soberness: it may be what I need, but it certainly ain't how I wanna be
April 24, 2012 11:43 AM Subscribe
I took a break from drinking for a month, and my appetite decreased dramatically. For the first time I can remember, I felt full from eating reasonable portions, and I no longer turned to snacking for alleviation of boredom or ennui. When I started drinking booze again, I was back to my previous habits. What happened, and why?
posted by Jon_Evil to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I'm about 70 lbs overweight, and I don't ever remember feeling full before. I always feel like eating more if there's food on the table. Or if there's scraps on the table. But when I wasn't drinking, this all went away. After eating a normal serving of food (even a salad!) I felt a new sensation that some arcane brain circuitry was able to recognizes as "full". In that respect, it felt really good.
Thing is, I was miserable for that whole time I wasn't drinking. I am stuck in a job I hate in an industry I find despicable (finally quitting soon, inshallah), and it was particularly stressful for that month, and I dreaded waking up and going to work every day much more than normal. I didn't really want to go out and do stuff I normally enjoyed (playing music, political activism, spending time with friends and family), I felt horrible about myself, didn't want to go on dates, and neglected my responsibilities to my house and my roommates.
I've taken a month off from booze every year since 2007, and this is the first time I've ever felt it have an effect on my appetite or on my mood. The two possibilities I can see about my mood (which may have an indirect effect on my appetite) are 1. self-medication with alcohol was dulling the pain enough to prevent full-on depression or profound dissatisfaction with my life, or 2. I'm an alcoholic and these were symptoms of withdrawal. (or maybe both?). However, my previous experience with depression was always wanting to eat more, not less, and also I didn't experience any of the other "classic" signs of alcohol withdrawal (D.T.s, cravings, headaches, nightmares) and my drinking isn't terribly heavy to begin with, so it's possible it's something else.
Anyway, what might have caused my appetite suppression? Is it possible to reproduce this effect while still drinking responsibly?