wine for weight loss

Wine for weight loss? Science says yes

Have you ever considered wine as part of your weight-loss diet plan? Most people think alcohol provides empty calories and works as a weight-loss saboteur. In fact, your friend who’s looking to follow a weight-loss plan will probably do her best to skip alcohol altogether, and opt for no-calorie or low-calorie beverages like lemon water or sparkling water. But, science is beginning to prove an entirely different point. Evidence shows wine can be an effective part of your weight-loss plan. Sound to good to be true? Let’s find out exactly how wine for weight loss works!

Resveratrol for weight loss

There’s a polyphenol found in red wine called resveratrol. Much research has been done on this powerful antioxidant, enthusiastically touting its health benefits. Resveratrol is known in anti-aging circles for its ability to support longevity. It also promotes cardiovascular health by preventing blood vessel decay, reducing cholesterol levels, lowering the risk of blood clots, and decreasing inflammation — a known precursor to heart disease.

But, most recently, science has shown that resveratrol also promotes healthy weight loss. It does this by converting one type of fat into another. A 2015 study explains exactly how resveratrol converts white fat to beige fat, which aids in weight loss and prevents obesity.

White fat, beige fat, and brown fat

There are three types of fat within the body: white fat, beige fat, and brown fat. White fat is what we want to lose because it can be dangerous if we have too much. Also known as adipose tissue, white fat cushions our internal organs, produces various hormones, and stores lipids. While we need it to function, we don’t need it in excess. In fact, excessive white fat can lead to more than just obesity. It’s linked to type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, and even cancer. The ideal amount of white fat in the body should be between 15% and 25% for men, and 15% to 30% for women. Much more than that becomes a veritable health concern.

There’s also brown fat, which burns the lipids stored in white fat and turns them into heat. Brown fat, also known as brown adipose tissue, is produced during sleeping hours, exercising, and even getting out in the frigid winter weather. So, take those blustery walks to lose weight when it gets cold out! While brown fat is commonly referred to as the “good fat,” it’s not the only beneficial variety.

Our body also contains beige fat. Beige fat, a more recent discovery, is produced from white fat during a bodily process called “browning.” This “browning” mechanism helps prevent obesity. Science shows that resveratrol promotes the browning process. So, beige fat is a good thing. And drinking red wine can transform white fat into beige fat due to its resveratrol content.

Is timing everything?

It goes without saying that drinking red wine for breakfast isn’t the answer. As they say, timing is everything. One study (done on bees) suggests the best time to drink wine for weight loss is at night. Many of us find ourselves snacking before bedtime. Maybe we’ve not eaten enough throughout the day, or perhaps the mindless snacking that accompanies watching a good film or reading a juicy novel is our day’s highlight. Whatever the reason may be for late-night snacking, most of us are all-too-familiar with this guilty pleasure.

Ever tried drinking a glass of red wine instead? It may curb this nocturnal noshing, promoting weight loss in the process. If drinking red wine only makes you eat more, skip it. You know your body best. But, for many of us, a late-night glass of red wine curbs the appetite, making it easier to lose weight during sleeping hours. Note: a glass of water is always more suitable on your nightstand than a bottle of Cabernet!

Not a wine drinker?

If you’re averse to drinking red wine, no worries. You can reap similar benefits from eating dark berries. Strawberries, grapes, and blueberries all contain resveratrol. If you’re sensitive to the ill effects of wine, opt for these fruits instead. They’ll give you as much resveratrol as wine, and perhaps even more. It’s possible that red wine loses some of its resveratrol content during production. You might also prefer a resveratrol supplement, which you can find in the vitamin/supplement section of your local health food store or online.

Eat whole foods with your vino

Drinking wine for weight loss is only going to happen when you also eat right and exercise daily. Eating too much sugar and leading a sedentary lifestyle will only work against you. If you expect to see weight loss from moderate red wine consumption, you must also eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water.

The French, known to drink plenty of red wine while maintaining a good figure, eschew processed foods, and you’ll want to do the same. If you have boxes of crackers, packages of potato chips, candy, pastries, or anything pre-made and pre-packaged lurking in your pantry, throw it out! There’s no room for fake food in your diet if you’re hoping to lose weight. Focus your efforts on nutrient-dense fruits, vegetables, proteins, and healthy fats like avocados and olive oil. Only then will this fun weight-loss strategy work.

It’s more difficult to ward off white fat accumulation as we age, which makes the prospect of red wine as a weight-loss tool all the more exciting! While these findings are no excuse to start whooping it up every night, they do show that enjoying a nightly glass of red wine, and drinking it in moderation, can help reduce excess white fat. Now, that’s something to toast to!

At Elite Physique, we believe an equal balance of nutrition, activity, rest, and confidence is the foundation for achieving a healthier you. Our personalized weight-loss programs are custom-tailored to help you meet your goals and to address the underlying factors that can make weight-loss difficult. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!

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