When it comes to putting on extra weight, the holiday season (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) is the most dangerous time of the year. Turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams, cakes, pies, ice cream…the list is endless! Food and nutrition experts have provided us with plenty of tips on how to avoid gaining weight from overeating during the holidays, but how does vino factor into the holiday equation? Because our team is always thinking about wine, we have dug a bit deeper into which wines to drink and how and when to drink those wines in order to keep off the holiday heavy. We’ve spoken with a variety of experts, including authorities in health, fitness, nutrition, and, of course, wine! Instead of spending endless hours at the gym or on the treadmill this holiday season, try pouring yourself a glass of wine instead!
Habit #1: Drink oak-aged wines.
Great news: our friend Madeline Puckette (@winefolly) from Wine Folly tells us that oak-aged wines may help with weight control! The details: “We did some research and asked scientist Neil Shay about his recent study showing that ellagic acid in wine helps reduce fatty liver (a leading cause of obesity and not being able to lose weight). Turns out, ellagic acid is not chemically present in 99.9% wine. However, it does transfer into wine in the form of ellagitannin from oak barrels! The longer the exposure to oak, the more ellagic acid is dissolved into wine. So basically, drinking a glass of well-oaked wine may help reduce the effect fatty-liver has on health problems (like obesity).” To learn more, head on over to www.winefolly.com. Time to break out the chardonnay!
Habit #2: Choose a low calorie wine.
Another great choice to make when attempting to keep off excess holiday weight is to drink a low calorie wine. We spoke with Dena Roché (@DenaRoché), a fashion, beauty, and lifestyle guru from Silicon Valley, California. She explained that “2015 saw the rise of several low calorie wines including SkinnyGirl (@SkinnyGirl) and Flight Song (@BrancottEstate). These wines promise a 15-20% reduction in calories. This is basically achieved by creating a wine with a lower alcohol percentage. This is done by harvesting grapes several weeks before one normally would…For people trying to drop pounds, I’d [also] recommend picking a quality wine with a lower alcohol percentage. A white wine that is 10% alcohol with have less calories than a big, bold, 17% California zin.”
Skinny Girl offers pinot noir, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, California rosé blend, California red blend, moscato, pinot grigio, California white blend, and prosecco. Flight Song (made by Brancott Estate in New Zealand) offers sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio. All of these wines weigh in at around 100 calories per serving, making them an outstanding choice for anyone looking to keep off the holiday heavy. You can learn more about Dena Roché at thetraveldiet.com.
Dena Roché is the creator of The Travel Diet, a luxury wellness travel writer, and a prolific blogger. She is also a wine aficionado and the co-founder of Wellness Travel Media. Learn more at www.thetraveldiet.com or @DenaRoché on Twitter.
Habit #3: Don’t drink wine before you eat.
More advice from Ms. Puckette and Wine Folly: try not to drink wine before meals. She shared that “drinking wine before you eat has shown to increase appetite when consumed 30 minutes before eating, so save your wine for your meal. If you love to cook and drink at the same time, try splitting your glass of wine into 2 servings of 3 ounces each. Also, having wine on a full stomach will make it so you’ll be less likely to feel the effects and more likely to absorb all of the associated calories.” Learn more at http://winefolly.com/update/drink-wine-and-stay-thin/.
Habit #4: Try to drink away from home.
To keep off those pesky holiday pounds, try to separate your wine drinking experience from home. Wine Folly explains that “humans are lazy, so if temptation isn’t close by, we are less likely to indulge. If you’re on a strict diet, remove indulgent foods and drinks from your house. By all means, you can still have a drink at night! Why not walk to a neighborhood wine bar and meet a friend?” Awesome (and creative) advice, Ms. Puckette!
Habit #5: Spend a little bit more on a bottle of wine.
