Ever wonder how it would be like to choose cabernet over cardio? There’s nothing like a good bottle of wine. Wine can take the place of a therapist, cravings for something sweet, or even Friday night plans. Another wonderful thing to add to the magical list of wine is that. According to studies, it can now replace your cardio workout. According to a popular study from Harvard in 2011, healthy women who drank a glass of wine on a regular basis had a 70% reduced chance of gaining weight in a span of 13 years, compared to women who don’t drink it. The study included almost 20,000 women.
You’re probably familiar with the compound present in red wine that makes it beneficial to one’s health. Resveratrol, a kind of polyphenol that is present in grape skin, is a powerful antioxidant. It mobilizes fat in the body and decreases the accumulation of triglycerides in blood vessels, in both humans and mice. Researchers have also found that in animals, resveratrol can also turn white fat into beige fat, a form of fat that is easier for the body to burn off. Apart from these, resveratrol can also suppress one’s appetite and protect the skin from free radical damage.
While these findings are definitely groundbreaking, one problem is that most of the studies conducted only involve animal subjects. In addition, it’s not feasible to get the recommended dose to achieve the therapeutic effects of the polyphenol just by drinking wine, based on research from Germany. To be able to get optimal results, it is advisable to take a supplement instead with the appropriate dosage. This might make you to give up on red wine altogether, however, red wine still has a lot to offer as well.
According to Chris Lockwood, Ph.D., C.S.C.S, president of R&D Firm Lockwood, LLC, and Performance Nutrition Consulting, drinking red wine helps the body with the fat-burning process in several ways.
How Can Red Wine Help You Lose Weight?
To begin with, drinking alcohol in moderate amounts promotes blood flow in the body. This means that more nutrients, including oxygen, are being transported into the cells. According to Lockwood, oxygen is a major key involved in the burning of fat.
Drinking a glass of red wine also causes levels of two hormones in the body to increase, specifically, free testosterone and adiponectin. These two hormones are involved in the building of muscle and burning of fat, which also causes a decrease in estrogen. Estrogen makes your body retain fat, and a hormone called serum hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) that stops free testosterone from affecting the receptors.
Together, this causes a more anabolic environment that increases one’s metabolism while releasing stored fats in the body too. The process does sound quite amazing but there’s a catch too. There’s a limit to alcohol intake that goes from being harmless, to beneficial, to troublesome. All the benefits noted above are only applicable to light to moderate wine drinking, which is equal to the occasional glass of wine. What happens to the body then when you get to that second or third glass of wine?
How Red Wine Affects the Body-
Lockwood said that in general, acute inflammatory stress results in the production of hormones that have a critical role in burning fat. Some of the things that are included in this category include the occasional one to two glasses of wine as well as exercise. However, if left unmonitored, elevated and chronic inflammatory stress can have negative effects. For example, if you consume too much alcohol, the body will try to respond to the stress by storing more calories because the cells are exerting too much effort in order to accommodate the additional stress than what it is normally used to.
Apart from this effect, drinking more than a moderate amount of alcohol on a consistent basis also cancels out the positive changes to the body and upsets the communication among the systems. Based on research conducted by Rutgers University, this results in hormonal imbalance as well as undue stress on the body systems. Lockwood also shared that if you are fond of eating fruits and vegetables already, drinking a glass of wine probably won’t help much when it comes to burning fat in the body.
This is mainly because the body already gets the antioxidants it needs, which means the hormones are also well-balanced. Simply put, the benefits of drinking red wine would only potentially apply to individuals who may not have proper diets. Alcohol may also inhibit on of the most effective tools when it comes to losing weight – sleep. Alcohol can certainly help you fall asleep faster; however, it can also cause you to wake up more often during nighttime.
The Bottom Line
We get it. We want to believe it as much as you do that drinking red wine can significantly lead to weight loss. However, things are much more complicated than that. Drinking a glass of wine prior to sleeping wouldn’t probably help you with weight loss, but unless you’re training for something where each calorie and ounce of fat is important, it won’t do anything to affect your hard work in the kitchen and the gym either.
Lockwood said that for people who want to achieve the balance between a healthy and abundant lifestyle with enjoying life, it’s ok to enjoy that glass of wine every once in a while without any guilt attached. There’s also another important aspect to allowing yourself to go ahead and enjoy that glass of wine.
It’s similar to indulging in a dessert, and drinking wine usually involves drinking with friends or relaxing with your partner. Lockwood said that drinking wine has psychological benefits that makes all the hard work toward losing weight more bearable and easier on the mind, within the limits of social indulgence.As much as possible, try sticking to just a glass of wine at night. In case you go over that limit, well, there’s always tomorrow.