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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

Health Writer, Author

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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