The Truth About Weight and Wine

Many people this time of year will start a new diet or weight-loss program. Some people believe that cutting out wine altogether will assist them in achieving weight loss goals. While this may hold some truth, there are other factors involved around weight management. And you can still achieve your weight-loss goals without removing the pleasure of a good glass of wine daily.

There are a few important factors involved in any weight-loss regime: Moderation and commitment. Moderation is very important for obvious reasons. Concerning portion control, moderation allows one to make reasonable choices when consuming meals, snacks, and desserts. But moderation does not stop there. Moderation should also be considered regarding your overall beverage consumption. Just like foods, beverage choices and options are important considerations for weight-loss management. Both non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverage options should always be considered when weight management is important. Much like the Caramel-based iced coffee cream drink at your favorite coffee house, wine and other alcoholic beverages should be consumed moderately. And while moderation weighs heavily, commitment is probably a more important factor concerning weight loss. Without commitment, all else is useless. Commitment allows you to stick with a weight-loss program and see it through until you have met your goal. And once your goal has been met, commitment allows you to continue to maintain a healthy weight and transition your lifestyle to make appropriate and healthy food and beverage choices ongoing, preventing the annual January recycling of starting a new weight-loss program.

Now, back to that glass of wine…

It has been said that one glass of wine is the equivalent to a slice of cake. I am a believer that this could not be farther from the truth. While it is true that grapes contain a lot of sugar, during the fermentation process wine much of that sugar is converted to alcohol. So, unless you are consuming wines that are sweeter in style — for instance, Rieslings, Moscatos, or other higher residual sugar wines (which also tend to be lower in alcohol) — you are already avoiding higher sugars in wine. And while there most certainly are calories in wine, here is where moderation comes into play. To prove some of my beliefs, I recently went to and compared calories for a few wines to use as a point of reference. The following average daily items contain more calories than a glass of wine:
*2 large scrambles eggs with 1 tablespoon of milk and a teaspoon of butter
 *2 baked chicken wings (and let’s face it who eats just too chicken wings)
 *1 3oz. Serving of Salmon (baked, no added fat, salt or sauce)
 *1 4oz. Serving Jennie-O Lean Turkey Burger Patty

You may note that each of these few options are anything but fatty or items that anyone would consider bing-worthy foods. These are actually items that are listed on almost any healthy option weight-loss plan. So why would a glass (or 2) of wine be excluded from anyone’s weight-loss plan? After all, drinking small quantities of alcohol (up to one drink per day for women and one to two drinks per day for men) is associated with a decreased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome and early death.

So, CHEERS to a happy and healthy start to a new year!

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