Ep #77: Drinking for the Taste

By: Dr. Sherry Price

Drink Less Lifestyle with Dr. Sherry Price | Drinking for the Taste

When you order an iced tea or a soda, does just one drink satisfy you?

I bet it does.  Most people don’t binge on these drinks.  Once your thirst is quenched, you stop drinking.

For some people, it’s a different story when it comes to alcohol.  They don’t just have 1 drink and stop.  They tend to overdo it when they start. Why is that?

This week, we’re diving into a common reason people say they drink – they drink for the taste of it.  If you think that’s why you overdrink, I have some news for you.  It’s not why you overdrink.   You’ll learn why in this episode.


One of my very popular programs is back: How to Get Your Off Button Back! This is an online course that teaches you the 5 pillars to stop after a drink or two. Click here to learn more. 

Are you ready to learn the skills and tools to permanently change your relationship with alcohol? If so, I invite you to join Drink Less Lifestyle. It’s where you’ll learn how to become a woman who can take it or leave it with alcohol while creating a life you love. Join Drink Less Lifestyle here!


What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • Why switching to an alcohol you don’t like isn’t going to help you stop overdrinking.
  • The two most common reasons I hear from women about why they drink.
  • Learning if you really are drinking for the taste.


Featured on the Show:

Download my free guide How to Effectively Break the Overdrinking Habit.

If you’re loving this podcast, please rate and review this podcast and help others discover their Drink Less Lifestyle.

Full Episode Transcript:


You are listening to the Drink Less Lifestyle Podcast with Dr. Sherry Price, episode number 77.

Welcome to Drink Less Lifestyle, a podcast for successful women who want to change their relationship with alcohol. If you want to drink less, feel healthier and start loving life again you’re in the right place. Please remember that the information in this podcast does not constitute medical advice. Now, here’s your host, Dr. Sherry Price.

Hello my friends. How is everyone today? Well, I hope you’re doing fantastic. And today’s topic was actually inspired by my mom and a few of my clients recently. It’s funny when somebody brings up a topic, my mom was the first to bring it up, that she’s like, “You haven’t covered this on your podcast.” And I thought, I haven’t. And then right behind that a few calls right in a row after that had happened, my clients were talking about the same thing.

I find it so interesting when the universe just kind of works that way, it kind of nudges you in a direction that’s like, hey, maybe this should go on your podcast. And hey, this has actually happening in people’s lives. So, as I mentioned, this has come up on a few of the coaching calls that I have had inside of my programs.

And before we dive into that topic, I want to just speak to some of my programs because I am finding out that many of you don’t know that I have a few different coaching programs where I can help you solve this drinking issue. And as many of you know, I am a firm believer that this is a very difficult issue to overcome on your own. Overdrinking is a serious issue. I know our society likes to just brush it under the rug.

I have talked about that in an earlier podcast is that we think, it’s just a little bit more alcohol. But just think of how it’s so normalized in our society, and overdrinking does cause significant harm to the body. So, if you can solve this, why wouldn’t you? So, there are a number of ways you can get help. And I’m going to tell you about my coaching programs that can help you solve this overdrinking habit or issue, whatever you want to call it.

So, I have three programs, I recently brought back one of my very popular programs from the past called How to Get Your Off Button Back. And in this program you will find it’s self-guided and self-directed. It’s an online course with the videos as well as the worksheets, and it reviews the five pillars that you will need to learn in order to be able to stop after having a drink or two. So, it’s getting that off button back. Meaning that you can learn to stop drinking after a drink or two.

So, in this program you learn those tools and skills to get your off button back. It’s five pillars in this program that I teach you on how to do just that. So, it’s self-guided, self-directed, you can do it from anywhere you get internet access to watch the videos and the content.

Now my other two programs is where you get coaching with me. So, I know I have referred to these programs in the past on the podcast, but I really haven’t dove into actually what they’re about. So, Epic You is my latest program where we focus on all areas of your life. Right now the program has 15 or 16 different courses in it aimed at a different focus area. So, one is self-confidence, another area’s how to lose weight. Another area we focus on is how to set effective boundaries, how to have pleasure and joy back into your life, how to enjoy being yourself.