More great advice from Wine Folly: spend more on your wine! Ms. Puckette explains: “In order to change our habits, we have to put value around the things we eat. If you spend a little more on your bottle of wine, it will encourage you to enjoy it over a period of several days. You can easily preserve your red or white wine in the fridge with a vacuum pump wine sealer, [and] sparkling wines will last up to four days with a champagne stopper.”
Habit #6: Know what one drink is.
According to Fox News Magazine (@foxnewsmagazine), “research shows that both men and women who drink in moderation are less likely than non-drinkers to be obese. But on the flip side, more than moderate drinking is linked to a greater risk of being overweight or obese. So, what’s moderation? For a woman, it’s no more than one ‘standard drink’ a day, or two for a man. One ‘standard drink’ is either a 1.5-ounce shot of 80 proof distilled spirits, 5 ounces of wine (a little less than a yogurt container) or a 12-ounce beer (bottle or can). Each contains about the same amount of alcohol, and will therefore raise your blood alcohol concentration fairly equally. And nope, they don’t roll over, so abstaining during the week and downing 7-14 drinks over the weekend doesn’t count as moderate drinking.” You can read this entire article at http://magazine.foxnews.com/food-wellness/6-ways-handle-alcohol-if-youre-trying-lose-weight.
Fox News Magazine is the official lifestyle magazine of FOX News, where you’ll find the latest in style, relationships, fitness, food, and décor–as well as a generous helping of pop culture and celebrity news. Visit www.magazine.foxnews.com or @foxnewsmagazine on Twitter to learn more.
Habit #7: Drink red wine.
Another excellent way to keep off the holiday pounds is to enjoy red wine. Charlotte Hilton Andersen (@CharlotteGFE) at Shape Magazine explains: “Red, red wine, you make me feel so fine–it looks like UB40 was on to something. According to a recent study by Oregon State University, people who drank a daily glass of red wine or juice made from red grapes burned more fat than they did without the drink…Who doesn’t love a reason to kick back with a glass of vino after a hard day of work? (Just make sure to stick to one small glass.)” Visit Shape Magazine on Twitter (@Shape_Magazine) or visit http://www.shape.com/weight-loss/weight-loss-strategies/9-weight-loss-tricks-youre-already-doing to learn more.
Charlotte Hilton Andersen is a health and fitness writer for Shape, Redbook, and others, fitness fiend, and author of the blot and book, The Great Fitness Experiment. Visit www.shape.com or @CharlotteGFE on Twitter.
Habit #8: Seriously, DRINK RED WINE!
Timothy Banas at LiveStrong confirms Ms. Hilton’s claims: “One gram of pure alcohol contains seven calories. A five-ounce glass of red wine usually contains a few more calories than red wine–125 calories versus 121, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. This is because red wines usually contain a bit more alcohol than white wines, though not much more. Calories can vary by brand and type of wine as well.” Learn more by visiting http://www.livestrong.com/article/272694-drinking-wine-weight-loss/.
Timothy Banas is a freelance writer who covers everything from personal finances to computer technology. Learn more by visiting www.livestrong.com or find him on LinkedIn.
Habit #9: When you indulge in wine, cut something else out of your diet.
Makes sense, right? Mr. Banas had more advice for those hoping to keep off the holiday heavy: “If you drink multiple glasses per day, you should eliminate something else from your diet to offset those calories or increase the amount of exercise you get. For instance, you could eliminate non-diet sodas or high-sugar juices from your diet to offset the wine calories.”
Habit #10: Don’t drink too late at night.
We know that we’re not supposed to eat too late at night, and it turns out the same applies to drinking. Wine Folly confirms that “alcohol behaves similar to carbohydrates in our bodies, so resist drinking too late. You will also be able to have higher quality rest if you stop all eating and drinking for the day around 8 to 8:30 PM–that is, if you go to sleep around 12 AM. Thanks again for all of the great advice, Ms. Puckette! Again, visit http://winefolly.com/update/drink-wine-and-stay-thin/ for even more great tips.