Red wine is good for a lot of things. It’s got antioxidants that combat free radicals and provides the perfect pairing for your favorite chocolate treat. But can it help you lose weight?
There’s some evidence that drinking wine in moderation might support a healthy weight, but it’s not a sure thing. And getting too much vino can actually be bad for your health. Here’s what the science says about red wine and weight loss.
Red wine has properties that might promote weight loss. Here’s the DL.
Do you experience alcohol use disorder?
You shouldn’t drink red wine — or any type of alcohol — to lose weight if you experience addiction.
In the U.S. about 17 million adults have an alcohol use disorder (AUD). If alcohol is affecting your life, remember you’re not alone ❤️. There are tons of amazing resources that can help.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has fab resources on their website, including an Alcohol Treatment Toolkit. You can also reach out to your doctor or a mental health specialist for ways to manage.
Red wine contains natural levels of the antioxidant compound resveratrol. Studies suggest it has anti-inflammatory and anti-tumorigenic properties, and might help your heart health. But could it also help you maintain a healthy weight?
In 2010, a 13-year study of almost 20,000 middle-aged women points to yes. The participants who drank 2 glasses of red wine a day were 27 percent less likely to become overweight or obese than those who didn’t.
Boosting your workout is another way resveratrol might help you maintain a healthy weight. A 2012 study found that resveratrol contributed to better exercise performance in rats. Their cardiac function, metabolism, and skeletal muscle force also increased over the course of the study.
Keep in mind, though, that more research is needed to prove how much resveratrol is truly related to weight loss. One 2017 study on folks with type 2 diabetes found that drinking red wine didn’t lead to weight gain, but it also didn’t help with weight loss.
Where else can I get resveratrol?
Grapes aren’t the only resveratrol game in town. It can be found in:
Resveratrol also comes in supplement form. Just be sure to talk with your doc before adding a new supplement to your diet.
Red wine might elevate your levels of the appetite-regulating hormone leptin. But it doesn’t seem to work for everyone.
One study had participants drink 1 glass (150 ml) of red wine every day for 3 weeks. Female participants had an increase in leptin, but males did not.
In an older trial from 1997, a group of 14 men drank 2 glasses of wine a night. After 6 weeks, their weights didn’t change.
Before you go full wino, there are some things to consider. Here are some tips to make the most out of your wine sesh.
Moderation is key, fam. Heavy drinking on the reg can lead to:
- weight gain
- memory loss
- high blood pressure
- depressive disorders
- bleeding in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract
- liver disease (e.g. fatty liver or liver inflammation)
- cancers of the breast, mouth, and throat, esophagus, colon, rectum, and liver
FYI: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines heavy drinking as more than 15 drinks a week for men or 8 drinks a week for women.
Does brand matter?
If you can’t tell the difference from one wine to the next, that’s OK! When it comes to wine’s health perks, taste doesn’t really matter. What counts is the fermentation process, age, and type of grape.
Some wine varieties have more health value than others. Which one’s the best? The research points to Pinot. Pinot Noir and St. Laurent have the highest levels of resveratrol out of all the red wines.
P.S. You don’t have to shell out the big bucks for every bottle. You can get a top-notch vino for under $10.
Does it have to be red wine?
Red and white wine can both be a good time. But red wine is prob the healthier choice. While white wine has some healthy plant compounds, it’s less beneficial than red wine because of the way it’s made.
Red wine is fermented with the grape seeds, skins, and stems — white wine isn’t.
Grape skins help give your glass that that red, red wine color you know and love. They’re also why red wine has more tannins and resveratrol than white wine. In fact, red wine can have 10 times more resveratrol than white varieties. Wowza!
Nonalcoholic alternative: Grape juice
Some studies have tried to determine if red wine works better for weight loss than its nonalcoholic cousin, grape juice.
In one study, researchers assigned participants a 1,500-calorie-a-day diet. Some of the participants got a daily glass of white wine while others got grape juice. After 3 months there wasn’t a major difference in weight loss between either group.
That means grape juice could be a great substitute if you’d rather skip the sauce or if drinking alcohol isn’t an option for you.
It’s got to be wine o’clock somewhere, right? There isn’t any research showing a certain time of day is the best for drinking wine for weight loss. But it’s best to not drink on an empty stomach. Studies show alcohol’s positive effects are best paired with a meal.
Drinking with no nom noms in your system can make you feel drunk faster and it also increases your risk of a gnarly hangover.
Too much of a wine-y thing can increase health risks, and excess drinking can lead to weight gain. Your body burns booze before fat or carbs for energy. As a result, these other nutrients can get stored as fat.
On average, here’s what’s in a single glass, or 180 grams (g) of wine:
|Red wine||White wine|
|Carbs||4.7 g||4.68 g|
|Sugars||1.12 g||1.73 g|
|Iron||0.828 mg||0.486 mg|
|Calcium||14.4 mg||16.2 mg|
|Magnesium||21.6 mg||18 mg|
|Phosphorus||41.4 mg||32.5 mg|
|Potassium||229 mg||128 mg|
|Sodium||7.2 mg||9 mg|
Deciding to drink red wine isn’t a weight management strategy. There are other ways to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking water can bump up your metabolism by 24 to 30 percent over a period of 1 to 1.5 hours. Bonus: It also helps keep your organs happy.
- Cut back on refined sugar. Sweet stuff is a risk factor for obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
- Use smaller plates. It might sound silly but eating off smaller plates can trick you into feeling full faster.
- Practice intuitive or mindful eating. It helps you listen to your body’s hunger cues.
Some research suggests a serving of red wine a day might help you lose or maintain weight. But it’s no substitute for building healthy habits. Drinking a daily glass of red wine alone won’t matter much if you don’t follow a healthy, balanced diet.
Keep in mind that drinking too much wine can increase your risk of serious health issues. You also shouldn’t drink alcohol to lose weight if you experience addiction.