and a plateful of tapas that aren't deep fried and help yourself to the bowl of free olives on the table.

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

(6092)

on February 26, 2012
at 11:59 PM

I don't think alcohol should be automatically excluded. There is a plausible anthropological hypothesis suggesting that fermentation was originally utilized as a way to make alcohol, as opposed to food prep.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 26, 2012
at 11:44 PM

Agree with the "fat cushion" on both sides of drinking, plenty before and plenty after certainly seems to help my stomach! Also agree on the eliminating beer, I'm a wine/gin/scotch/cider person now.

1dcfcebc5f36408d121f124a78292d42

(1295)

on February 26, 2012
at 11:10 PM

I drink red wine and norcal margaritas

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 26, 2012
at 10:04 PM

@korion if that's a mixed drink what's it called?

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on February 26, 2012
at 07:43 PM

Pretty much Richard. Especially in your 20's.

Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

(13635)

on February 26, 2012
at 06:38 PM

Take my advice...live it up and milk it as long as you can!

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on February 26, 2012
at 06:28 PM

Wine in one hand, dark chocolate in the other!!!

A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1

(2053)

on February 26, 2012
at 05:30 PM

By the way, if you're ever in the Regal Beagle, have a drink on Mr. Furley's tab. No sugary drinks or beer though, Furles has gone paleo.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 26, 2012
at 05:14 PM

Have you tried pure alcohol, or alcohol in a mix of valerian root or catnip?

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on February 26, 2012
at 04:48 PM

What do you like to drink? :)

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on February 26, 2012
at 04:14 PM

+1 for the living-the-dream tag.

  • 1dcfcebc5f36408d121f124a78292d42

    asked by

    (1295)
  • Views
    2.2K
  • Last Activity
    1256D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

19 Answers

11
A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1

on February 26, 2012
at 04:04 PM

Is it healthy to binge drink, stay out until dawn, and all that goes with it? Probably not. Did I do it when I was 22 years old? You bet your behind I did and loved every minute of it. In fact, it didn't really start to taper off until I was about 30 (I may not recommend that lengthy of a career). I was young enough to have fun and recover from it. Life is all about choices. If you're having fun, enjoy. If you want the most optimal health that you can have, then you might need to make some lifestyle changes. It's all up to you.

"Be moderate in everything, including moderation." -Horace Porter

A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1

(2053)

on February 26, 2012
at 05:30 PM

By the way, if you're ever in the Regal Beagle, have a drink on Mr. Furley's tab. No sugary drinks or beer though, Furles has gone paleo.

8
98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

on February 26, 2012
at 04:39 PM

Honestly I think it would be sad and a complete failure of the paleo lifestyle for you to stop doing what you love and enjoy. The time will come soon enough when you tire of the bar thing or your body just tells you to move on. As long as you have a good handle on everything else I say keep up the good work.

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on February 26, 2012
at 06:28 PM

Wine in one hand, dark chocolate in the other!!!

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on February 26, 2012
at 07:43 PM

Pretty much Richard. Especially in your 20's.

7
Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on February 26, 2012
at 04:47 PM

I think the artist formally known as Grok had a hit with "Let's party like its 19ka!"

But seriously I think "celebrating alcohol" to whatever degree is in my mind setting yourself up for problems later. There is a big difference between having a few drinks every once and a while and opening up a bottle of wine every evening for a wind-down.

In the UK this is standard behaviour and a lot of people not only do both (weekend and week) but justify a drink every day as a kind of social-glue that keeps their friendships together.

I love a good glass of wine and a stupid night out every few months. But personally I do not and will never keep alcohol (spirits or beers) in the house as if it is some sort of treat, because I don't want to ever get into the habit of justifying couple of beers after work.

This is for the sake of my future wife and kids; not to mention my health. Alcohol is not an evil, I just don't like how it creeps up on people.

A bit like cakes in capes.

016de26fe61daf799662d3b7b2468324

(688)

on February 27, 2012
at 02:16 AM

Cakes in capes...you mean muffins?

Af49bced416926d9f88e47a7e705d99d

(20)

on June 29, 2012
at 06:35 AM

just my thought process.. but i don't know if not keeping any alcohol in the house will necessary keep you from drinking irresponsibly, though i see your point about not wanting to get in the habit of having a few after work (stressful work can have that effect). if you are already worried about it "creeping up on people" sounds like you aren't on healthy terms with it. it's like how the french do... keep it around, and it becomes less of a "thing". alcohol just isn't a "thing" when there are more interesting/exciting things going on... keep your love, life passions strong and you'll be fine

3
Medium avatar

(2923)

on February 26, 2012
at 06:13 PM

Not mutually exclusive, but one is not conducive to the other:

  • Just understand that you are going off your diet for a night (don't stress or worry about it), it's just going to be a cheat day or part of your 20% or whatever you want to call it ...
  • Try to do it as healthily as possible (NorCal Margaritas, Pi??a Coladas, expensive red wine, avoid beer and deep fried bar foods), and get plenty of water during the night
  • Grab some extra Omega-3 oil (fish oil, krill oil, cod liver oil, etc.) to balance out the damage
  • Grab some extra saturated fat (coconut oil) to heal the damage to your liver
  • Eat extra healthy/strict for the next couple days

And you should be fine. You're young, so you'll bounce back faster than some of us *cough*. And you're already eating paleo, so your system is starting off stronger and better able to handle the cheat day. The only side effect from several of the comments on PaleoHacks is that you're going to be a cheaper date ...

