Is wine really affecting your midline?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I had an unfortunate conversation the other day, or shall we say that there was an unfortunate part of it, when and where one friend of mine with whom I shared many happy hours and dining experiences told me that she was cutting back on drinking in order to lose some weight.  Actually, it went more like “I have to stop hanging out and drinking with you” which had nothing to do with the fact that they are lackadaisical when it comes to working out.  There was no initiative to up their amount of workouts or intensity of workouts, but just the excuse that it must be the wine.  Now bear in mind, when out with me, I do not hold a gun to someone’s head to make them imbibe glass after glass of wine, cocktail, margarita or martini.

And in truth, alcohol is blamed for many people not being in shape, and that’s a huge crock.  So many people have talked about the proverbial beer gut, but it aint the beer folks, it’s all of the junk food that people pour down their gullets while watching it, coupled by the total lack of effective exercise in their lives.

So, I went out around the web and scoured the caloric components of many things that we take in, and here is what I found:

For the most part, most wines come in between 80 and 110 calories, with some fortified wines coming in at up to 185 calories per serving.  Mind you, this is still less than many candy bars (chocolate) and a lot less than many mixed drinks.  A gin and tonic has 189 and a margarita has 327.  Amaretto sour has 421 and a Mudslide a whopping 820.  Even light beer has an average of 100-110 empty calories in it; don’t think that Coors Light is going to keep you slim.

When I was in college, at one point in time I drank two Michelob Dark beers (room temperature) in the morning.  Depending upon the time in my college career, I would then help consume maybe some four fifths of hard liquor (and one half-gallon as well), mixed with fruit juice and/or carbonated beverages.  Mind you there were at least four of us, but I weighed in at the lightest.  However, at the same time, I was in the gym maybe four to five days a week and I worked out like a manic beast.

At this time in my life, I have exercise gear in my house as well as a membership to the gym just three blocks away.  If I hit the elliptical machine, I can do 20 minutes and burn 200 calories [as the machine has estimated].  Couple that with the fact that I do it with a sweatsuit on, and my camera bag laden with gear on my back, and that ups the amount of calories that I have burned.  Cover my head in the hood, and the number goes up a little more.  Take an Envigo (a sparkling drink made from green tea by Nestea, that is actually a calorie burner) with it, and that number can easily be anywhere from 300 to 500 calories burned in that brief amount of time, depending upon where I moved my heart rate to and how long I kept it there.  With that scenario, I could easily burn off 4-5 glasses of wine in as little as 20 minutes.

Now, as we’ve all gotten older, and for many of us our metabolisms have slowed somewhat, it’s really a major cop out to blame our widening midsections on the consumption of wine.  There are many people out there that don’t drink wine, or any alcoholic beverage at all, but consume mass and gross quantities of junk food and food in general.  Hey, I have seen overweight vegans and vegetarians, including those that actually engage in exercise.  The bottom line is that your midline is controlled by a number of factors, and for the small amount of calories that wine has in it, you shouldn’t use that as an excuse.

Drink on good people.


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Our Mission: The Black Winer strives to expose African Americans [and others] to wines, without the flair, stuffiness, and airs of elitism and snobbery that you get from sommeliers and high level wine enthusiasts. We believe in finding something that you like the taste of, outside of the basic brands that you have been force-fed over the years through a combination of ethnically targeted advertising, and what people in your family have historically been drinking.

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