You Could Give Your Friendly Gut Bacteria A Boost
If you’re not a big fan of yogurt or sauerkraut, you’ll be thrilled to hear that the polyphenols in your nightly glass of red wine could be doing just as much as these other fermented foods to support a healthy gut microbiome. According to a 2016 paper published in Current Opinions in Gastroenterology, the gut microbiome is an ecosystem of billions of microorganisms that resides in your large intestine. It performs a number of functions, including helping to break down food, producing certain vitamins, and protecting the body against foodborne pathogens. Everyone’s gut microbiome is unique, but for optimal health it’s important that this collection of microorganisms be large and diverse.
A 2018 paper published in Food Research International found that not only can the polyphenols in grapes and red wine have a positive influence on the number and types of beneficial bacteria in our intestines, but the microbiome can also, in turn, play a role in how much of the polyphenols we consume get absorbed. A 2012 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that the polyphenols in red wine may act as a type of “prebiotic,” essentially serving as food for our friendly bacteria.
Think About Why You Drink
Maybe your concerns center around your reasons for drinking rather than the amount. Plenty of people use alcohol to numb emotional pain or face stressful situations more easily. Its common to drink to lighten tension on a first date or before a difficult conversation.
But when its hard to face challenges without alcohol, its worth considering whether drinking prevents you from finding more helpful ways of managing emotions.
Knowing why you drink is essential, says Cyndi Turner, LCSW, LSATP, MAC, a Virginia therapist who specializes in addiction treatment and alcohol moderation.
She goes on to explain that knowing the reasons behind your alcohol use relationship stress, trouble at work, insomnia, or anything else can help you explore alternative ways to address those issues more productively.
How To Break The Habit Of Drinking Alcohol Every Evening
Learning how to break the habit of drinking alcohol every evening is possible, but it requires an understanding of how habits are formed, as well as how to eliminate them. Breaking the nightly wine habit is something I struggled with for many years. I would vow to drink only on weekends, but then at the end of the work day I would arrive home itching for a glass of wine to take the edge off. This was often followed by an internal debate between two voices in my head. Im sure you know the experience.
One voice would tell me to go ahead, have the glass of red wine, especially if there was a bottle of Pinot waiting to be uncorked. Heck, I’d tell myself, you deserve it after today. Remember the fight with your son? How about that frustrating colleague? Its just one glass and itll feel so good.
The other self would encourage me to stay strong! You dont need the wine. What about your new vow? You promised to not drink until Friday and youll feel so much better tomorrow morning knowing you resisted. More often than not, I would give in to the temptation to drink alcohol every night, well almost every night.
The most frustrating part of this exercise was that I really wanted to stop drinking wine every night, but couldnt. I had a deeply ingrained habit that compelled me to grab the bottle of wine every evening and pour a glass. Like most people, will power, alone, was never enough to break that habit.
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How Do I Stop Drinking
Overcoming an addiction to alcohol can be a long and bumpy road. At times, it may even feel impossible. But its not. If youre ready to stop drinking and willing to get the support you need, you can recover from alcoholism and alcohol abuseno matter how heavy your drinking or how powerless you feel. And you dont have to wait until you hit rock bottom you can make a change at any time. Whether you want to quit drinking altogether or cut down to healthier levels, these guidelines can help you get started on the road to recovery today.
Most people with alcohol problems do not decide to make a big change out of the blue or transform their drinking habits overnight. Recovery is usually a more gradual process. In the early stages of change, denial is a huge obstacle. Even after admitting you have a drinking problem, you may make excuses and drag your feet. Its important to acknowledge your ambivalence about stopping drinking. If youre not sure if youre ready to change or youre struggling with the decision, it can help to think about the costs and benefits of each choice.
Cutting Back Vs Quitting Alcohol Altogether
Whether or not you can successfully cut back on your drinking depends on the severity of your drinking problem. If youre an alcoholicwhich, by definition, means you arent able to control your drinkingits best to try to stop drinking entirely. But if youre not ready to take that step, or if you dont have an alcohol abuse problem but want to cut back for personal or health reasons, the following tips can help:
Set your drinking goal. Choose a limit for how much youll drink, but make sure your limit is not more than one drink a day if youre a woman, two drinks a day if youre a manand try to have some days each week when you wont drink alcohol at all. Write your drinking goal down and keep it where you will frequently see it, such as on your phone or taped to your refrigerator.
Keep a record of your drinking to help you reach your goal. For 3 to 4 weeks, write down every time you have a drink and how much you drink. Reviewing the results, you may be surprised at your weekly drinking habits.
Cut down drinking at home. Try to limit or remove alcohol from your home. Its much easier to avoid drinking if you dont keep temptations around.