2
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 26, 2012
at 04:38 PM

As a fellow 20 year old female- I still go out and get my drink on, and I don't worry about it too much. For me it's frequency and duration- being hungover/super wasted is a recipe for eating french fries for breakfast, so I try and tame it to not too often/not crazy too much in one go. If I drink only every other week, and pace it with plenty of water and high nutrient snacks beforehand, I get through the night and the next morning feeling great. Will it be easy to lose that 10/20 lbs while still drinking? Probably not as easy as it would be if you quit drinking, but it's all about priorities. Being able to take part in this fun and important part of social bonding and experience to me is worth maybe 5 lbs I won't kick for a while-such is life, and the expense of the dream! I choose to party on whilst I am young.

Af49bced416926d9f88e47a7e705d99d

(20)

on June 29, 2012
at 06:49 AM

i think the fact that the poster had to ask for advice about this shows that deep down she knows the answer for herself. be true to yourself... cultivate meaningful relationships... learn about what is going on in the world. and yea, have a good time, just don't sacrifice yourself in the process. in terms of weight loss, eating after drinking alcohol is one of the worst things you can do.

1
24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on February 27, 2012
at 02:10 AM

I say, so long as you are enjoying yourself and not overdoing it, then if there's ever a time your body can withstand a little "abuse" it's when you're your age. That said, a cautionary caveat that overdoing it is whatever your limit is so you can function most next days w/o massive hangover and not do stupid shit. Know your limit! Do drink plenty of water before hitting the sack. (My cure was tomato juice ... paleo 'nuf). This is OK so long as you're not doing any thing stupid under the influence of alcohol -- puts on (much older) sister hat:

Do NOT get behind the wheel of a car. Do NOT get in a car with anyone behind the wheel who has been drinking. Do NOT get in a car with anyone you don't know. PERIOD. Do NOT go to anyone's place you just met. Do NOT bring anyone you just met to your place. Do NOT drink anything you have not watched the bartender mix and you have not had in your possession the whole time. Carry cab fare or ask the establishment for help getting home if you even feel the need to do any of the aforementioned, they will be happy to make arrangements.

I'm much more concerned with the risks young women take with their future reproductive health than anything. And I say this not from some moralistic high ground but from a health perspective. I think the whole contraception controversy is more effed up than nutrition. STD's effect fertility more with women than men, Gardasil protects against one strain of harmful HPV. "There's no medical reason for you to have a period every month" (says who?), just take these pills or that injection or get this thing implanted and you'll be safe.

I know way too many women who went on various pills or who had abortions or who got diseases and who got all the right "health services". When the time came they wanted kids they had a heck of a time or couldn't have them at all. Just a thought.

1
C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on February 27, 2012
at 01:52 AM

To combine the two, you need to get drunk on copious amounts of vodka, rum, wine and nongrain liquors. Liquor has always been around, single celled organism made and drank it. That's how they mutated into people. Evolution was fast like it is in pokemon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejveuzm_Jog&feature=fvwrel

Next after thoroughly drunk, you track down a deer, vegan, pig, turkery or cow, and run after it with a spear, barefoot. Each toss of the spear that misses the target requires more booze. To avoid toxicity of the alcohol follows Stabby the Raccoon's booze protocol. If Stabby is around when your partying, he is fair game for the hunt as well. You might be naked and bare foot too at this point, which will help with aerodynamics.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on June 14, 2012
at 06:28 AM

Yeah! Stabby is always fair game, but if you act on it you are too! Don't forget...

C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on June 14, 2012
at 02:05 PM

I'm not afraid of a raccoon.

1
9b0310b623f8ed289c9571ab3a58a142

on February 26, 2012
at 06:37 PM

I don't think they're mutually exclusive, but you should try to stay as paleo as possible. When I first started paleo I didn't have any beer, but eventually I would partake of the pitcher when out with friends and it turned into a weekly occurrence. I do believe that the small amount of gluten in beer was hindering my health, so I've quit beer just in the last few weeks. I try to stick to hard cider (when it's available) or hard liquor (bad stuff is more filtered out).

Eating lots of fat before and after seems to help.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 26, 2012
at 11:44 PM

Agree with the "fat cushion" on both sides of drinking, plenty before and plenty after certainly seems to help my stomach! Also agree on the eliminating beer, I'm a wine/gin/scotch/cider person now.

1
65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

on February 26, 2012
at 04:37 PM

Robb Wolf has talked about this quite a bit. Probably worth searching on his website for info.

