Can You Drink Wine And Still Lose Weight?
Alcohol can fit into a healthy weight loss diet for most people.
This might be great news if you love your glass of wine each night, wine tastings or hanging out at craft breweries on the weekend.
Though, alcohol can have some negative effects on the body and especially on weight loss.
Wine packs about 100 calories per glass and beer upwards of 300-350 calories, depending on the actual size glass or the number of glasses you drink at a time, you can potentially add hundreds of unsatisfying calories to your day.
There are some negative effects of alcohol on weight loss efforts aside from calories.
- It lowers your inhibitions, so you might end up overeating and choosing less healthy, high calorie foods on a regular basis.
- It interferes with your metabolism of fats, storing more as body fat.
- Since it's turned into sugar quickly, it causes a blood sugar spike, especially if not with a meal. This can lead to extra body fat storage and a crash later on, leading to increased appetite and cravings.
- It can increase estrogen levels (bloating, hormone imbalance).
- Overtime can increase belly fat
- It can affect your sleep (not sleeping as deep, waking up too early)
The extent you might experience these varies. Some affects, like the blood sugar spike or fat metabolism, you wouldn't necessarily be aware of.
Alcohol can have some benefits, like:
- Decreases 'bad cholesterol"
- Beer and wine are fermented beverages, so probiotics!
- Wine (specifically red) contains antioxidants/phytonutrients
Factors That Influence Alcohol's Effect On You:
- Your genetics
- How much and how fast you drink
- If you have alcohol with a meal
- The type of alcohol you drink (cocktails with sugary mixes, wine, beer..)
- How frequently you drink alcohol
You likely already know how alcohol affects you. If you're trying to lose weight, it might be beneficial to take a month off and then reintroduce it. I know, if you're used to having it often, it's a difficult thing to commit to but it could have a powerful effect on your healthy weight loss efforts.
A month free of alcohol will definitely save you calories, but will also be a reset for your body. When you add it back in, you'll really be able to tell how it effects you. Does it make you bloated, gain weight or eat more? How do you feel while your drinking, hours after and the next day?
Since the affect is often dose dependent, you might find you feel great with one glass of wine but anymore than that might not be as tolerable. Paying more attention to how you feel in the hours and days after drinking helps you learn what's best for you, which is the key to a healthy lifestyle.
Once you learn how it affects you, here are some tips to fit wine, beer and other alcoholic beverages into a healthy lifestyle.
- Always have your drinks with a meal.
- For hard liquor, try to mix it with a nutrient dense cocktail with fruits, herbs, fresh ginger, bloody Mary mix, club soda and forego the sugary mixes and sodas
- Choose organic wines when possible
- Stick to one beverage/day for ladies and two max for men.
- Stay hydrated! It's so important to drink water while having alcohol. For each sip of alcohol, take one sip of water.
- Don't have too much too fast. My best tip for this is to have half a serving at a time, and savor it. This way, you can technically have two glasses, but together they makeup one serving!
- Limit drinking to once or twice a week, to help with calorie control and other effects.
Changing your habits to healthier ones can be difficult. Oftentimes, food and alcohol habits are what helps us deal with life and get through challenging times, but also celebrate and enjoy life. Finding your happy medium, where you feel healthy, lean and happy but not deprived is the trick to healthy weight loss!