The health benefits of red wine center on its alleged effects on the cardiovascular system; evidence also points to its antioxidant properties. Because obesity is a risk factor for heart disease, you may wonder if red wine promotes weight loss. You must consider the impact of alcohol consumption and the effects of the chemical components of red wine. There is no quick-fix solution to weight loss. Because of the health risks associated with alcohol consumption, red wine doesn't offer the ideal solution. Consult your doctor before beginning any weight-loss regimen, and discuss the impact of red wine on your health.
When considering the role of red wine in weight loss, begin with its calorie count. A 5-ounce serving of red wine contains 125 calories. While that might not seem like a lot, even consuming as little as 100 calories a day over your weight maintenance needs can lead to a yearly weight gain of around 10 pounds. Over time, red wine consumption can undermine your weight-loss efforts.
Another concern lies with the effects of alcohol on your judgment. Alcohol consumption will lower your inhibitions and perhaps make you less liable to refrain from overeating. When sober, you might more easily forgo an extra serving at dinner or a rich dessert. Consuming alcohol may cloud your judgment, leading you to make poor health decisions that can hamper rather than help your weight loss.
One component of red wine may have positive effects on weight loss. Resveratrol is a potentially beneficial phytochemical found in the skins of grapes. Animal studies suggest that resveratrol may aid weight loss. A 2011 study by the University of Georgia found that resveratrol increased fat burn in rats; a 2011 study by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine reached similar conclusions. While these effects may be documented in animals, human trials have yet to confirm this evidence.
The impacts of red wine on weight loss may also extend to secondary effects on the body. A 2006 study by the Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire in France found that resveratrol consumption in mice increased their aerobic capacity. The mice were able to run longer and use oxygen more efficiently. Consuming one to two glasses of red wine might not provide enough resveratrol for you to realize these effects, Oregon State University's Linus Pauling Institute advises. Your best solution for controlling your weight remains a healthy diet and regular exercise.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture Nutrient Data Laboratory
- Science: Obesity and the Environment: Where Do We Go from Here?
- WholeHealthMD: Resveratrol
- Annals of New York Academy of Sciences: Effect of Resveratrol on Fat Mobilization
- Nutrition: Polyphenols: Planting the Seeds of Treatment for the Metabolic Syndrome
- Cell: Resveratrol Improves Mitochondrial Function and Protects Against Metabolic Disease by Activating SIRT1 and PGC-1alpha
- Oregon State University — Linus Pauling Institute: Resveratrol
- Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.