Drink slower. When you drink, sip slowly and take a break of 30 minutes or one hour between drinks. Or drink soda, water, or juice between alcoholic drinks. Drinking on an empty stomach is never a good idea, so make sure you eat food when you drink.
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Your Immune System May Or May Not Take A Hit
The jury’s still out on whether your nightly glass of wine is helping or hurting your immune system. A 2015 article published in Alcohol Research noted that alcohol can have a profound and often negative effect on the immune system. These impacts on immune function can happen with both chronic alcohol use and acute episodes of binge drinking. It appears that the immune system may also play a role in how alcohol affects the liver and other body systems long-term.
Wine, however, may be a bit of a special case. Apaper published in 2000 in The Journal of Nutrition found that although alcohol reduced the number of certain immune cells circulating in the blood, the antioxidant phytochemicals in wine helped counteract the negative effects of alcohol on immune function. But a 2004 paper published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that moderate alcohol consumption had no impact on immune health. Interestingly, they noted that the polyphenols in nonalcoholic beverages, such as red grape juice or dealcoholized red wine, also had no impact on immunity.
It Can Disrupt Your Sleeping Patterns
So it’s not always rainbows and sunshine, right? Alcohol canmess with our natural circadian rhythm, aka our body’s natural clock, even in small doses. A study done on sleep and alcohol by the National Institute of Health revealed that when we drink even a moderate amount of alcohol, our bodies go through a “rebound effect.” This effect essentially is your body’s way of adjusting to the alcohol present while it’s still trying to sleep normally during the first half of your slumber. The alcohol takes about 4-5 hours to leave your system, which means that the sleep disruption you do experience during the second half of the night is the alcohol making its way out of your body.
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Helpful Hints To Stop Drinking Alcohol:
Decide whether you are cutting out or cutting down. Its important to establish your personal goal. Once youve decidedwrite it down.
1. Create a vision board or something you can focus on each day to remind you of what you want to achieve. Remember to state your goals positively not negatively, such as I want to be a controlled drinker and live a life free of addictions.
2. Dont keep too much alcohol in the house. Only buy as much as you intend to drink in one evening or the temptation to overdo it may be too strong to resist.
3. Record your intake. Get a notebook and start to become really aware of how much youre drinking together with the calorie countand cost. That should rein you in!
4. Have alcohol free days. If you have decided to cut down rather than cut out, allow at least two days of the week when you are alcohol free. Decide right at the start of the week exactly when these will be. There is an expectation pathway in the brain which ensures that what you focus on is what you get. Set your filters for the coming week to ensure success.
5. Dont binge drink at the weekend as a reward for having saved up all your alcohol units. Limited regular consumption is actually safer than irregular bingeing. Just because youre allowed one unit a day and you havent drunk for two weeks, doesnt mean can have fourteen units in one night!
What do you think? Do you drink too much or know someone who does? Is it affecting your relationship? Tell me in the comments below
You’re At Increased Risk For Liver Disease
While wine contains plant compounds that may have some real health benefits, the bottom line is that wine is still alcohol, and there’s plenty of research that indicates that even a small amount of alcohol can wreak havoc on your liver.
According to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, drinking alcohol can lead to a number of liver issues. Alcoholic hepatitis results in inflammation of the liver, which, over time, can lead to cirrhosis . Women appear to be more susceptible than men to alcohol-induced liver damage. And, because everyone’s sensitivity to alcohol is different, there’s no “one size fits all” recommendation when it comes to how much alcohol is safe to drink on a daily or weekly basis.
It’s also important to remember that the polyphenols in wine that give it its reputation as a “healthy” adult beverage are also found in many nonalcoholic options. These include cocoa powder, berries, green and black tea, nuts, and beans . In fact, ounce for ounce, many of these foods contain more polyphenols than red wine. Getting these powerful antioxidants sans alcohol is the safest bet for your liver.
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Give Up Or Gradually Reduce Your Drinking
If you want to stop drinking alcohol as part of a move towards a healthier lifestyle, cutting down on the amount of alcohol you drink as opposed to giving up alcohol completely can help bring lots of health benefits, and can be easier to stick to. Reducing the amount you drink can also be an effective stepping stone to giving up alcohol completely in the future.
Cutting down doesnt have to be complicated. If you drink every night, start by designating a couple of days a week as alcohol-free days. This can soon become habit, the personal challenge helping remove the temptation and perhaps encouraging you to add more alcohol-free days. Official alcohol unit guidance is that it is safest for both and women to not regularly drink more than 14 units a week and not to save up your units but spread them our evenly over the week.
- Our free MyDrinkaware: Track and Calculate Units app can help you track the amount youre drinking in units, calories and hard cash, and also lets you record days on which you drink nothing at all.
