How To Stay Fit While Still Enjoying A Glass Of Wine
After a long, hard day, nothing is quite as satisfying as a glass of wine. For those who have begun to work remotely as a result of Covid-19 social distancing practices, this evening treat can easily become an afternoon temptation. After all, the stigma against drinking in your living room or home office is much lower than that of drinking in your office.
Day drinking aside, many people indulge in that evening glass of wine, and why not? While alcohol is not beneficial, in moderate amounts it is not harmful, especially if you are not drinking liquor. Red wines are especially lauded for their health benefits and even contain small amounts of Resveratrol, which has antioxidant properties. Many wine-drinking cultures, most notably in Greece and France, boast of impressive standards of health and longevity. And science still has not come up for an effective measure for satisfaction and peace of mind.
Alcohol And Weight
However, even moderate alcohol consumption can be a slippery slope for the weight conscious. It's easy enough to see that exercising can help anyone trying to cut down on drinking, but balancing drinking with maintaining an effective fitness regimen can be a bit of a challenge.
Studies also show that the consumption of alcohol improves our sense of smell and taste, making food more appetizing—and dangerously so. Most wines contain around 130 calories per four ounce serving for white, and up to 200 per serving for red, while a glass of sparkling wine is usually between 85 and 100 calories per serving.
Beer may have significantly less or significantly more (between 50 and 300 calories per serving) depending on the kind. In the end, however, it's not the calorie count that is most dangerous to dieters. Our body prioritizes burning alcohol over burning sugars or fats, which is why frequent drinking can contribute to weight gain.
So, how do we balance our enjoyment with our health? Luckily, if you keep a couple of key habits as part of your daily routine, you can still enjoy that evening glass of wine without worrying about sacrificing your fitness gains.
Choose Quality, Not Quantity
We all know how one glass of wine can easily turn into two (or three). This is especially the case with cheap wine, which is generally made to be quaffable, and will leave you feeling much worse afterwards. One secret to maintaining healthy drinking habits is choosing for less of better rather than more of worse.
A higher price tag with wine typically means better quality, and a glass of a fabulous French Bordeaux or Californian Cabernet Sauvignon offer more than multiple bottles of the cheaper stuff. There are even plenty of organic, low calorie wine options to treat your taste buds while keeping your waistline in check.
Wines generally do not list caloric content, which can be a bit misleading for people who are watching their weight. In general, buying better quality will increase your overall satisfaction, and your wallet will encourage moderation. A vacuum pump wine stopper can help you stretch a good bottle of wine so that you can enjoy it several days in a row.
Mind Over Matter
It's important to be aware of why you are drinking. Even if you aren't generally a wine lover, let's face it—sometimes, drinking becomes a social obligation. But keeping a healthy social life and a healthy weight does not have to be a choice. If you plan to drink, whether at a bar or at home, it is important to set limits beforehand. Tell yourself multiple times that you will have just one drink. Perhaps to your surprise, your body will listen, and will be satisfied with stopping after a single glass.
Moderation, Moderation, Moderation
As with many things, when drinking, moderation is the key. Men should limit themselves to 15 drinks a week, whereas women should stick around to 7 drinks a week. The amount of alcohol you can consume in a healthy manner has a lot to do with your body composition and being aware of your limits helps you stay healthier on a long-term basis.
Also be aware of how much wine you are served at restaurants, as the typical pour is larger than a serving, and wine will encourage you to indulge even more on a night out.
As mentioned before, drinking does not exactly increase the likelihood of you making wise food choices. Remember that wine is a treat, and how you eat overall continues to play the larger role in how healthy you are. If you opt for a glass of wine with dinner, try to skip the carb heavy potatoes, or forgo dessert. Your body will choose to process the calories from the alcohol before it can tend to any fatty or sugary treats you have chosen, so try to balance the things you decide to indulge in.
Drinking on a full stomach will help your body process both food and alcohol more effectively. Dessert wines, while higher in calories and sugars than the average red, can elevate a healthy after-dinner snack of nuts, fruit or cheese to a new level. Making a wine spritzer with calorie-free soda water can also make a refreshing addition to a sweltering summer evening, increasing your enjoyment while not impacting your caloric intake.
Good hydration is key to any health regimen and becomes even more important when alcohol is concerned. The rule of thumb is to drink a 12-ounce glass of water for every alcoholic drink you consume. The same goes for wine, as the water helps you better process alcohol and can help you feel better afterwards, especially if you tend to suffer from hangovers easily.
Exercising on a regular basis should be one of your top priorities if you are trying to stay fit. Whether you opt for a morning jog or a quick workout during your lunch break, exercising will help balance the effects of drinking, leaving you feeling healthier overall and helping you “earn” that glass of wine.
With these few simple considerations, you can enjoy a healthier life and still be able to enjoy a glass of wine virtually guilt-free. Cheers to that!