WINE: Friend or Foe?

WINE: Friend or Foe?

Tell me if you can picture this scene: the hard part of the day is over, you are about to have dinner, you have nowhere else to go but on the couch to wind down and enjoy a quiet evening. You worked out today, walked 3 miles, carried heavy grocery bags up and down the stairs and “ate perfectly”. You deserve a glass of wine to completely relax. One glass turns into two or three. And before you know it 3/4 the bottle is gone. 

I am all about wine. It has some health benefits, allows your body and mind to relax and tastes great with food. But do you know how it affects your body? Many of us fall prey to the habit of drinking alcohol at the end of the day and not understanding why we are not seeing results. 

Just to get it out of the way, here are the cold hard nutrition facts of red wine:
250 = Calories in 2 glasses. 375 in 3 glasses. 
5 = Grams of Sugar in 2 glasses. 10g in 1 bottle. 
8 = Grams of carbs in 2 glasses. 16g in 3 glasses. (also, most people do not pour 5oz of wine in their glass- it’s usually more like 8oz).

The real issue with having any alcohol at the end of the night is not actually the calories in it. If you are a very active, healthy individual 250 calories will not effect weight loss too strongly because your body will most likely use the sugar as energy to recover from the day. But since alcohol does not cause satiety and it has sugar, you are more likely to crave sugar or fat after consumption. That means that you will probably go for some chocolate or cheese. It may not actually be the wine that is hindering your results, it’s the aftermath of cravings.

Now that we have that out of the way, I wanted to touch on, in my opinion, the more important point. At the end of the evening, you are looking for a release. A chance to slow down, relax and feel good. A Serotonin, Dopamine overflow. Did you know that there are other ways to get that feeling?


Love and touch. Did you know that love and alcohol have nearly the same effects on the brain? Oxytocin is a hormone released from the brain during intimacy and is very similar to the feeling of alcohol. We are also touch deprived as a society. Imagine receiving love before bed instead of alcohol? What a world we would live in.

Meditation and quiet. To end your day, imagine if your body was craving quiet. Why yes it is!! The exact thing that you are looking for in wine. What if you lit some candles, put some relaxing music on and let your thoughts settle? At the end of the day, that’s what you really want, right? Just a chance to be.

Hot tea and a book. In a bed full of pillows, a hot cup of tea and a really good book sounds pretty relaxing to me. Getting lost in another world where you are not the main character. And a very subtle way to fall asleep. 

I am definitely not saying that you should not have wine some evenings. Wine is wonderful to share with people you love, to compliment a good meal, to warm you up after a long day of skiing or just on a whim. But enjoy it for the right reasons. Not using it as a bandaid when you are stressed, although I know it will happen once and a while.
If you are going to drink wine, adjust your calories and activity accordingly. If you find yourself drinking, and as a result, you are eating more and worse stuff, then you probably shouldn’t incorporate it at all. Bottom line, consistent wine at night will not help with your fat loss goals. But should not be completely off limits. Make it a treat. Be conscious.

Remember your goals :)

Andrea Rodgers

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