Wine and weight loss? Yes, please!

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For many of us working women trying to do and have it “most” since we have become painfully aware that “all” is not available, Wine O’Clock is a sacred time each night. Whether a bold red or a crisp white, each glass delivers the same promise: that we may now take a moment to power down the laptop, silence the cell phone, unwind our bodies, let go in our minds, savor a meal and enjoy the ones we love.

But our nightly glass of “Career Girl’s Helper” isn’t without its perils. Wine is an injection of energy in the form of pure sugar at a time when we don’t really need any extra because we’re slowing down activity-wise for the day and we’re also about to eat dinner. (And then snack in front of Netflix – but that’s another subject!)

Even just a one glass of wine per night habit can easily pack on 5 extra pounds a year. Multiply that by year after year and it’s easy to see how you can quickly lose yourself under a layer of extra energy that you have no time to burn.

Luckily, I have a solution. And even better is that I’m in no way about to tell you to give up wine in favor of celery juice and meditation. (Seriously, life is hard enough.) All you need to do is take literally 60 seconds to get to know your own wine glasses.  Here’s how to do wine and weight loss:

  • Pour yourself a glass of wine just like you would on an average day in the wine glass you choose most often.
  • Get a second glass exactly like the one you use for your wine, and using a liquid measuring cup, fill that glass with exactly 8 oz. of water.
  • Compare the glasses. Most likely you have poured more than 8 oz. (When I figured this out for myself, I was shocked to discover that a glass of wine for me was 10 oz.!)
  • Examine the glass with the water in it, finding a characteristic on the glass to help you remember what 8 oz. of liquid looks like in that glass. This will be your new pouring goal!

Now here’s the really fun part – incentivization. Pour your wine into the empty measuring cup to learn how much you’ve been overpouring from your new 8 oz. goal. Rounding a bit, wine is essentially 25 calories per ounce. So if you’ve been overpouring by 2 ounces, you will now be  saving yourself 50 calories per night. If you are having two glasses per night, that’s 100 calories.

As you can see, the math on this gets inspiring pretty fast. Whatever your usual pour, I guarantee you that you will not miss the 2 ounces. For one week, adjust your pour and you will take in 50 calories less per glass of wine. It’s a big deal – if you have one or two glasses of wine per night, you will be saving yourself 350-700 calories per week without adjusting a single food you eat or putting in one minute at the gym! Given that a pound of body fat is roughly equal to 3500 calories, it’s easy to see how, if you are consistent, you can absolutely drop between five and ten pounds in the upcoming year with this simple tweak to your daily life. How’s that for a winning strategy?

For bonus points (and pounds off), do what I did and head to some cute little antique shop and find some wine glasses that make you think of an Italian café on the Amalfi coast. Old school glasses like that appear ¾ full with only 6 ounces of wine – a simple switch which, for me, meant a savings of about 100 calories per glass of wine!

Fitness, even for the most time-challenged and exhausted amongst us, is totally doable if it begins with small tweaks injected into the life you actually live so that you can be consistent. Striving first to make an immediate difference in how you FEEL – in this case, the confidence that comes from taking a positive step every day through portion awareness – will allow over time for the huge results you are dying to SEE.

For more doable weight loss and fitness strategies like this one, check out Andrea Marcellus’ book The Way In: 5 Winning Strategies to Lose Weight, Get Strong and Lift Your Life (available wherever books are sold), and her fitness app, AND/life, available in iTunes and the Google Playstore.

This guest post was authored by Andrea Marcellus

Andrea Marcellus is a Los Angeles based fitness expert and life strategist with more than 20 years’ experience. She brings a holistic approach to the challenges of losing weight and becoming healthier. Andrea is the author of The Way In: 5 Winning Strategies to Lose Weight, Get Strong and Lift Your Life (available wherever books are sold) and has a fitness app, AND/life, available in iTunes and the Google Playstore.