Try the NorCal Margarita recipe, eat a bunch of protein before you drink, and try to drink earlier before bed, since alcohol disrupts sleep rhythms.

Medium avatar

(2923)

on February 27, 2012
at 01:00 AM

Robb Wolf seems to have the most sensible approach I've come across (and he doesn't push the Puritan attitude that's wrecked so much of our approach to dieting). You're not gonna get people to give up alcohol, so stop stressing about it. Relax, do it smartly, and don't overdo it seems to be his main message.

0
0607529af9b78bb5b178f7ffabdc4693

on February 26, 2012
at 10:49 PM

Life is cumulative.

The awesome thing about youth is that you have a say now in just exactly how painful and/or evident the eventual loss of it becomes.

Balancing enjoyment and entropy may be the finest art of all.

0
Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 26, 2012
at 10:10 PM

At 22 you can get away with murder. Your metabolism is flying high. Make sure you eat some steak. That ups your paleo % for the night. Stay away from chow mein.

0
91219405abedbfd400ce00dea242a00f

(1044)

on February 26, 2012
at 09:44 PM

If it makes you feel great (and doesn't get in the way of your school, job, chores, family life etc), then do it. There's no need to micro-manage everything in life.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 26, 2012
at 07:38 PM

If you drink something like tequila or vodka and soda with lime you can have a couple and then switch to just soda with lime with no-one the wiser.

That is a trick I used when low carbing and going to neighbourhood happy hours- back then I used diet coke with lime to look like a real drink. (Diet coke is banned now!)

My food contributions involved meat, hard-boiled eggs, and veggies.

0
Medium avatar

(2301)

on February 26, 2012
at 06:56 PM

If you are going to sit home alone and sulk otherwise, then it's better to get out where there are people. Social interaction is paleo.

0
1fef7e7894cc07366bf31ea514d3fa2b

on February 26, 2012
at 05:52 PM

  • I sometimes drink wine with my meals or on a date.
  • I don't drink while going out. Partying and talking to girls gets me out of my head without the negative side effects.
  • You could try norcal margaritas and slowly reducing the amount of alcohol you drink while going out. Don't reduce the partying. Enjoy life!

0
6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on February 26, 2012
at 04:22 PM

Perhaps you should examine your main premise, that fun = alcohol. You can go out with friends, dance your ass off, stay out late and enjoy your cool new city--all without touching alcohol, or just drinking 1 or 2. If your friends accept the fact that your diet may be different from theirs for health reasons, then they will accept that your alcohol consumption is different from theirs, also for health reasons.

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

(6092)

on February 26, 2012
at 11:59 PM

I don't think alcohol should be automatically excluded. There is a plausible anthropological hypothesis suggesting that fermentation was originally utilized as a way to make alcohol, as opposed to food prep.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on February 27, 2012
at 02:18 AM

I did not say that alcohol should be automatically excluded. I merely suggested that OP may want to check one of her premises.

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

(6092)

on February 27, 2012
at 03:30 AM

Good point. +1

0
5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on February 26, 2012
at 04:07 PM

I think you just have to manage your expectations. If you keep that up I doubt you'll get 100% of the results you want, but it doesn't mean that it's pointless to do as best you can otherwise. If you're dealing with an autoimmune condition or something similar you may want to commit to making that better first, but other than that do what you want. In the end you have to be happy, and if you want get hammered with friends, get hammered with friends, just know that everything has a price.

0
Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

on February 26, 2012
at 04:04 PM

Drinking once a week shouldn't make it impossible to be healthy, if you're good the rest of the time. There's quite a few people who eat mostly SAD and are still fit and healthy. The big question for them is how they will feel in later life.

If improving your health right now is that important for you then it would seem sensible to do everything you can or accept the compromise. If it were me, I'd say that regularly abusing your body with alcohol is the kind of dream you could do without. You can still be young, and can still party, without going all in every time. Also, I'd be almost as concerned about not getting sleep in terms of compromising health.

On the other hand, what's the point of being healthy if you don't enjoy yourself. Just try and keep your options open.

-2
53defce1b146915b097fabb368faa050

on February 26, 2012
at 09:43 PM

I love this post because I am completely in the same boat. 21 year old girl, studying abroad in Barcelona where the nightlife is a big part of living here, and also trying to maintain a Paleo diet and working out as much as possible. On nights where I'm not going out, I wake up feeling so much more refreshed, motivated, and energized to take on the day and I know that it's because of my diet. I just try to do the best I can with what I eat, something I can control, and keep my drinks as clean as possible (vodka sodas, no sugary sodas, etc). I know that my results could be better if I cut down on the partying, but like the post above, I try to manage my expectations and simply do the best I can.

Medium avatar

(2923)

on February 27, 2012
at 12:55 AM

A glass of a good Rioja (for the benefits of red wine) and a plateful of tapas that aren't deep fried and help yourself to the bowl of free olives on the table.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!