Most weight loss experts agree that alcohol can make you fat. However, in March 2010, a study emerged which found that people who drink a moderate amount of red wine tended to be thinner than those who didn’t drink at all. In particular, red wine was found to be the most beneficial.
So, who has it right? Does red wine make you fat or is it, in fact, a way to accelerate weight loss?
Red wine has a good reputation as having multiple health benefits. It is considered to be the reason why the French are thinner than many other people’s, it is a rich source of antioxidants, it may reduce risk of blood clots, and has been favorably linked to a reduction in risk of certain heart disease. There’s even a red wine diet book which praises the many virtues of this kind of wine.
On the other hand, alcohol is considered the ultimate no-no of the weight loss industry. Not only is alcohol calorie rich, containin 7 calories per gram, but it also has a delaying effect on fat burning. Alcohol calories take precedence over other calories in the body and so they are processed first while other calories, those from fat included, need to wait.
If this is so, how can one explain the results of the study that indicated that wine drinking people were thinner than those who did not drink?
The truth is that no one really knows. Even the researchers who conducted the research are unsure of why the results are as they are. One theory is that a person who regularly drinks a moderate amount of wine develops a unique way to process the alcohol calories he or she consumes. These calories may be processed directly into heat and not converted and stored as fat.
There may be other explanations as a difference in the diet and/or exercise habits of the people who underwent the study. As long as their consumption of alcohol was minor, their other habits may have compensated for the extra calories that they consumed through the wine.
Moderate wine drinkers may also be people who are more social and may do most of their drinking in company. These people are likely to be more active in their habits, spending more time out of their homes, traveling, and so on.
Drinking red wine may also serve as a substitute for other, even worse eating habits. No one checked the connection between wine drinking and eating junk food. The two rarely go together. It may be that wine drinkers tend to have better and healthier eating habits. However, this is still theory.
It should also be pointed out that the study should that only moderate drinking was connected to being slimmer. One or two glasses of wine each day was the maximum you should consume. Any more and you will have gained weight.
Other studies and experts are still adamant about the fact that wine can make you fat. It’s simply a matter of calories in versus calories out.
Types of alcohol
I believe that drinking red wine can make you fat. However, like high quality dark chocolate, it also has many health benefits as I’ve outlined earlier in this article. Due to those benefits, I don’t see the harm in drinking a single glass of red wine on ocassion. However, I wouldn’t go for more than one glass on any given day, and I wouldn’t drink before a workout as alcohol can make you feel tired.
In addition, if you’re going to be drinking alcohol anyway, at a party or a bar, red wine is probably your best choice. Not only does it have all those health benefits, it also contains a lot less sugar than most cocktails which are devoid of any healthy nutrients whatsoever. I also believe that drinking red wine is better for you than Vodka, Gin, and other straight alcoholic beverages. I do feel that beer is also safe as long as it’s drunk in moderation but most people tend to drink more than a single bottle or can of beer so the calorie consumption it presents may be massive.
This one study notwithstanding, I still believe that red wine can make you fat. However, it is unlikely to prove decisive if you lead a healthy lifestyle, exercise regularly, and drink in moderation. But, if you need to lose weight fast for a specific event, I’d still go without any alcohol. Your weight loss will likely be faster.