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A Wino's Guide to Staying Fit

Updated: Oct 11, 2018

It comes as no surprise that wine is NOT calorie free. With summer just around the corner I started thinking about how these glasses of caloric delights could be getting in the way of me feeling comfortable in my summer threads. You may think it would be easy to hide yourself in NYC but the truth is, this is an island. On water. Water means beaches. Yes, there are some really nice beaches just 15 minutes away from Queens. Also this island gets HOT…real, disgustingly hot. Between the tall buildings blocking any kind of breeze and underground subways, you won’t find me in anything other than sundresses and denim shorts for 4 months straight.

Taking all of this into consideration, I am a self proclaimed wino who will not give up the wine calories…and I’m sure you’re right there with me. There are so many things we can do as winos to keep fit and keep our waistline in check. A lot of the below are already part of my regimen which is why my weight is able to stay pretty stable while drinking all the wine. Some of the other things…I REALLY need to work on (drinking more water, cough cough).

1. Choose a Low Calorie Wine

A common misconception is that a dry red wine will be less caloric than something sweet (say a Kabinett Riesling). This is not actually always the truth. Dry red wines usually have higher alcohol content, and alcohol contains more calories than sugar (almost two times as much). Try something dry and low in alcohol like Pinot Grigio, Vinho Verde or Muscadet. If you’re going to choose bubbles, make sure the bottle says Brut or Extra Brut. This means dry which means low sugar. The good news is, these are all super refreshing wines for the summertime! Below is a chart from illustrating exactly what this looks like:

2. Drink Water Before Drinking Wine

People trying to lose weight are always told, “drink water before a meal to curb your appetite.” Well…this is actually true and should also be applied when drinking wine. Drinking alcohol amps up our appetites causing us to overeat. Downing a huge glass of H2o can help us control our portions and keep ourselves in check. An added benefit of keeping nice and hydrated is that our palates are better able to experience all the sensations our glass of wine has to offer!

3. Don’t Drink Wine Too Late

I’d like to stand up and thank the Millennials for making day drinking an acceptable social activity. When trying to stay fit you wouldn’t consume a huge caloric meal right before bed, and the same should go for drinking wine. As mentioned previously, alcohol has almost twice as many calories as sugar, and when you calculate in the sugar/carbs that are in the wine, you could see how your metabolism would have a hard time breaking that down while sleeping. Also from personal experience and as a repeat offender, I’d like to mention you are probably less likely to hit the gym after a late night of wine drinking than you are when you stop drinking earlier on in the day.

4. Diet & Exercise

DUH! Ok, but I have to include this because as wine drinkers it is crucial the we are eating right and working out. Diet & exercise are the base and core for ANYONE trying to lose weight, so when you add alcohol into the equation, is is more necessary than ever. We live in an era where healthy foods are easier than ever to find and exercise is made fun. I personally keep fit by taking group classes like barre at Physique 57 or running at Mile High Run Club. Lifting weights is also key to staying toned, and if you don’t have free weights at home, just use wine bottles and rep it out until you feel the burn!

5. Control Your Wine Portions

What a buzzkill! I know…but we need to recognize the facts here. According to WebMD, moderate drinking is defined as one 5oz glass of wine for women and two 5oz glasses of wine for men per day. One 5oz pour of Zinfandel will cost you approximately 129 calories. This really paints a picture when we think about how easy it is to go through an entire bottle! Sometimes we just need to face the fact that ignorance isn’t always bliss!

If I could sum up this post in one word it would be BALANCE. A doctor would tell you “everything in moderation.” I’m here to just tell you balance. If you “accidentally” go through an entire bottle on a Saturday night (which easily happens), maybe you don’t drink anything but water the next few nights. If you have wine events a few nights in a row, maybe drink a low alcohol Riesling and get to the hotel gym the next day. All I know is summer is coming and I need to start taking some of my own advice!

What are your tips and tricks? Leave them in the comments!

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