Written by: Tim Edison

Updated on: January 26, 2022

Can Wine Make You Fat? What Does The Evidence Say?

Can Wine Make You Fat? What Does The Evidence Say?

You’ve been long trying to maintain that line. Watching your diet and saying no to junk foods has become a habit. But you’ve long wanted a glass of your favorite goodness. It’s only that you’re wondering, can wine make you fat? What does evidence say?

Wine is an excellent source of nutrients. It’s just like any alcoholic beverage; it also has calories. And if you’ve been careful when your dietitian told you what to watch in your diet, calories are not your belly’s friends.

But when it comes to wine, it seems not everything is black or white. There is plenty of grey in-between and luckily, lots of studies that come in favor of sipping a glass of goodness a day.

Does Wine Make You Fat? A Scientific Evidence

You’re a wine lover, so you know already a couple of glasses of wine a day are good for your health. What perhaps you didn’t realize is they may even help you lose weight.

At first glance, this seems untrue. After all, wine contains alcohol. Alcohol contains calories. Calories make you fat.

But beyond the logic above, according to a research conducted by the Harvard Medical School, those who drink moderate quantities of wine tend to gain less weight than those who don’t. Wine won’t make you lose weight directly, but indirectly the substances in it inhibit the accumulation of fat.

Now, I don’t know about you, but that’s pretty awesome news for me.

Not only the substances in wine help speed up metabolism, but moderate quantities of alcohol also increase the heart rate and accelerate the metabolism, allowing your body to burn calories faster.

The results of this study come to support a similar survey conducted in 1994. This one analyzed the consumption habits of over 7,000 volunteers for a period of around ten years. The thorough research also discovered that those who prefer drinking wine instead of beer have a tendency to gain less weight. And they even gained less weight than those who practiced total abstinence.

Then, there is another study performed by the University of Cape Town that has shown the moderate consumption of wine can favor, thanks to its antioxidant action, a slight reduction of your waist circumference.

What Does This Mean?

Perhaps by now, you’re full of joy, ready to sip some wine thinking it will make you lose weight. But the studies above didn’t demonstrate that. They demonstrated wine could help you gain less weight, and sipping it will definitely not make you thinner without a proper diet and physical exercise.

If you’re concerned about your line, remember wine contains a handful of calories that will still end up in your body. Therefore, you must moderate its consumption. The quality of the wine also matters.  

In fact, a cheap wine bought from the local store might not be the healthiest choice. Cheap wines are typically packed with chemical additives that are not your friend. Natural, biological, or biodynamic wines are definitely better choices.

You must also stay away from wine coolers and other wine-based drinks that contains spirits and sugars.

Finally, the way you drink is also important. If you’re drinking just for the sake of drinking, don’t expect to lose much weight. Instead, you can consume wine during your meals, making both wine drinking and eating more pleasant and healthier.

Another study to confirm this comes from one of the Old World’s famous wine countries, Spain. The University of Navarro confirms the studies conducted in Harvard and published some materials evidencing that a glass of wine a day has different nourishing properties and doesn’t promote weight gain at all.

A Glass of Wine a Day Makes You Lose Weight – According to Evidence

According to the calorie tables, 1 gram of alcohol is equivalent to 7 calories and, therefore, a glass of red wine could have an average amount of 120 calories while a glass of white wine about 110 (slightly less alcohol as a rule).

Certainly it is known that alcohol is a food that is noticeably caloric and rich in sugar, so the quantities make the difference. Understanding the relationship between alcohol and calories is, therefore, important. It all starts from grapes, which contain sugars that are fermented into alcohol.

Some grapes are sweeter, so they turn into more alcoholic wines.

The higher the alcohol content of the wine selected for tasting, the greater the calories and the propensity to gain weight if you drink at least 2-3 glasses.

Furthermore, the caloric content of the wine also differs according to the production processes performed, since added sugar can affect the overall calories in the glass. The residual sugars in some wines are minimal, and therefore it is not always easy to determine the exact energy intake, considering that the amount of sugar present in the wine is not indicated on the label.

This makes it harder to decide how much wine to drink daily if you don’t want to jeopardize your weight loss efforts. So, let’s make some light over this aspect.

How Much Wine Should You Drink Daily?

Our daily requirement of nutrients varies depending on the sport activity performed but, in general, the proportions are constant between a relationship that sees in the foreground the carbohydrates - sugars, with a minimum 50% of nutritional intake, followed by fat of a minimum 15 and maximum 35%, and then proteins, up to 15% of the daily dose of food. For sportsmen, who need a higher protein intake, the share of proteins can rise up to 20 or 25% depending on the training carried out.

And the wine? Conscious and moderate consumption of wine can affect about 7-10% of the daily energy requirements. This means a couple of glasses of wine with an average alcohol content.

When making a diet plan, you must remember that drinking a glass of wine involves an intake of calories on average lower than many drinks and spirits on the market, as well as being less caloric than a beer. This is because, although the caloric value of the wine is higher than some of these drinks, beer and cocktail drinkers generally consume more doses than the single glass of wine.

According to the experts, you should never exceed two glasses of wine a day, and by two glasses they actually refer to two drinks. If you’re not sure how many drinks are in a glass, I’ve put up a guide on this matter that explains in detail all you need to know.

You must also know that if you want to burn the calories from the wine, two glasses are the equivalent of about an hour at the gym. So here you go! Now you have another good reason to only drink moderately.

Other Benefits of Red Wine – The Resveratrol

 Beyond considerations of how and how much a glass of wine will impact on your weight, remember that drinking red wine is good for your health, especially thanks to the resveratrol present in your drink. Resveratrol is a polyphenol, a naturally occurring substance present in various plants, including the skin of red grapes.

The plant uses this substance as a natural defense against bacteria and fungi, but several scientific studies have shown it has a direct impact in aiding the organism to prevent cardiovascular disease, as well as protecting from inflammation. Moreover, resveratrol even has an anti-aging function.  

It can promote blood flow, thus oxygenation, and helps those who don’t carry out a large motor activity but who still want to preserve a healthy heart, prevent dementia, and regulate the level of sugars in their blood.

Obviously, you’ll have to drink a maximum of two glasses, as the excess of alcohol can have an opposite effect. And so we can say that a glass of wine a day keeps the doctor away.

Final Thoughts

So, can wine make you fat? If you’re drinking too much, it probably can. But if you regulate your consumption, it’s not the wine that makes you fat but the cheeses accompanying it. A healthy diet and up to two glasses of wine each day can help you in your quest of getting rid of that belly fat.

And now that you’re well aware of all this, what do you think of pouring yourself a glass of goodness? Cin-Cin!

About the Author Tim Edison

Although not having any formal training in wine, Tim has developed an irrefutable love of wine and interest in anything related to it ever since his late teens.

Coming from a family of wine lovers, it was from a young age that he got exposed to wine and the culture that goes with it.

Tim has travelled to dozens of wine regions across the world including those in France, Italy, California, Australia, and South Africa.

It is with great joy that he hopes to share those experiences here on wineturtle.com and take you along on the journey for a second time!

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