Ever feel better after a drink, but then feel worse later on and wonder what’s going on? I have been there so many times and I grew weary of that feeling which is why I decided to make a change. With many of you asking, “does alcohol affect menopause?” I want to keep talking about this topic.
Most of the time I’m alcohol free. Making that decision has given me so much more confidence and I feel better than ever. I never say I’m never drinking again. Instead I mindfully make my choices from a place of knowing that alcohol doesn’t bring me any benefits.
Why I gave up alcohol
Drinking alcohol was never about the taste for me. It was more about taking the edge off. The more I learned about the effects of alcohol on my body though, the more I questioned whether it was worth it. I started asking myself if I could find other ways to take the edge off without such negative consequences.
What really got me at first was learning that I was going to quit burning fat if I kept drinking! I was working so hard to burn that fat but realizing the alcohol was halting my progress didn’t really add up to me.
I also recognized that whenever I drank, I had terrible sleep. There’s a misconception that alcohol will help us sleep but the reality is, although we may be sleeping it’s not true restorative sleep. And going through menopause was giving me enough sleep issues as it was, I didn’t need alcohol to make matters worse!
As a coach for women in the perimenopause and menopause journey, sharing what I continue learning about the relationship between alcohol and menopause is a conversation I want to continue having.
How does alcohol affect menopause and the benefits of going alcohol free
As you age, your body becomes more sensitive to the effects of alcohol and because it takes anywhere from seven to ten days to get alcohol (and the effects of alcohol) out of your body it can have major downsides.
Sleep is the first thing that comes to mind. Even having just one drink can disrupt that quality restorative REM sleep. Sleep disturbance is already something many women experience in menopause, why add something in that will increase poor sleep quality?
Alcohol and menopause weight gain is another issue. When your body is burning and detoxifying alcohol, it stops burning fat because it cannot do both. Your body is designed to get rid of the toxin first and foremost. With the challenges we women have losing weight in midlife and beyond, adding alcohol to our diet isn’t doing us any favors!
When you stop drinking the weight won’t necessarily fall off immediately because your sugar cravings will probably go up. Once you learn to navigate those cravings with different behaviors you’ll be helping your body drop those last few pounds you’ve been working to let go of.
Finally going alcohol free will help your skin look better. Since alcohol causes inflammation in your joints and body, making the choice to leave alcohol behind will help decrease inflammation from your body.
The more I learned about the negative effects of alcohol on my body, the more I had to evaluate if it truly was worth it.
Helpful resources to get started going alcohol free
Everyone has to make the decision that is best for themselves regarding alcohol. For me, going alcohol free 99% of the time has been so helpful. I’ve learned that putting my non-alcoholic drinks in a pretty glass makes it feel like a treat while knowing I’m doing something good for my body.
When you start with mindset and truly understand what’s going on chemically in your body when you drink, you can start to be motivated to get to the benefits of being alcohol free versus just trying to avoid alcohol through discipline and willpower.
I know that when I’m sober-minded, aware, alert, awake, and present in my own life I have access to the parts of me that can stay aligned with the good intentions I had for myself in the morning.
I can’t have the conversation about going alcohol free without mentioning my good friend, Jenn aka the Sober Sis. She has taught me so much and has some amazing resources to get started on your journey towards being alcohol free. Her 21 day reset is a great place to start. You’ll have connections and conversations with others and learn to listen to your body versus trying to just quit drinking.
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