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Wine Before Bed Can Make You Lose Weight, Here’s Why

Wine Before Bed Can Make You Lose Weight, Here’s Why

If you have taken a glass or two of wine at bedtime in the past and felt a little guilty about it — rejoice! New research has found that this ritual might actually be good for your health — and even help you achieve your weight loss goals.

What the Studies Found

Two separate studies, one from Washington University and one from Harvard, both found a link between regular, moderate alcohol consumption and a healthy body weight.

In the study out of Harvard, scientists looked at almost 20,000 women who were of a healthy body weight for 13 years and studied them for factors like weight gain, physical activity, and alcohol consumption. Researchers concluded that “compared with non-drinkers, initially normal weight women who consumed a light to moderate amount of alcohol gained less weight and reduced their risk of obesity.”

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The Washington University study, which was performed on overweight female mice, found that the mice who were given extract of resveratrol, an active ingredient in red wine, produced more “brown” fat cells; these fat cells, as opposed to white fat cells, make it easier to lose weight and keep it off. While this is not as conclusive as a human study, it does at least indicate that resveratrol has, as the researchers noted, “beneficial anti-obesity effects.”

Scientists from both studies attribute these findings to the resveratrol in wine. This much-studied compound appears to be able to curb the appetite naturally so that fewer calories are consumed without having to suffer through hunger pains. Resveratrol also appears to be able to have a positive effect on fat cells by preventing them from storing even more fat.

The Studies in Context

These studies are part of a growing body of evidence that wine-drinking might actually be beneficial for those who are trying to shed those extra pounds. Several recent studies have linked wine or alcohol consumption to a healthier weight:

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  • The University of Denmark published a study which looked at drinking habits versus abdominal girth and found that regular drinkers tended to have the smallest waistlines.
  • A study on overweight or obese laboratory mice found that the animals given an extract from pinot noir grapes not only lost weight but had lower blood sugars than mice who did not receive this supplementation.

Other Health Benefits of Resveratrol

Resveratrol itself has also been studied on its own in order to understand its benefits better, and apart from helping with weight loss, there are many other good reasons to make sure you are getting enough of it in your diet. For one thing, it appears to be cardio-protective, meaning that it helps reduce your risk of developing heart disease. This is because it can lower both high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, which are major risk factors for heart conditions.

It also increases the sensitivity of your cells to insulin and prevents or treats insulin resistance, which not only makes it easier to lose weight but could lower your risk of diabetes as well.

Finally, several studies have shown that it can help with, prevent, or treat age-related memory loss, and the Alzheimer’s Association notes that several studies are underway to see how this compound can help improve mental function.

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A Few Things to Consider

It is important to note, however, that these health benefits, as far as we know, only apply to wine (and mostly red wine, at that) due to its high resveratrol content. This is not a license to go and drink excessively, as this beverage is both high in sugar and in calories — and is also linked to problems like liver damage if it becomes a long-term habit. It has also been shown that excessive drinking can actually raise blood pressure and blood sugar levels as well.

So what is a moderate amount? According to the Mayo Clinic, a serving of alcohol is 5 ounces of wine. A moderate amount is considered to be two drinks daily for a man and one for a woman. Also, moderate drinking is most effective when it is part of other sensible lifestyle habits, such as a healthy diet, regular exercise, and stress management.

These studies are encouraging, as they show that simple habits like regular wine consumption can be helpful for people wanting to achieve a healthy body weight. And the extra health benefits that resveratrol provides, such as better heart health and brain function, make it doubly attractive.  So — within reason — drink up!  These regular glasses of wine can make the challenge of weight loss easier to overcome.

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Featured photo credit: Aliis Sinisalu via unsplash.com

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Brian Wu

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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