Rules for drinking

beer glasses

Two facts about me: 1) I love beer, and 2) I am not very good at moderating my drinking of it. This is causing some problems, namely a nagging voice in the back of my head telling me I should be able to find a better way to enjoy my vice in a way that isn’t detrimental to my health and my bank account. I’m getting annoyed at this voice.

I tend to slip into patterns where I’m either completely off drinking via a forced detox for a set amount of time (not sustainable) or letting myself have a beer (or three) every night for weeks in a row (also not sustainable).

I don’t want to be on either extreme, so it was helpful to get some perspective via a Tim Ferriss podcast with Peter Attia, where he laid out his approach.

The comments on this video have a lot of other good tips

This comment about alcohol being fundamentally a “toxin” as far as the human body is concerned was what jolted me out of my laziness in not addressing my recent daily drinking habit:

Despite what a lot of the epidemiology will tell people, alcohol is not good for you in any dose. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t drink it at all, but let’s not delude ourselves into thinking it’s actually healthy at some low dose. It’s not. Understanding that it’s a toxin can, I think, help you have a more measured response. My response to alcohol, while we’re on that topic, is if I drink something that doesn’t taste incredible, I pour it out. I’m never going to tolerate a bad glass of wine, ever. It’s just not worth it.

And here is the general rule that Peter applies to his own drinking habits (in addition to not drinking crap, as noted above):

Well, I’ll start with quantity. Yeah. I would personally just say there’s got to be an insane reason to have more than two drinks in a day. It’s somewhere between zero and two. And it’s got to be a really good reason to drink on more than three days a week. In the back of my mind, I’m keeping a tally, which is I really shouldn’t be having more than about seven drinks in a week. Again, seven drinks in one day is very different than one drink a day for seven days. It’s the frequency and dose that defines the poison.

In other words, here are the rules for drinking:

  1. Only allow drinks three days out of your week
  2. On those days that you do drink, two drinks should be the limit
  3. Aim to stick to 6-7 drinks max per week
  4. When you do drink, drink the good stuff

That sounds pretty good to me.

Comments welcome!

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