Diet | Total Shape

Is Wine Fattening? or Is It Actually Good for Weight Loss?

Drink Wine, Lose Weight (Could It Be True?!)
Isaac Robertson
Written by Isaac Robertson

Usually if a diet claim sounds too good to be true, it is. When it comes to wine, though, the story’s a little different.

Many types of alcohol hurt your health in all sorts of ways – ravaging your kidneys and liver, increasing chances of developing certain cancers, shortening your lifespan – but wine, in moderation, has some pretty remarkable benefits.

What The 2 Studies Showed...

For decades, grandparents and even doctors and researchers have made some wild claims about wine and its health benefits: it lowers the risk of heart disease, it may have anticancer properties, and it can even increase your sex drive.

As it turns out, a lot of these claims have proof to back them up, even though researchers still need more time and studies to prove it beyond a doubt.  

Woman measuring her waist

So naturally, when we heard that wine could help a person shed excess pounds, our ears perked up.

Study 1: Wine and weight loss

The claim that wine will help you shed unwanted pounds comes from a 2015 study at Washington State University. According to the study, berries and grapes convert excess white fat into calorie-burning fat thanks to a polyphenol called reservatrol.

Animal scientists found that reservatrol literally increased gene expression to enhance oxidation of fats, helping the body burn fat instead of store it. This process helps prevent obesity and even keeps your metabolism in check. Reservatrol is in wine.

What’s more?

Study 2: Drinking wine before bed

wine before bed time

Another study found that drinking wine just before bed could help curb your appetite and in that sense help you lose weight by lowering your late-night caloric intake.

Here’s the problem: the study looked at bees’ eating habits, not humans’. 

The problems with the notion that wine could help you shed pounds don’t end there, though. We hate to say it, but we’ve got some bad news for you.

 It’s true that the WSU study shows reservatrol and polyphenols in general seem to aid in weight loss.

If you want a lot of them, though, you’re better off eating whole fruits like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, grapes, and apples than drinking wine.Many of the polyphenols that have been linked to weight maintenance and loss are actually filtered out during production.

We know that fermented foods can be great for us, and fermentation is a part of the wine-making process. It might not be on par with kimchi or sauerkraut, but still...

does wine make you fat?

The short answer: No.

If you were looking for another excuse to drink more of this alcoholic beverage, slimming down isn’t one of them. One serving of beer has about 150 calories, wine too. While liquors like vodka and whiskey have 100.

Chances are, you won’t stop at one glass, and liquid calories can be real diet-killers. But a glass of milk has a fair amount of calories, too, so pick your battles, right?

woman drinking in a wine glass

Then again, though, a lot of studies show that this drink in moderation is good for your heart health. The potential for anticancer properties and upping your libido isn’t so bad, either. So go ahead – have a glass or two. Just don’t expect it to help you slim down.

Are you a regular wine drinker or a total teetotaler? What’s your opinion when it comes to wine and losing weight?

​Truth be told, from what we can tell, wine doesn’t have any more impact on the waistline than any other alcoholic drink. In fact, red wine might actually be recommended for beating back the belly fat.

​Emily Bell, Vine Pair

WHY PEOPLE GET FAT FROM ALCOHOL

Well, you don’t have to be a researcher to notice that people who enjoy their drink tend to be heavier and have health issues.

But why is that? There are actually quite a few reasons including:

  • A glass of red wine or beer is around 150 calories. The calorie content of mixed cocktails about 300.
  • Alcohol breaks down into acetate, which the body prioritizes in the fuel food chain. Meaning it ignores the calories you eat at lunch. They then turn into fat and join the growing spare tire.
  • Even moderate drinking stops the lipid oxidation process making it even tougher than normal for the body to burn fat and calories.
  • Middle-aged and older women in particular suffer a more pronounced slowdown in metabolism than men, allowing body fat to accumulate easier.

Why does drinking make you hungry?

People have long claimed that alcohol consumption makes them hungry and it’s eating extra calories, not drinking, that’s responsible for their weight gain.

Well, now there’s proof that they may be at least partly right.

A recent British study concluded that alcohol stimulates the part of the brain that controls food cravings.

 So the next time you have a few and feel the need violate your diet you’ll know it’s the alcohol that’s undermining your ability to lose weight.

HOW TO MAINTAIN HEALTH WHILE DRINKING WINE

girl drinking wine

Most every diet asks you to eliminate consumption of drinks like beer, white wine and red wine and drink water. Nothing against water but the fact is losing fat and maintaining health doesn’t have to mean giving up wine.

Here are 4 ways both men and women of any age can stay healthy while drinking wine.

  • For good health don’t drink wine before eating - As we’ve already seen drinking alcohol can increase your appetite. So rule 1 is not to drink a glass of wine before meals every day. Also, drink dry red wine. It’s higher in antioxidants.
  • Use wine as a reward - You want your metabolism to be up when you drink wine so that it can process calories quickly and you don’t gain weight. So go for a walk during the day to elevate your metabolism and then have your red wine as a reward.
  • Don’t drink right before bed - Do you know how the Sumo wrestlers get so fat? They eat lots of calories then go to sleep. This maximizes weight gain. If you drink wine before bed you’re living the sumo lifestyle. So will wine make you fat? If you drink right before bed it just might.
  • Buy more expensive wine - This has nothing to do with eating food in the morning or counting calories but you’ll find it works. If you buy more expensive red wine you’ll be naturally inclined to drink it slower, over a longer period of time.

Studies have also shown that drinking red wine can actually improve health by stabilizing blood sugar. So take the above tips to heart and enjoy your wine while staying healthy.

About the author

Isaac Robertson

Isaac Robertson

I’m a personal fitness trainer and nutritionist living in sunny Indianapolis, IN. I’ve spent the last 8 years staying at the forefront of the health and fitness industry. In that time, I’ve helped hundreds of people shed the excess weight and get into shape, maintaining their healthy new lifestyle through proper training and eating habits. You can read more about me here​.

  • I think those who believe that wine causes weight gain (and not weight loss) are those who drink too much of it. Just a glass of wine wouldn’t hurt I guess.

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