How Do I Stop Drinking A Bottle Of Wine Every Night
RESET YOUR BRAIN. Therapist Marisa Peer says the key to cutting down lies in breaking alcohols pleasure association. BUY SMALLER GLASSES. Almost every stylish bar now serves wine in glasses the size of astronauts helmets. TRY THE HALT TEST. NEVER HAVE TWO BOTTLES IN THE FRIDGE. HAVE DECENT ALTERNATIVES. START LATER.
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Understand The Role Of Dopamine
All of your alcohol cues trigger the release of dopamine in your brain as it begins anticipating the reward of alcohol. People often dont realise that dopamine is not just a reward chemical released after youve had a drink, it is a powerful motivating force towards your reward so it will kick in with only the thought of alcohol before youve gone anywhere near a drink. When you notice cravings, recognise dopamine is at work its just a chemical process in your brain, nothing more.
Your Risk For Dementia Will Decrease
A glass of wine each night could keep you mentally sharp well into old age. A 2004 meta-analysis published in Biological Research concluded that light to moderate drinking was associated with a lower risk in dementia and vascular dementia specifically. But wine is likely not unique among adult beverages when it comes to warding off cognitive decline the paper’s authors found “no evidence that the relation between alcohol and dementia varied by type of alcoholic beverage.” An article published in the British Medical Journal in 2018 confirmed that light to moderate drinkers appear less likely to get dementia than either nondrinkers or heavy drinkers but cautioned that most of the studies these findings are based on didn’t follow participants for very long and didn’t account for factors such as sex and ethnicity.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than six million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia. One in three seniors will die with some form of dementia, and deaths from Alzheimer’s have increased 145 percent since 2000.
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A Drink That Feels Fancy Or Fun Can Go A Long Way
Replacing an alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic drink that is special can be a big help when quitting booze, Shapiro notes.
“Choosing a signature mocktail can check many of the blocks, says Koskinen. If you use seltzer water and add a strong flavor like citrus or herbs, you get a fancy drink with bite, in a glass, that mixes well in social situations. A twist or sidecar makes it all the more celebratory.”
Koskinen also recommends kombucha, but this one requires a disclaimer: Make sure you are okay with trace amounts of alcohol .
Is It Bad To Have A Glass Of Wine Every Night
It is interesting that there are two schools of thought when it comes to drinking a glass of wine every night. Some studies have shown that there are benefits to drinking in moderation particularly when it comes to red wine. In particular, it appears to help heart health and staves off Alzheimers disease.
Yet other studies conclude that even moderate drinking can have a negative impact in particular when it comes to increasing your cancer risk. As cancer can take years to develop it can be difficult for studies to determine the negative impact of your alcohol intake until years after the fact. This article in The Guardian explains the complexities of defining the benefits or negative impact of moderate drinking.
Even if the studies are inconclusive what is known is that drinking more than one or two glasses in the evening definitely does have a detrimental impact on your health. Which is why breaking the nightly wine habit is hugely important if you are drinking more than the recommended government guidelines.
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I Downloaded The I Am Sober App
There are quite a few apps around that can help you track the number of days youve given up something, but Id say the top-rated I Am Sober is the best.
Here are a few of the things I like about it:
- You need an access code to open, so its totally private
- It sends you daily motivation quotes each morning
- It not only tracks how many days youve done but also tells you how much money youve saved, which is shocking!
- It sets regular and achievable milestones
- Theres a very lively and supportive community section
- You can track several things at once, ideal if youre planning to give up more than one vice
The Wine Mom Identity
So, millions of women are drinking wine for stress relief. And, if you are reading this article, you might be one of those women.
Next, I want to introduce you to something called The Wine Mom.
You may, or may not have heard of The Wine Mom.
A quick Google search reveals:
The Wine Mom is a middle-aged woman that drinks wine and posts about it on social media.
They post memes like:
The most expensive part of having kids is all the wine you have to drink and Wine is to moms what duct tape is to dads. It fixes everything.
And, theyll also post classy pictures of them with their glass of wine, looking all relaxed.
So now we have a highly addictive substance that people are ingraining into their online identity.
Not only are they ingraining it into their identity, but theyre also promoting it as a glamorous and positive lifestyle.
Its important to remember that social media is just a highlight-reel.
- How many Wine-Moms show you what they look like after waking up in the morning hungover?
- How many Wine-Moms are talking to you about increased levels of anxiety and depression?
- How about the amount of money being spent on wine instead of her child?
If you ask a Wine Mom why she is a Wine Mom, shell tell you all sorts of reasons. Shes busy, she works hard and shes an exhausted parent and they use wine to relax.
These arent reasons to drink wine they are excuses.
Its become ingrained into her identity and thats dangerous.
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