So, all of these are courses within Epic You. And there’s many others and I am continually adding courses. When you join Epic You there is also a private Epic You Facebook page which you would get access to. And in there I do Facebook Lives, we do coaching, and it’s a community of successful women wanting to achieve more in their life. They’re wanting to live as their most epic self to get their most epic life. So, it’s living as that best version of yourself.

Inside Epic You I have also added the How to Get Your Off Button Back program as well. So, you can buy that as a standalone product, or you can join Epic You and get coaching on those modules as well. So, there are coaching calls with Epic You as we go through the month and as we’re growing together. And I just love the discussions that we have in there. It’s all about improving our parenting, bettering our relationships with our spouses, or it could be based on the topic of the month.

And right now in March we’re talking about how to manage anxiety, which is coming up for a lot of people, including myself. Epic You is a monthly membership program so you get to decide how long you want to stay. And I know many of the members have been with me since its inception. And it’s just so fun to watch us all grow together. There is a social bond inside of the group that I just adore.

And then finally, my third program is my signature program Drink Less Lifestyle. This was my very first program which I’ve grown over the years. And I’ve just made it better and better. So inside Drink Less Lifestyle there’s a whole host of things. There you’ll get access to all these modules and this online course library with the necessary skills that you need for any issue that you have around drinking. The tools and the skills go far beyond anything I can cover in this podcast.

And I teach you how to stay in your power, how to stay in your control around alcohol. And how to manage all the other things that come up with the drinking. Whether it’s a slipup, whether it’s what to say at a party, whether it’s how to plan for an upcoming event or a vacation. And there are tools in there to help you manage and guide you through all of that. We do group calls and we do individual calls each month and you can text me for support, you can voicemail me for support should and when you need it. We cover it all.

And currently when you join Drink Less Lifestyle you get free access to everything inside Epic You, including all the calls you’re welcome to come to. I offer all of this so you can get the transformation that you want and become that woman who can take it or leave it. Okay so those are the three ways you can work with me as your coach.

So now I want to circle back to topic for today which has come up as I mentioned on our calls recently. And that is, but I drink for the taste. And as I’ve said, this has come up quite a bit. It’s come up in the past, but it’s also come up just recently as well where we just think, but the reason I drink is I just like the taste of alcohol. I just like the way it tastes. And let me just start off by saying, yes, I agree with you. I believe you a 100%. I too enjoy the taste of alcohol. And here’s what I would say to that, if you are an over-drinker, I do hope you enjoy the taste of alcohol.

Wouldn’t that be a little crazy if we actually didn’t enjoy the taste of it and we kept doing it anyway. There are some people out there that really don’t enjoy the taste of it but do it anyway. So, if you’re going to be drinking something that’s poisoning your mind, your brain and your body, I would sure hope that it pleased at least your tastebuds.

And then some people will say, “Well, I hope it didn’t please my tastebuds because then it would be easy to give up.” And I want to tell you that I’ve heard from women, “I have hated it for a long time but I still keep doing it and I don’t know why.” And I also want to remind a lot of us of our younger self. I don’t know about your younger self, but my younger self would certainly drink alcohol that it didn’t enjoy.

I remember my days of Boone’s Farm, and Mad Dog, and all these other cheap ill tasting forms of alcohol that I just slugged down and thought, yeah, this is what you do when you go to a party. And this is what you do when you go to a frat party. And this is how you get through college. And this is what’s required and what everybody else is doing so I’m just going to join in. So, no shame there. We have all probably in our past have drank alcohol and didn’t like the taste.

So, my guess is, if you’re a drinker you’ve done that before, so no shame. But now that we’re older and perhaps wiser, we probably do like the taste of our adult beverage. And as I mentioned, again, if you don’t there is definitely something else going on and that is a different topic for a different day on a different podcast.

