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Can Drinking Wine Help You Lose Weight?

author image Krista Sheehan
Krista Sheehan is a registered nurse and professional writer. She works in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and her previous nursing experience includes geriatrics, pulmonary disorders and home health care. Her professional writing works focus mainly on the subjects of physical health, fitness, nutrition and positive lifestyle changes.
Can Drinking Wine Help You Lose Weight?
A man drinking a glass of wine while overlooking a vineyard. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Whether you enjoy it with dinner or sip a small amount before bed, a glass of red wine provides a relatively low-calorie indulgence. Although most people drink red wine for its complex taste or ability to take the edge off a stressful day, the antioxidant-filled spirit might actually benefit your health. And if that daily glass of red wine suppresses your appetite or decreases your daily calorie intake, it might even result in weight loss.

Calories In Wine

Determining the number of calories in a glass of wine is relatively simple. You’ll need to know how much wine you are drinking and the wine’s alcohol content, which is measured in a percentage. Once you have these numbers, multiply them together and then multiply by 1.6 to obtain the calorie content. For example, if you are drinking 5 oz. of red wine with an alcohol content of 10 percent, your equation will be: 10 x 5 x 1.6. This 5-oz. serving of wine has 80 calories. This calorie count is strictly for the alcohol in the wine; any flavorings added to the beverage will provide additional calories. On average, most red wined provide 80 to 120 calories per 5-oz. serving.

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Weight Loss

To successfully lose weight, your body must burn more calories than it consumes on a regular basis. The simple act of drinking wine will cause your body to burn calories. When wine is consumed, the body must produce specific enzymes to digest the alcohol. As the body produces these enzymes and digests the alcohol, calories are burned. However, this calorie-burning process does not burn enough calories to make a significant impact on weight loss.

Calorie Swap

Although drinking wine has not been directly linked to weight loss, it can indirectly lead to dropping a few pounds. Drinking wine in place of higher-calorie beverages, such as mixed drinks, soda or milkshakes, allows your body to take in fewer calories per day. If you’re trying to lose weight, enjoying a 100-calorie glass of red wine is generally a much better idea than drinking a 500-calorie white chocolate mocha frappucino. But if drinking wine fuels your appetite and encourages you to splurge on indulgent snacks, such as chocolate or cheese, your weight loss efforts could suffer.

Health Benefits

Although red wine might not play a huge role in weight loss, it can have a variety of other beneficial effects on the body. According to the MSNBC article, “Is Wine Good For You?,” one or two 5-oz. glasses of red wine per day can help raise the amount of healthy HDL cholesterol in your body. Red wine is also packed with flavanoids and reservatol, both of which act as antioxidants prevent plaque formation along artery walls. To take advantage of red wine’s heart-healthy benefits, drink only the recommended daily amount. While men can enjoy two 5-oz. glasses per day, women should stick to just one glass.

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