Could drinking actually help you fend off weight gain? Actually yes, for women.
Take the recent 13 year Harvard study of 19,220 normal-weight, normal BMI, middle-aged women and their drinking habits.
Women who had an average of one to two drinks daily gained less weight and had a lower chance of becoming overweight or obese than those who drank less, or nothing at all.
A drink at Harvard, by the way, is a four ounce glass of wine, and I don’t mean port.
Why did drinking help these slim women stay slimmer than the others?
Because small amounts of alcohol in normal weight women–those without a Spanx-busting tire around their waist (which Wanda Sykes has actually named “Esther”)–actually burn more calories than they contain.
And because women tend to substitute a drink for part of a meal, instead of add it to a meal.
But for men, the tables turn. Men add wine as a beverage to whatever they’re eating, instead of substituting a glass of Pinot for their potato.
And with their extra alcohol dehydrogenase (the enzyme that helps your liver metabolize alcohol), men burn booze off more efficiently than women do, and therefore burn fewer calories doing so.
So, if you want to keep your trim figure–and women who drink are, on average, trimmer around the middle and overall than those who don’t drink– feel free. Free-ish.
Because alcohol still has more calories per gram than protein or carbs. It keeps you up at night, and not in a good way. You get too little sleep, your body stores more fat. It’s that simple.
So love the wine you drink. Be happy that wine can help keep you trim. If you don’t love it, don’t drink it. Life is too short.
Here is a video post we did at ChefMD about alcohol: you can catch a glimpse of a wine I made!