Healthy New Year's Resolutions, Weight Loss & Wine

OK, so we're finally done with Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year's Eve, etc. (though the Super Bowl is coming up!) and it's time to undo some of the damage that's been done and lose some poundage.  Hit the gym, pound the pavement, eating right, yoga classes, whatever gets you to sweat it out.  But all of this does NOT mean you have to give up some of your favorite beverages; namely wine and beer. 

Studies have shown the redeeming health benefits of MODERATE consumption of wine and beer.  I am not telling anyone to go out and fill your fridges with beers and pantries with wine or that you will lose weight if you take in these beverages.  But one to two drinks daily, and no more, promotes HDL lipoprotein (good cholesterol) which removes cholesterol from the bloodstream and transports it to the liver for removal.  Wine also contains flavonoids (polyphenols) and resveratrol, both known as antioxidants, which help slow cellular damage to the body and prevent plaque and clotting in the arteries, preventing cancer, heart disease and promoting cardiovascular health.  Beer, on the otherhand, is great because it contains many nutrients and vitamins from grains and yeast which survive the fermentation process.  You can also consume light beers which will give you the same benefits with less calories.

Still, I have to preach moderation.  Neither beer nor wine will actually help you lose fat.  Only a cut in calorie intake, proper diet and exercise will help you with that goal.  But when you reach your goal weight, those beverages will help you maintain your health and weight. 

If you overindulge in beer, wine or spirits, it will prove detrimental to your overall health.  Your liver will suffer from overuse and you could gain weight from the excess calories of the beverages and possible "munchies" consumed during lowered will power.

So when you embark on your 2010 diets, remember to count your beverage calories in with your overall daily intake.  This will lead you to your fat/weight loss goals as well as to you enjoying more of your favorite beverages.  And a longer, healthier life!

(Image courtesy of flickr)