It’s that time of year again! A time where we start to feel sluggish from all of the holiday indulging and are ready to get back on track with our healthy lifestyles. But wait… does this mean I HAVE to give up drinking wine? Especially with a year like 2020 and us still being restricted PLUS it’s winter, sometimes a glass of wine is just what you need. As long as you understand what you’re drinking and use some of these healthy habits, you can still enjoy your vino.
Let’s start with the facts. We hear so many different things about wine all the time… like “wine has too much sugar” or “you have to give up drinking to lose weight”. We also sometimes hear that a glass of red wine a day is good for the heart! So what’s really true?
The fact is alcohol contains calories. Wine is made up of water, sugar, and alcohol. Most wines contain 11-14% ABV. So, the higher the alcohol in the wine, the more calories. Same with sugar – the sweeter the wine, the more calories.
An average glass (5oz pour) of dry wine with 11-14% ABV will have about 120-130 calories.
There have been many studies conducted that show people live longer and healthier lives that are moderate drinkers versus those who do not drink at all. Keep in mind that moderate is different for everyone, but typically for women this means 1 glass per day or seven per week! So wether you choose to have one every night or wait and have a few on the weekends, that’s up to you!
What about drinking wine compared to other alcohol? I’m not an expert in other types of spirits, so I love this chart from Wine Folly. It shows the amount of carbs in alcoholic beverages with dry wine at the very bottom, and ales and other liquors at the top.
I also find this chart below helpful for determining what kinds of wine have how much sugar / calories.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that red wine is good for the heart! And if you are a wine lover like me, you choose to believe this without doing any actual research. 🙂
But today I have done some research and that truth looks promising. The truth is that drinking in moderation can be good for you, because alcohol itself can have some health benefits. According to Mayo Clinic, alcohol can reduce the formation of blood clots, help prevent artery damage, and improve the function of cells that line your blood vessels. So YAY drinking isn’t all bad for you!!
Additionally, Mayo Clinic also tells us that red wine has antioxidants (that comes from the grape skins) that can help prevent coronary artery disease, which in turn can prevent heart attacks.
Red wine has higher levels of antioxidants than white wine, but white wine still has alcohol which can provide those benefits.
You hear that phrase often, but it is very true to maintaining a healthy lifestyle! I sometimes still struggle with this and find it difficult to know my limit or have self control. We all have slip ups from time to time, but these are what help us get better and know our minds and bodies more over time. Here are my top tips to balancing your health and drinking:
Personally, I count the calories from wine as sugar and carbs, so in my day to day diet I try to eliminate other sources of sugar and carbs on days that I drink wine! Lately, I have been eating a lot more healthy fats and proteins in my daily meals and this seems to work for me.
I always keep track of how much wine I’m pouring. Start with a proper 5oz pour, finish the glass, and if you want more, pour another. This way you are keeping track of exactly how many glasses you are having. And, if you are interested in counting calories, you can log these!
Recently, I have been trying to stick to drinking 2-3 nights a week. It also helps if I just save drinking for one night at home and then one night going out a week. Of course this always changes and some weeks might be more wine heavy than others and that’s okay!
It is really easy to get in the habit of grabbing a glass of wine every night after a long day. Try going a full week without any alcohol. Even that much time without will help your body reset and crave it less. Change your headspace from “I NEED a glass of wine” to “I GET to have a glass of wine”.
Pairing wine with a delicious but healthy meal is always a good idea! When you thoughtfully plan out your food and wine, it makes it more special and enjoyable. Instead of just grabbing something random just to drink it. Over the past year I’ve done some experimenting with recipes and have made some awesome ones.
I take my exercise and workouts very seriously. I’m someone that gets energy from working out, so I often crave going to the gym! I wasn’t always like this… but it helps when you find workouts that you love. I workout 4-5 days a week, and days that I don’t go to the gym, I’m still relatively active (running errands, standing and moving around at work, etc.)
I find that in combination with all of these things, I maintain a really happy and healthy lifestyle. Every person is different, so some of these things may or may not work for you. Our bodies also all need different things, so you maybe can add these tips to your lifestyle with modifications.
I’d love to hear what you guys do to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Please also send any other comments or questions my way and as always, happy sipping!