For years the wine industry have promoted selected studies that suggest that red wine has an ingredient (Resveritrol) that has a heart-protective effect. This has provided many of us with an extra excuse to partake and justify something that many enjoy. Be aware that having all your daily serves of veggies has a far greater protective effect.
Although there are now studies coming out that question whether wine (or any alcohol) does us any good, this article ignores all that and only discusses the effect of alcohol consumption on weight loss. It is too easy to be influenced by “Confirmation Bias” where we only pay attention to studies or information that concur with our beliefs or habits.
Have a look at the weight loss graph below of one of our clients in her 40’s. To protect her privacy, we’ll call her Judy. She is following our weight loss program and has been impressively diligent in writing down EVERYTHING she eats and drinks, regardless of whether it was “on plan” or not. We carefully reviewed her Daily Planner for her daily food, drink and alcohol intake. We then graphed her weight.
Before you form a judgement, be warned that a perfect diet and perfect compliance will still show up-down progress. It is never a dead straight line. But this graph does show clear trends. When alcohol was consumed (mainly on weekends) the weight loss did not just stop, but weight increased. The net effect is that her weight loss journey is far slower and longer than it would be if she abstained. We’ve seen many cases where alcohol stopped all weight loss.
As an analogy, imaging you are walking along the crest of a long sand dune. You’re making pretty good progress travelling about 3 km every hour. But then you decide that it would be fun to run down the dune every half hour or so. It’s fast down and a long slog back up to the crest, where walking is much easier. Now you are only travelling 1 km every hour. It’s so slow, you may be tempted to throw in the towel!
For this client, the lesson she learned was absolutely clear. If she drinks (alcohol) her weight goes up for a few days and it takes the rest of the week to get her weight loss back on track.
Now this article is NOT about any moral, legal or health issues to do with drinking. But when it comes to weight loss, sometimes we have to be careful of our self talk. Knowing that you’ll achieve the best weight loss results if you don’t drink any alcohol, does not mean that you’ll never be able to enjoy it… ever.
We often quote the saying by St Augustus who said “I find total abstinence far easier than perfect moderation.”
Now different strategies work best for different people. For most, abstinence while they are losing weight is the best strategy. They know that they are more likely to stick to their weight loss journey when they are getting the best results.
For others, they’re happier choosing to have “a” glass of wine with their meal on Friday and Saturday night – in the knowledge that they won’t lose weight as quickly as if they abstained.
Whatever path you choose, here are 10 tips that may help.
Three of the guiding philosophies of our program are:
Stay the course. Good luck!
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