And it always is surprising to me when people tell me, “Well, I’m just going to switch to a type of alcohol that I don’t like so I drink less or I drink slower.” And just think about how that really sounds. Because now you’re drinking something you actually don’t like. Maybe you’ve switched from wine to beer. That’s a common one I hear a lot. And you think it’s going to help while you’re still putting alcohol in your system. It’s really not teaching you any skills and tools that you need to stop overdrinking.

You’re just switching to a different substance thinking that that’s going to be the answer. And what I find is it never is. It never was for me. And I know many, many people have tried that route and it really isn’t the way that they’ve learned to cut back or abstain altogether. It’s not really teaching you a different relationship with alcohol. And it’s not teaching you to change your desire for the actual alcohol that you do enjoy.

So, think about that, you are going to drink something you don’t enjoy while deep down you’re pining and desiring the alcohol you don’t get to enjoy. And you’re not learning to change that relationship or do anything about that desire for that type of alcohol. What you’re doing is only depriving yourself by having something that you really don’t want. It sounds like torture. And it’s very damaging because you’re not learning a new skill. You’re not learning new tools. You’re not learning how to be without alcohol.

And I’d argue it makes you more unhappy and more miserable because you’re really not still living the life that you want to be living. So that approach is what I say goes into the bucket called, that makes no sense. Because I really truly don’t see an upside to trying that if you’re not going to get sustained results.

So now let’s look at when you are drinking for the taste, great. I drink for the taste, great. But if you’re drinking for the taste I would argue that you should be satisfied after a glass, a glass and a half. It’s like if somebody was to say, “I can really use a lemonade or an iced tea, I’m thirsty for that or I want that.” And let me get to the point of thirst, we’ll come back to that in a minute. You would have just one, and not go and crave more, and more, and more. You would be satisfied with one. So then why is it that you keep drinking and then overdrinking?

And here’s what I find really interesting is that most people can’t report out what drink number three and what drink number four tastes like, they have no idea. Do you know why? Because they stopped tasting the drink by that point. There are a number of reasons why we can’t even recall the taste of drink three and drink four. We’re not paying attention to our drinks at that point. That’s one reason. Another reason is alcohol is an anesthetic, it numbs, its numbed some of your tastebuds, it’s numbed the connection to your brain on how does this taste.

You’re not really drinking for the taste beyond the first glass. Now you’ve entered into what I call, let’s keep the buzz going land. And that’s the land of I’m drinking for the effect, not for the taste. Because here’s the thing, if they ran out of your favorite beverage that you started with drinking, I bet you would go, “That’s fine. Just switch to something like it.” And the taste could be dramatically different but you wouldn’t even know because you’re not paying attention and you’re not doing it for the taste anyway. You’re doing it for the effect.

Now it’s interesting when this comes up. So, as I’m coaching my clients and as I do free consult calls as well, a lot of women will start telling me why they are drinking. And the two most common reasons I hear from women all the time on why they drink it’s, “It’s the way I let loose and have fun.” The other reason, “It’s just to take the pressure off. To take that edge off, just to let down. I just feel like I have all this responsibility, all this pressure and I just want to relax.”

So those are the two reasons that come up the most. Now as they keep going on and talking about why they like alcohol or why they drink, we go further and further into their stories, go further and further. And then it comes to, “And I just like the taste of it.” And that’s usually where they end. And then I hear, “That’s kind of bad, isn’t it?” And it’s not bad. It’s not bad to like the taste of alcohol. I don’t think it’s bad. But what I want you to notice is that’s not the first thing that you started off with your story.

Most women don’t start with, “Why do I drink? I just love the taste.” That’s not where most women start. Yes, that could be part of the story, that’s not the leading reason. And the leading reasons as I’ve already mentioned, relief from the pressure, let your hair down, have fun, let loose. Taste doesn’t rank very high. It’s in the list but it’s not the highest rank factor.

And here’s something else to consider, if you really liked just the taste of that one varietal of wine, or that one special cocktail, or that one drink, or type of beer. That’s the one you’re going to hold out for and probably other substitutes are going to be like, it’s not that exciting. But how many of us pass on the other substances? We’re just like, “Oh no, you don’t have that, or you’re out of that. Great, I’ll just change to this.”

