Wine and Weight Loss
Is wine hindering your weight loss goals? For many, a moderate consumption is just fine, but for some women trying to lose weight, it may be the final step to losing those last 5 pounds. We are all aware that drinking calories in the form of wine, juice, slurpees or milkshakes is a quick and nutrition-poor way to consume calories. Many are also aware of the inhibition-loss and depressant effects of alcohol that can lead to poor dietary choices and over-eating. As a naturopathic doctor, I find alot of women are sensitive to the blood sugar effects of alcohol.
Whenever your blood sugar regulation is weakened, your metabolism will be affected. This can cause weight retention, an increase in anxiousness, and poor sleep, amongst other things. A glass of wine with supper could be contributing to your early morning wakefulness and poor depth of sleep. Weight loss is incredibly dependant on proper sleep and your body's rhythms. Alcohol can also deplete GABA, a neurotransmitter needed for adequate sleep.
In the morning after such a poor sleep, you may reach for caffeine, which further plays with your blood sugar, and your cortisol hormones, setting the blood sugar dysregulation off-track for another day. Alcohol also uses B vitamins to be processed, which can leave you tired, stressed, and struggling with poor concentration.
How can you help your blood sugar?
By avoiding high glycemic-index foods and drinks, like alcohol, even just until your body's metabolism strengthens. Ensure adequate protein, fiber and fats, and talk to your medical or naturopathic doctor to see if magnesium may be right for you. These all help smooth out your body's reaction to sugars.
How do hormones fit into this picture?
When blood sugars are dysregulated, it can worsen hormonal dysregulation, thyroid function, anxiety, and your reaction to stress. Healthy blood sugar regulation allows your body to function optimally, which means your metabolism will be at its best. Alcohol is also linked to lowered testosterone in men, so it likely has an effect in women's hormones as well.
When do I know I need help?
If you find thatweight loss has you stumped, and certainly if you relate to sleep issues, blood sugar and hypoglycemia, stress and cortisol, or hormonal complaints, despite doing everything else right, come see a naturopathic doctor for individualized and specific support.