When you look at calories to eliminate so you can lose weight, one of the first places to go is alcoholic beverages. Extra drinks can translate into added pounds pretty fast, but there is more to consider if you beverage of choice is wine. Wine is lower in calories than most beer and mixed cocktails. In addition, some studies indicate that drinking alcoholic beverages may actually help you lose weight.
A study conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston of nearly 20,000 women showed that women who did not drink alcohol gained more weight over time than those who did. The research, which was published in the “Archives of Internal Medicine,” refutes previously claims that wine or other alcohol beverages cause weight gain. The authors reason that the alcohol may be processed by the liver as heat instead of fat, which is not the way it processes food and other substances.
According to CBS News correspondent Jennifer Ashton, one reason for the weight stability of women who drink alcoholic beverages like wine is that they may be substituting high-carbohydrate foods for the drink. She expanded this to compare someone who has a drink at night instead of a chocolate bar as their way of unwinding. In addition, wine can impair your judgment and you may be more likely to indulge in high calorie treats after drinking wine than you would if you weren’t imbibing.
Even if the wine doesn’t directly keep you from losing weight, consider the effect it has on how much you eat. Consistently binging on a couple of glasses of wine can increase your appetite, causing you to eat more without realizing it, says a study by the University College of London. Look at the food choices you make when you are drinking to decide if you should cut out wine to lose weight.
Pay attention to how your body reacts with wine. For every glass of wine you drink, you are adding approximately 125 calories to your daily intake. If you do that once a day, it may not make a difference in your goal to lose weight. If you have a few glasses of wine each day and are looking to cut out calories from your day, it may make sense to skip the vino and water-which has no calories–instead.
Regardless of whether drinking wine can help you lose or gain weight, moderation is the key. Dr. Ashton noted that high consumption of alcohol has been linked to problems in the brain and liver. It has also been associated with cancer and can encourage heart disease. Limit your wine consumption and make your doctor aware of any drinking of alcohol that you do.