There's something funny about the fact that celebs choke down gross diet drinks to stay thin when they could be enjoying a glass of wine like normal people. New research found that wine (seriously, wine!) can help keep your weight in check. Of course, you can't chug a bottle and look like Marisa Miller (or pair your cabernet with a pint of ice cream), but drinking it in moderation-that means about a glass a day, tops-has some awesome perks. We asked doctors to explain.
Happy Hour Does Your Body Good...
The evidence is impressive. Researchers kept tabs on nearly 20,000 normal-weight women for 13 years. Over time, the women who drank a glass or two of red wine a day were 30 percent less likely to be overweight than the nondrinkers (they tracked women who drank liquor and beer too, but the link was strongest for red wine). That's not surprising, since vino has other benefits. "It's rich in antioxidants that reduce cholesterol and blood pressure," says Jana Klauer, a New York City physician specializing in nutrition and metabolism.
One reason wine may contribute to a healthy weight is that digesting booze triggers your body to torch calories. "Women make smaller amounts of the enzyme that metabolizes alcohol than men do, so to digest a drink, they have to keep producing it, which requires the body to burn energy," says Dr. Klauer. That means you're likely to see more of a benefit than your guy since his body doesn't have to work as hard to digest a glass of the grape.
Alcohol also may burn calories due to a process called thermogenesis, says Lu Wang, MD, PhD, the lead study author and member of the division of preventive medicine at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital. Alcohol raises your body temperature (one reason some people get red cheeks when drinking), causing the body to burn calories to create heat.
...But That's Not All
The study also showed that women who drank moderately ate less. While researchers can't say why, it's possible that they were more likely to slow down and savor their food and drink.
Related: 10 Best Weight-Loss Tips EverIf you combine all these factors, drinking wine could lead to taking in fewer calories while your body is burning energy, meaning you're less likely to gain weight, says Dr. Wang. Awesome, but you don't want to replace food with wine-you'll miss out on key nutrients and wind up schnockered. And keep in mind that wine has calories: about 125 for 5 ounces. "That's why drinking isn't a weight-loss strategy on its own," says Dr. Klauer. Overdoing it is linked to health risks you don't want to take, like breast cancer. "But having a glass," says Dr. Klauer, "along with a healthy diet and exercise, seems to be a marker for a healthier lifestyle." Hey, we'll salud to that.
Read more at Cosmopolitan.com!
- What Men Think of Your Hair and Makeup
- Kissing Dos and Don'ts
- How to Find His 9 Pleasure Triggers
- Why Guys Dump Girls They Dig
- Blow His Mind (and Yours!) in the Bedroom