How to enjoy wine but still have a healthy lifestyle

Tips: Hosting with Wine

Picnic at the beach.

Life is all about balance. I am a firm believer in eating healthy, fresh, real foods, moving my body daily and enjoying a glass of wine.

Here are some do’s and don’ts about consuming alcohol while leading a healthy lifestyle!

DO fill up on real, whole foods!

Our bodies crave food from the earth. Before ever consuming any alcohol, fill up on fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats. When you drink alcohol, you let your guard down so it’s important to be fueled with healthy food so you don’t start snacking on processed food! 

DO move your body every week!

It is important to move your body multiple times a week. Not an avid exerciser? Even walking outside a few times a week is good for you and gets your blood flowing! Working outside in your garden and playing with your kids count too!

Don’t drink before you eat.

Drinking wine before you eat has shown to increase appetite when consumed 30 minutes before eating, so save your wine for your meal. If you love to cook and drink at the same time, try splitting your glass of wine into 2 servings of 3 ounces each.

Also, having wine on a full stomach will make it so you’ll be less likely to feel the effects and more likely to absorb all of the associated calories.

DO cap it at 1–2 drinks.

The best way to enjoy alcohol is to do so in moderation. So, what does moderation look like? The U.S. Dietary Guidelines state that if alcohol is consumed, it should be in moderation. That means up to one drink for women and two drinks for men. The reason for the gender-alcohol gap: Biologically, there are gender differences in body structure and chemistry that cause women to absorb more alcohol and take longer to metabolize it.

DO know what a “drink” looks like.

The National Institutes of Health defines a standard drink as 14 grams of pure alcohol, but who can eyeball that? So you don’t have to bring a scale to the bar, just keep in mind that one drink is one (12-ounce) can of beer, one (5-ounce) glass of wine, or one (1.5-ounce) shot of hard liquor.

DO drink plenty of water.

Alcohol can dehydrate you because it’s a diuretic that causes you to urinate. You want to make sure to compensate for this fluid loss because water helps dilute the alcohol concentration in your blood. Some good strategies: knock back some water before raising a glass, order your drinks on the rocks, and alternate your drinks with water if you plan to have more than one.

DO sip slowly and savor.

Adopt a healthy mindset about drinking. You’re there to enjoy a delicious beverage with good company, not drink your glass of wine as fast as possible. Sip your wine slowly, enjoy it and the moment!

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Rachel Thralls is a Certified Sommelier and is studying to be a certified Nutrition & Holistic Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. She is the owner of FitSomm Rachel.