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Alcohol and a Healthy Diet

Okay, so how much alcohol does the average person trying to be healthy actually drink? And can alcohol be a healthy part of any diet? I currently drink 2 glasses of wine a day, but realize that's probably a bit much so I'm trying to cut down my consumption to a total of 5 glases a week. Thoughts?

Thu. Jul 19, 9:30am

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Yea, that's too much. Even the progressive alcohol-lovers say 1 glass of whine a day is good for you, which equals 7, not 14.
I would actually recommend 1 every other day. Not only because of all the extra calories and sugars you are imbibing, but also because of the slow but steady damage you are doing to your liver.
I know its wine and its good for you, but a lot of things are good in moderation, over-indulging in just about anything leads to bad results.

Think about the reason why you drink. Is it social? Emotional? Do you like the taste? When you have reasoned through that, you can work on changing a behavior.

Thursday, July 19, 2007, 9:42 AM

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9:42 is correct, 1 glass of wine a day is the recommended limit for those who drink. I also drank a couple of glasses of wine a day, but I just couldn't lose weight doing that and after a couple of glasses of wine I wasn't as particular about what I ate either. My hardest challenge was giving that up, but I'm determined to limit wine to occasional social functions. And the weight is melting off me.

Thursday, July 19, 2007, 10:03 AM

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When I limited drinking anything to F, Sat, and Sun, I lost quite a bit of weight! Now having a glass of wine is like having a treat -- I think I enjoy it a whole lot better too!

Thursday, July 19, 2007, 10:06 AM

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Man or woman? Isn't it one glass a day for the ladies & limit of 2 for the gents?

Thursday, July 19, 2007, 11:03 AM

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Can I save all 7 servings for one day? (Totally kidding!!!)

Thursday, July 19, 2007, 11:03 AM

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11:03, You are correct, it is 1 drink for women and 2 for men. I assumed the person asking was female, which I aught not to do.

Thursday, July 19, 2007, 11:51 AM

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I have one alcoholic drink per day: a diet coke and cherry vodka (clear brands). This has had no impact on my weight, but I count it in my calories!

Thursday, July 19, 2007, 11:54 AM

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Additionally, my trainer has told me that alcohol slows down your metabolism. I struggle with giving it up totally ( I like my wine or beer), but when it comes down to it, if giving it up is the only way that I can get to my goal weight, I will have to try it. My hardest times are during social situations.

Thursday, July 19, 2007, 12:15 PM

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When you drink your liver immediately stops what it was doing (matabolizing fatty acids) and starts working on the alcohol. So not only does alcohol contain sugar aka: lots of empty calories, but you don't metabolize fat while your liver is woking on it. Thus some alcohol in moderation isn't going to set things back too much, but it starts adding up pretty quick. Especially if you are stressing it day after day after day.

I would evaluate what you truly enjoy about wine and see if you can get those results with less. To me wine is the only thing that compliments truly gourmet cooking (which I love to do). So instead of having a glass while I cook, or lingering over a second glass after dinner - I have just enough to compliment the meal and not a drop more. I have cut down to about 3/4 of a glass with my meals and only with meals good enough to really 'demand' wine. I've started buying some of the boxed ones (Black Box is quite decent) so I don't have to waste 1/2 a bottle or so. I am looking into one of the wine preservation systems though. When I go out, I do drink an entire glass and I order the good stuff so I don't feel too deprived at home.

At any rate - I don't know what role wine plays in your life, but my suggestion would be to start there and see what you can work out. Best wishes!

Thursday, July 19, 2007, 12:22 PM

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I love to drink, but...

Okay, don't flame me, but I love a good cocktail and a cold beer now and again. If I could, I'd probably be a regular evening cocktail hour kind of girl. But it really does effect your metabolism and slows your weight loss efforts. And it takes away energy that I want for my workouts. So I usually limit myself to 1 or 2 "party nights" with friends per month and I never drink alcohol during the week. I try to limit it to only Friday or Saturday. That way I have my drinks in moderation and my friends are getting accustomed to my drinking "rules."

Thursday, July 19, 2007, 12:37 PM

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Not trying to flame you-but if you are so into gourmet food, how can you bring yourself to drink boxed wine??! how can that complement a meal? here's a tip: If you are concerned w/ wasting half a bottle-when the wine is no longer drinkable-save your reds on the counter and add to sauces/gravies that you cook, and save whites in the fridge and mix w/ vegetable or chicken broth and cook chicken and veggies in. Delicious and nothing goes to waste, and you can still enjoy a good glass of wine!

To answer the OP's question-I don't think there is anything wrong w/ having a drink or two or three when you are trying to lose weight, if you are exercising, and keeping track of the food you are eating as well. Everything in moderation! Maybe alcohol does slow your metabolism, (but I have only heard that here on this site) but having a glass of wine here and there in no way stopped me from reaching my goal!

Thursday, July 19, 2007, 1:04 PM

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how many calories in a margarita?

Thursday, July 19, 2007, 2:36 PM

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close to a million...okay not that many, depending on the size (you know how gigantic they can be sometimes!), even the small ones can be 500cal. ahhhhh!

Thursday, July 19, 2007, 2:41 PM

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Boxed wines have come a long way, my friend! One can no longer judge a wine by it's container or whether or not it's corked.

Thursday, July 19, 2007, 2:43 PM

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I think it's really best to be saved for special occasions.

Thursday, July 19, 2007, 2:51 PM

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12:22 to 1:04 - Not flaming you either but responding to your post.

I love a glass of wine with gourmet food but I am by no means a snob. I enjoy a full-bodied red with a good bouquet and I love it even more when it doesn't cost me a whole day's pay. Have you tried any of the boxed varieties lately? Some of them are quite drinkable. I usually stick the to $15-20 range when buying bottled wine to drink at home and several of the boxed ones can hold their own and are an excellent value. I could go for a little more variety among the boxed ones, but really that's my only gripe.

Unfortunately bottle reds really only keep their flavor and bouquet for a couple days even when you vacume seal them (which is why I'm interested in the gas preservation systems), so the freshness quantity of the boxed ones really appeals to me and there's little-to-no waste. Why don't I use the rest for cooking? It's just me and my husband (who doesn't drink) and although I use some wine in cooking we have covered the fact that it's pure sugar (which is why it makes things taste so good), so I am sparing with that as well. Plus I can only use so much cooking wine!

I included a link to the SF Chronicle's review of several of the boxed varieties if you are so inclined to read further.

And I too have not had any problem losing weight while drinking moderate amounts of wine, but I am mindful of the calories. However the effects of alcohol (not just wine) on the liver and it's role in metabolism of fatty acids are well documented so please feel free not to take my word for it (or anyone else on this site for that matter). Google "alcohol", "liver", "metabolism" and read to your hearts content. Knowledge about the effects of alcohol contributes to knowledge about what healthy choices are when it comes to drinking and what its effects on your body are beyond just calories.



Thursday, July 19, 2007, 4:09 PM

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All this reading was making me thirsty, so I poured a glass - yum yum.

Wishing you all good health, and skinny waistlines.

Thursday, July 19, 2007, 6:33 PM

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