The Next Round: What happens after you change your drinking?

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Gillian Bennett sugar cravings

Gillian Bennett: sugar cravings when you change your drinking

In discussions with Club Soda members, one topic that comes up often is that of sugar cravings, weight loss, and mindful eating alongside mindful drinking. On this week’s podcast, Anja Madhvani, had a wonderful conversation with nutritionist and mindset coach Gillian Bennett about how the idea of losing weight gets tied up in the business of changing our drinking and how closely related mindful eating and mindful drinking are as psychological concepts. Gillian and Anja’s chat is enlightening in many ways, and we think you’ll be reassured and inspired by this fascinating podcast.

Who is Gillian Bennett?

Gillian is a nutrition, body image, and mindset coach and owner of Bite Size Nutrition. An American living in Barcelona, Gillian’s approach to mindful eating and starting where you really resonate with Club Soda’s approach to mindful drinking. Gillian has seen how sugar cravings become part of our mental reward system when we’re changing our habits. After all, food makes us feel good, right?

People do seem to struggle with sugar cravings when they change their drinking and a big component of it is our beliefs about alcohol and sugar. And some of it has to do with, you know, when we drink, it’s often seen as like, Oh, this is, you know, this is my vice, right? And then when we take that away, it’s almost like our brains are looking for something to fill that like, oh, I deserve to have XYZ treat because I’m no longer drinking. And I think that this mindset of like food and drink as a transaction, or food as a prize is really prevalent, not just in people that drink, but in all society.

Gillian Bennett, Bite Size Nutrition

Worried about sugar cravings after quitting booze?

Gillian’s advice: don’t be. Going out for ice cream rather than going to the pub? Unless it’s doing you immediate harm, then it’s a win. Ultimately, it depends on how this new habit is supporting you right now. If you’re able to distract yourself from wine with a family-sized bar of chocolate, the sugar craving is useful. But, as with most habits, it’s about the sustainability of swapping alcohol for sugar that we need to be aware of. As with the mindfulness practices that we encourage at Club Soda, it’s about being aware of our actions and their consequences – positive and negative – that can bring us back to living more healthily.

What purpose is my sugar consumption serving right now? Something that you can start doing right now is simply allowing yourself to take a pause between, ‘I’d like to eat some sugar, and I’ve got, you know, the, the Mars bar in my hand’, or whatever that is, and actually giving yourself the space to be like, ‘is this the action that I want to take in this moment?’

Gillian Bennett, Bite Size Nutrition

More health, lifestyle, and mindfulness advice on the Club Soda podcast

The Club Soda podcast is all the inspiration you need to create and sustain a life that doesn’t center on drinking. Find the advice and support you need, whether you are cutting down, taking a break, or going alcohol-free for the long term.Our podcast is available on all your favourite podcasting platforms, like Apple, Google, and Spotify. Subscribe today and get all our latest news, interviews, and drinks reviews.

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