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Does Red Wine Make You Gain Weight? Unveiling the Truth

Does red wine make you gain weight?

When it comes to dieting, most of us would love to have our cake and eat it too.


The same is true for red wine. For thousands of years, wine has been a cornerstone of meals and celebrations. In a way, it’s in our DNA. Which is why it’s so hard to cut out that evening glass (or two) when trying to lose weight.


Which begs the question: Does red wine actually make you gain weight?


For all the waistline watchers out there, we decided to get to the bottom of the matter. Here’s everything you need to know about red wine and its effect on your weight.



Calories and Carbs in Red Wine

The team here at YOURS knows a lot about wine. Which is why we get bombarded with all sorts of wine related questions.


The most common? How many calories are in a glass of red wine?


It seems that the nutritional value of wine is top of mind for many looking to lose weight. And unfortunately for all the calorie counters out there, traditional wine has no legal requirement to list nutritional facts on their labels. Meaning every sip is a mystery.


If you’ve read our deep dives into how many carbs are in red wine and our ultimate guide to enjoying wine on keto, you know that carb and calorie counts vary widely based on the style of red wine you’re enjoying. But for most standard alcoholic red wines (cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, malbec, merlot, etc.), you’ll generally see roughly 3-4g carbs and 125-175 calories per glass.


On the alcohol-free side, most non-alcoholic red wines land somewhere between 25-60 calories and 2-8g carbs per glass (for reference, YOURS Non-Alcoholic California Red Blend has 10 calories and 2g carbs per glass).



Does Red Wine Make You Gain Weight? 

We can already hear the red wine lovers out there…175 calories per glass? That’s not so bad!


Sure, 175 calories is a fraction of what you should be consuming daily, even on a restricted calorie diet. But there are a few caveats to consider. First, it’s important to remember that your body does not get any benefit from those calories. 175 calories from an avocado gets converted into fuel. Calories from alcohol do not. Second, 175 calories compounds. That’s an extra 1,225 calories per week, and 63,700 per year…the equivalent of 18.2 pounds!!


You’re forcing yourself to fight off any extra 18.2 pounds per year, before you even begin to lose any extra weight you might already be carrying.


Finally, it’s important to remember that alcohol sabotages weight loss. It ruins your sleep, making it harder to get up and work out the following morning. It crushes willpower, which increases the likelihood that you’ll cheat on your diet. And it serves as a subliminal message to yourself…I am not truly trying to change.


Will red wine make you gain weight? That depends. But it’s certainly not helping - and should be one of the first things you consider cutting back if you truly want to lose weight.



What About the Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean diet, often praised for its health benefits, incorporates moderate red wine consumption as part of its cultural culinary tradition. This has led to the so-called "Mediterranean Paradox," where populations that consume red wine in moderation appear to enjoy certain cardiovascular benefits despite its caloric content. But is that benefit coming from the wine?




There are major differences between typical Mediterranean lifestyles and those of the Americas and other parts of Europe. People in the Mediterranean are known to walk hours a day, consume a very nutrient rich and calorie limited diet, and avoid ultra-processed foods. All these factors lead to improved cardiovascular health. Meaning the wine isn’t helping…it just isn’t as detrimental because of all the other positive health choices made by those living in this region. 



Best Red Wine for Weight Loss

When we explored the Best Wines to Drink on Weight Watchers, we looked into some of the most popular low-calorie/low-carb wines on the market, including Skinny Girl and FitVine. While these are indeed decent options for those that truly want their alcohol fix, the best red wine for weight loss is less red wine. Or at least, less alcoholic red wine.


As we’ve explored, alcohol is detrimental to weight loss in so many ways. If you can swap even a few glasses of wine a week for a non-alcoholic alternative (such as the 10 calorie YOURS California Red Blend), you’ll greatly improve your chances of meaningful weight loss.


And that’s something we can all cheers to.


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