And just ask yourself why you’re doing that? Is it really for the taste, or is it more for the effect? And I think it’s because it’s the latter. It’s really for the effect that you want, to let the hair down, to feel less pressure. And that’s why we’re so quick to substitute, it’s like, yeah, then just let’s switch to this or let’s do that.

I want to tell you a crazy story. So, a couple of months ago we were going out with some friends for dinner. But before I get there, let me tell you part of that story and why it’s kind of funny. So, before that dinner with friends, I go out and have a date night with my husband and I order a Cosmo. And we were at this place, this restaurant that we haven’t tried before, so it was new to us. It wasn’t a new restaurant, but just new to us. And so, I ordered a Cosmo. And the waiter said, “We don’t have cranberry juice.” And I was like, “That’s so interesting.”

Never heard that before. No, they don’t have cranberry juice, okay. He said, “What else can I bring you?” And I said, “I’ll just stick with water.” I just found it odd because I’ve never really encountered a place that ran out of cranberry juice. So, I just drank water for the rest of that evening. And then so let me now get to the story where we met up a week or two after that with some friends out for dinner.

And we go to this place where we commonly have gone before. We’ve all hung out there before. We’ve been to this restaurant numerous times, with them, without them. I have taken girl friends there. It’s kind of one of my go-to places. Well, this time I order a Cosmo like I have done in the past at this restaurant. And guess what the waiter said? The same thing. He’s like, “We don’t have cranberry juice at the moment.” And I was thinking, “Is there a cranberry juice shortage?

We went from toilet paper to now cranberry juice. This is so odd. It’s the second restaurant in San Diego that I’ve been to that doesn’t have cranberry juice in this short period of time. So, he goes on to tell me that he has pomegranate juice, and he can do orange juice, and he could do a vodka tonic, or a vodka soda, or whatever else I want. And I said, “No thanks, I just wanted a Cosmo, and you don’t have it. It’s fine, I’m going to stick with water.” And literally it was no big deal to me because I truly was drinking for the taste And I just wanted the taste of a Cosmo.

And so no other drink would have been satisfying for me. I didn’t want a substitute. And just think about that, I wasn’t drinking for the effect. If I was drinking for the effect then yes, any other cocktail, beverage, whatever could have done its job and could have served that need. But that’s not what I was desiring. And yes, if my goal was to let loose, take the pressure off and I didn’t know how to do that for myself. Of course, I would have turned to alcohol to rely on alcohol for that skill.

But I have developed the skill for myself of letting the pressure off so I don’t need alcohol to do that for me. And these are the skills that I’m talking about that I teach inside my program. So, if you want to learn the skill, I teach it inside of Drink Less Lifestyle because I don’t want to be co-dependent on my relationship with alcohol for any reason. Yes, I may want the taste here and there. Yes, I may want to enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail here and there. But I don’t want to become dependent on it, not like I was in the past.

And not even dependent on it for the taste because it’s not like that ruined my night. It’s not like, I’m never going back there because they ran out of cranberry juice. It’s just they didn’t have cranberry juice. Fine, I just don’t want the cocktail then. Let’s just enjoy water. So, it didn’t impact my night in terms of the quantity of it, meaning how long I stayed out. It didn’t affect the quality of it, how deep my connection time was with my friends, or how much I enjoyed the food, or the ambience. It didn’t affect any of that.

And that’s why I love that alcohol is just that irrelevant to my fun, my enjoyment, to letting the pressure off, to letting my hair down, to all of it. And here’s something else I want to circle back with when it comes to, I just like the taste. When we are looking for something to drink oftentimes do you know what our body is truly? It’s thirsty. And if your body is thirsty, if it wants something to drink, the best liquid for it is water. It’s the healthiest liquid, it’s what all your cells in your body need to survive.

And so, it’s not to say never drink alcohol, but just make sure if you’re drinking for thirst, you drink with water. You drink water because that is going to hydrate you. And here’s the thing, if you are thirsty and you drink alcohol, you will drink more of it because you will think I need a lot to hydrate myself. And the irony is, is alcohol is a diuretic. So, it can’t even hydrate you. It’s only going to dehydrate you even more.

