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How to Quit Cold Turkey

mindset Mar 11, 2024
How to Quit Cold Turkey | Joseph Arangio

You are a sum of your habits.

I'd say that's possibly the most simplistic way to explain both success (or failure).

That's the recurring theme with all of my fitness-and-nutrition coaching clients.

Now, most clients take imperfect action and follow the plan I've created for them.

Success is predictable and they are very happy.

They become more productive at work.

They look and feel better. They lead by example, which inspires everyone in their world.

On the other hand, not-so-successful folks often need to revisit the step-by-step system I've provided.

Why? Because it's best-practice and clearly supported in the scientific literature.

I'm merely a servant messenger presenting the proven plan.

Helping to keep you accountable and on task. Keeping you on deadline.

But what happens if you are not experiencing success? It's simple.

Forgive yourself when you mess up.

Move forward and go back to my proven plan. Again, you are a sum of your habits.

A quick example for you.

Let's say you are a 40-plus man who wants to hit 14% bodyfat.

And let's also assume your body-recomposition goal requires you to consume 14,000 calories per week (2K calories per day x 7 days).

Now imagine you are actually consuming 20,000 per week.

Well, that's a surplus of 6,000 calories.

And assume you are not burning up that excess energy.

So you end up storing the unused energy (calories) as fat.

You know where this is going, right?

You don't need to be very strong in math to know that you're not going to hit your goal. At least not in this reality.

But perhaps in an alternate reality, where the fundamental laws of thermodynamics do not apply. Really, it's that simple.

Let me answer some of the questions that you may be asking right now.

In the event you are not losing bodyfat, every single week, in a predictable, one-pound-per week, manner.

Yes, it helps that you are eating organic and unprocessed too.

But if you are at your daily caloric limit by 8:00PM and, at 8:15PM, you "snack" on a few spoonfuls of ORGANIC, GLUTEN-FREE, ALL-NATURAL peanut butter (straight out of the jar, by the way)... just ate an additional 600 calories that day. Yes, you can exercise more but you can never possibly out-train a poor nutrition plan.

It's fundamental physics. Energy in versus energy out.

Indeed, you can experiment with all sorts of eating patterns and fancy diet tweaks.

And I'm not going to attempt to name even a few because every day somebody coins a "new" way to eat.

How to Quit Cold Turkey

Let's get back to the habit thing. And a powerful, little story.

On an ordinary afternoon in 1949, the physicist Richard Feynman was going about his business as he felt a pull to have a drink.

Not an intense craving by any means, but still it was a disconcerting desire for some alcohol.

On the spot, Feynman gave up drinking right then and there. He didn’t want anything to have that kind of power over him. This little story is incredibly powerful in its simplicity.

I'm big on the idea of quitting cold turkey.

Particularly quitting anything, that's not in your best interest.

10 Strategies to Quit Alcohol Cold Turkey

Now, I know it's not easy, but with determination and the right approach, you can make this change for the better.

  1. Set a clear goal: Start by setting a clear, measurable goal for yourself. Whether it's quitting for a month, a year, or for good, having a specific target will help keep you focused and motivated.

  2. Create a support system: Surround yourself with supportive friends, family, or a community who understand your decision and can provide encouragement when you need it most.

  3. Remove temptations: Get rid of any alcohol in your home, office, or social environments. Don't keep it around as a temptation.

  4. Find healthy alternatives: Replace the habit of drinking with healthier alternatives like herbal tea, sparkling water with lemon or lime, or natural fruit juices.

  5. Stay busy: Keep yourself occupied with activities that don't involve alcohol. Whether it's exercising, pursuing a hobby, or spending time with loved ones, staying busy will help distract you from cravings.

  6. Practice mindfulness: Learn to recognize and accept your cravings without acting on them. Mindfulness techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga can help you stay centered and resilient.

  7. Seek professional help: Don't hesitate to reach out to a therapist, counselor, or support group if you're struggling. They can provide valuable guidance and strategies to help you stay on track.

  8. Focus on the benefits: Remind yourself of the numerous benefits of quitting alcohol, such as improved physical health, better sleep, increased energy, and enhanced mental clarity.

  9. Reward yourself: Celebrate your progress along the way with non-alcoholic rewards. Treat yourself to a massage, a new book, or a day out doing something you enjoy.

  10. Take it one day at a time: Focus on staying sober in the present moment rather than worrying about the future. Celebrate each day of sobriety as a significant achievement.

Quitting alcohol cold turkey can be challenging, but with determination, support, and these actionable strategies, you can make positive changes in your life and embrace a healthier, alcohol-free lifestyle.

You see, a drinking habit is moving you away from your "Ideal Body" and life.

Obviously things like gambling, pornography, and drug abuse (booze included) are not making you a better person.

You could argue that these vices are moving you far, far away from helping others and leaving this world a better place.

But I'd say that overeating is another bad habit that is holding you back. Especially if you are overweight or obese as a result of what you repeatedly do.

The first step is to lift yourself out of the ignorance of your dependency, whatever it happens to be.

Perhaps it's eating after 8:00PM (calories matter, just like they always have).

Maybe it's breaking free of your jealous spouse, who sabotages your every effort for self improvement.

Side Note: At a primal level a jealous partner feels you will flee the nest, when you become the best version of yourself. So they discourage the very thought of you investing in your self improvement. But that's a topic for another lesson.

Then you need to get clean. Get clean from your addiction to work or gossiping or being unfaithful, or whatever. Break free from the abusive friend or loved one.

And not every pull seems so severe. Nowadays you might be hooked on cigarettes or soda, "likes" on social media or watching cable news past your bedtime.

If you feel these things ruling your life, you must quit today. Quit cold turkey.

Be a slave to fewer things. Start now and improve as you go.

An imperfect start can always be improved on, but waiting for perfect circumstances will never lead to any progress.

Action wins.

Get free.

To your success,

Coach Joe



Joseph Arangio helps 40+ men and women get leaner, stronger, and happier. He's delivered over 100,000 transformation programs to satisfied clients around the globe. If you want to lose weight from home, with the best online age-management personal trainer, or you want to visit the best longevity personal trainer in the Lehigh Valley, you can take a free 14-day trial.

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