T Nation

A New Leaf... I Hope

So long story short…

I’ve been an alcoholic for about 2 years now. Not long considering many alcoholics are for a much longer period of time, going up 10 years or so of daily drinking.

I know I’m an alcoholic because I’ve needed alcohol to function properly. To sleep, to feel normal (except the nasty hangovers), to remove all anxieties in life despite the fact that alcohol makes anxiety and other things worse.

I’ve really had no reason to quit alcohol. I have a crappy job that gives me two 3-4 hour shifts a week (kitchen job). I’ve applied numerous times on a daily basis to any mundane job I can find but still no success. So I finally thought about joining the military. Not all out, just the reserves. But in order to do so I need to get myself in shape again. I’ve been doing 5/3/1 for 3 years so its not like I don’t have anything to work off of. In fact I just recently upped my conditioning to 4x a week considering I wasn’t doing any at all.

Ok so the story was long, but here’s my question. Should I go on a particular diet to improve body comp quickly, or would simply cutting out alcohol for the mean time be enough? I want to get my weight from 210 down to 170 or 180 and reduce my waist size from 38in down to 30 or 31in (I’m 5’9" by the way). I’m planning on doing this by the middle of April, as by May they ship you out for basic training. I’m Canadian just so you know.

Thanks in advance. It seems daunting right now but I believe if I know the right track that I’ll be on I know I can do it. I just really don’t know what to do at this point.

Simply cutting out alcohol will give you some amazing results. I suggest doing this for a few weeks and see how you look/feel and adjust your diet from there.

I’m graduated college this past year and now I hardly ever drink. I have made more progress in 6 months than I did in 5 years of college, simply by cutting out alcohol and being more consistent with my diet.

[quote]Ripsaw3689 wrote:
Simply cutting out alcohol will give you some amazing results. I suggest doing this for a few weeks and see how you look/feel and adjust your diet from there.

I’m graduated college this past year and now I hardly ever drink. I have made more progress in 6 months than I did in 5 years of college, simply by cutting out alcohol and being more consistent with my diet. [/quote]

Amazing! What were your results like? Did you drop tons of fat? And if so how long did it take?

First and foremost, serious congrats on the decision to change your life.

[quote]forbes wrote:
I’ve been doing 5/3/1 for 3 years so its not like I don’t have anything to work off of. In fact I just recently upped my conditioning to 4x a week considering I wasn’t doing any at all.[/quote]
If you’ve just increased your conditioning work and dropped a bunch of empty calories, you should see some decent results just by eating smart and simple (no junk or cheat meals, plenty of quality protein, monitor carb timing, etc.).

After a month or so, you can buckle down on the diet to boost progress. Something like Green Faces, the 100-gram carb cure, or something similar. And possibly transition to a more fat loss-focused program, rather than “strength and conditioning” like 5/3/1, depending on the results you see.

Dropping 30 or 40 pounds in 10-12 weeks is going to take serious dedication and, even then, it’s really pushing it. Is that a weight/waist limit you have to reach for acceptance, or are the numbers your own choosing and you’ll ship out regardless?

[quote]forbes wrote:

[quote]Ripsaw3689 wrote:
Simply cutting out alcohol will give you some amazing results. I suggest doing this for a few weeks and see how you look/feel and adjust your diet from there.

I’m graduated college this past year and now I hardly ever drink. I have made more progress in 6 months than I did in 5 years of college, simply by cutting out alcohol and being more consistent with my diet. [/quote]

Amazing! What were your results like? Did you drop tons of fat? And if so how long did it take?[/quote]

I may have exaggerated with the progress made in 6 months vs 5 years. I definitely made a very solid strength base in college, but I have made leaps and bounds since drinking significantly less in a short amount of time.

In a few months of hard training and proper nutrition, I went from about 208 lbs @ 14% bodyfat to 203 lbs at 10-11% bodyfat. Without drinking, you are cutting out those empty calories that screw with your hormones as well. You also add a much higher capacity to recover, since your body is not recovering from alcohol as well as lifting.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
Is that a weight/waist limit you have to reach for acceptance, or are the numbers your own choosing and you’ll ship out regardless?[/quote]
Don’t they except everybody into basic training, then after that you have the tests?

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
First and foremost, serious congrats on the decision to change your life.

[quote]forbes wrote:
I’ve been doing 5/3/1 for 3 years so its not like I don’t have anything to work off of. In fact I just recently upped my conditioning to 4x a week considering I wasn’t doing any at all.[/quote]
If you’ve just increased your conditioning work and dropped a bunch of empty calories, you should see some decent results just by eating smart and simple (no junk or cheat meals, plenty of quality protein, monitor carb timing, etc.).

After a month or so, you can buckle down on the diet to boost progress. Something like Green Faces, the 100-gram carb cure, or something similar. And possibly transition to a more fat loss-focused program, rather than “strength and conditioning” like 5/3/1, depending on the results you see.

Dropping 30 or 40 pounds in 10-12 weeks is going to take serious dedication and, even then, it’s really pushing it. Is that a weight/waist limit you have to reach for acceptance, or are the numbers your own choosing and you’ll ship out regardless?[/quote]

The numbers are technically required. They use the BMI to gauge if you’re too fat, which they won’t accept you if you are for potential health reasons. They do recognize muscularity can make your BMI higher than it should be, but unless you’re glaringly jacked then it’s most likely due to excess fat. I have decent arm, chest, and leg development development, however I have a big gut to boot, which would mean my high BMI is a good combo of muscle and fat (probably more fat as of all the alcohol and junk I was consuming).

I figured if I drop 30-40 pounds of fat I can vastly improve health, body composition and my ability to move like a member of the military should.

[quote]JLone wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
Is that a weight/waist limit you have to reach for acceptance, or are the numbers your own choosing and you’ll ship out regardless?[/quote]
Don’t they except everybody into basic training, then after that you have the tests?[/quote]

LOL that made me laugh. No actually we’re tougher than you think when it comes to training. There are videos on youtube that go through basic training in Canada. Not easy.

And its “accept” not except.

[quote]forbes wrote:
And its “accept” not except.[/quote]
LOL, I deserved that.