We know that alcohol inhibits the release of a hormone called vasopressin also known as antidiuretic hormone. So, it’s going to cause a diuretic effect which is why we need to go to the bathroom so much, which is why when you overdrink you have cotton mouth the next day and you feel like you just have this super dry mouth, dry tongue. It just is yuck, because we’re dehydrated.

So, if you are going to drink, make sure you’re hydrated first. And that’s going to precent overdrinking. So, I just want you to notice when you do order an iced tea, or lemonade, or maybe even a soda. Does one just satisfy you? I don’t find many people binge on these drinks. Now you can if you’re a sugarholic, there could be a lot of sugar in sweet tea and sugar’s going to begate more sugar cravings and all of that. But I often find we don’t really overdo it with other drinks other than alcohol.

And if that’s the case, then why? Why does that get a special category? And I think it’s really because of the effect. It’s that buzz we’re after, it’s that release from pressure or whatever the reason we are truly and really drinking for.

And I think it’s really important to get to that main reason why you choose a drink each time you choose to drink, whether it’s that first drink of the night or the third drink of the night. Because that’s where your power lies. That’s the information that you need to go to work on. Because that’s where you can start developing skills to recognize how to solve the problem. Because the problem isn’t drinking, as you know drinking is the solution to some other problem going on.

And when you don’t get at the route of the problem then you have no idea how to stop. You just keep doing it and keep taking these breaks for a few days and then you’re right back at it. And sometimes to find out what really is going on we have to pull back the layers. We have to pull back the veil when our brain says, “We just like the taste.” It’s like no, I don’t really think that’s the true reason that you’re overdrinking.

Because let’s take this away from beverages, let’s look at ice-cream, cakes, cookies, desserts. I do order them from time to time. I don’t order them every single time I go out to dinner, or I don’t have it every single time I have dinner. And when I do order an ice-cream, or a cake, or a slice of cake, I order one. I don’t order two and three like we do with alcohol. Because it’s not solely about the taste with alcohol, it’s for the effect because it was truly the taste then we would stop after we got some of the taste.

So, I point this out in this podcast because I really want you to consider what the real reason is. And I find when we stop lying to ourselves, we can now be on the hunt for the truth because when we can’t recognize or even acknowledge the truth, we don’t get very far with our progress. We keep running after the wrong thing. As I mentioned, you’ll take a few days off of alcohol, you’ll go a couple of days and then boom, you’ll be right back to drinking just as much as when you left it. And to me, there’s nothing more frustrating than that.

I spent years believing that I just loved the taste of my K-J Chardonnay. I kept telling myself that, it’s just this taste, it’s so buttery, it’s so yummy, it’s so delicious, it goes down so easily. I kept saying all of that. And the funny thing to me is, I can’t even stand the taste of it now. I can’t even drink it. But I wasn’t drinking it for the taste. When I truly peeled back the layers of my own life, I was drinking it for the effect. I loved the way it made me feel. I called it my happy juice. It got me to my happy place very quickly, very effectively and very efficiently.

And as a high productivity, hyper achiever, that meant the world to me. I like fast, quick and I like results. But once I learned I was after the effect, gosh that was such a huge step forward for me. It was a huge step in breaking free of this habit I kept keeping alive, and not realizing how I was contributing to that. I wasn’t taking responsibility for it. I thought it was all the alcohol. I kept blaming the alcohol. I kept blaming the taste of the beautiful K-J Chardonnay.

So, I just want you to see in my story that honesty is always the best way forward, ladies. Alright my friends, it was so good to be with you today. If you know someone who can benefit from this podcast, please share it with them. Let’s empower all the women to their wellbeing by drinking less and with control and living as the best versions of ourself. Alright ladies, I love you all and I will see you next week.

Thanks for listening to the Drink Less Lifestyle. If you’re ready to change your relationship with alcohol, check out my free guide, How to Effectively Break the Overdrinking Habit at sherryprice.com/startnow. That’s sherryprice.com/startnow. I’ll see you next week.

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