There are a ton of reasons why excessive boozing is bad for your health. And an obvious place to start when it comes to fat loss by reducing calories is to drink less alcohol.
A glass of wine or two can absolutely be part of a healthy lifestyle. But if you’re drinking every night, it’s time to schedule in some alcohol free days.
Does “moderate” drinking really affect your health?
It depends on your definition of moderate. What we do know, and what many studies have shown, is that alcohol, even in small amounts, increases your risk of a range of lifestyle related diseases including cancer and heart disease.
Too much regular alcohol consumption also makes it hard for you to implement the other Healthy Habits we recommend.
Booze makes you sleep poorly and feel ordinary
While half a bottle of wine may help you pass out at night, it disrupts your sleep later in the night. It reduces REM sleep, which will make you feel like you haven’t slept at all.
Too much booze affects your workout
You’re less inclined to spring out of bed and workout the morning after a biggish one. And as alcohol dehydrates you, it also limits your endurance and recovery.
Too much booze equals bad food choices
We all tend to make less than ideal food choices when we’ve had one or two too many. No one feels like a salad after a few drinks, and especially not when you’re hungover.
Alcohol suppresses leptin (the hunger regulating hormone), and combine this with the inhibition limiting aspects of alcohol and you’re highly likely to eat too much of the wrong thing.
How much is too much?
So why don’t we ask you to just say no alcohol?
We’re not total fun killers. And our Healthy Habits series is all about making changes you can actually stick with.
A good rule is to save drinking for the weekend, and to stick to a maximum of two drinks each time you drink.
We’re trying to broker a balance between what is ideal and what you can live with. Many, many of our clients are drinking in excess of a bottle of wine every night. We want to start with a habit that is realistic for you.
But if you’re not drinking at the moment, please, don’t take it up for us!
We find that four alcohol free days is a manageable goal for most people.
Most people want to have a drink or two on the weekend or if they’re at a function. But it’s great to get out of that habit of just cracking open a bottle as soon as you get home from work every single day.
For some people, moderation is not possible. You’ll quickly discover this if four alcohol free days is a big struggle. If this is you, consider seeking help for your drinking habit. Abstinence may be the best option.
However much you’re drinking now, cutting back is a good idea.