A good wine is like a gentle kiss, its effect throughout the meal is scintillatingly sensual in an elegantly understated way. 

Frances Tabeek, Wine Enthusiast

I’ll admit that I use to be that girl who would pour herself a glass of wine (or four) to “relax” after a long day.  Then, there were the other occasions where it was used to make the me the woo-hoo girl.  And, with the help of a little vino, I could woo-woo with the best of them. Needless to say, my life was not in the best shape at the time (and, neither was my derriere) and my palate not so sophisticated.

To create a body I love (and lose over 70 pounds), Mr. Cabernet and I obviously needed to develop a more healthy relationship.  And, so we did!

When recently asked during an interview if I believed a woman could drink wine and lose weight, however, my answer was “absolutely!” I’m living proof.

If not, the entire French culture would be plus-size.

While losing weight, I had to take an honest look at my relationship with alcohol.  And, who would have thought that sommelier school would be the answer?

It was there that I was immersed in the world of wine where pleasure, not intoxication, was the mode du jour.  And that little sips, not shots, was the ideal way to enjoy alcohol.  And passion, not escapism, was how I wanted to live my life.

Wine to me is passion.  It’s family and friends. It’s warmth of heart and generosity of spirit. Wine is art.  It’s culture. It’s the essence of civilization and the art of living.  – Robert Mondavi

I learned that wine shouldn’t be used as drug to numb the senses or to turn you into a flash dancer.  Instead, it should be used for ultimate pleasure, a gateway into culture and a tool to awaken the senses with food, conversation and life.

This experience cannot be described in words; only when you’ve just taken a bite of tender steak followed by a luscious sip of Grand Cru Bordeaux or the taste of metallic oysters followed by the crisp tartness of Champagne. Add in people you love and tantalizing conversation and you have ecstatic memories to add to your portfolio of life.

Just like anything when losing weight, it all has to do with intention:  why are you eating or drinking?  To avoid life or to fully experience it?

Now, I’m going to let the nurse in me do a little talking.  When you google “wine and weight loss,” you’ll find The French Paradox.  This is an inquiry into how the French can eat all those rich creams, cheeses and chocolates while sipping wine and still have healthy hearts and remain slim.

There are many theories around the paradox, such as the role of movement in French culture, eating style, among others.  But, since we’re speaking of wine and weight loss,  let’s stick with the topic.  Some research suggests that wine decreases cholesterol levels, increases metabolic rate and provides healthy micro-nutrients.  Also, when wine is paired with the right foods, such high quality proteins and fats (in moderation, of course), the sugar from the wine is stabilized, not leading to the insulin spikes that can happen by sipping a glass alone.   Steady blood sugar = healthy body.

In working with women and weight loss, I appreciate that every woman’s body is unique.  It’s imperative that you investigate and have a deep understanding of your relationship with alcohol.

But . . .

I achieved success while sipping Champagne all the way to a size 6.  But, I also know that I had to check-in with my mind and body on a regular basis to see what was going on.  Was I drinking because I had a bad day?  Or, was I doing it in the spirit of celebration and because I love how the perfect wine and food combo feels like a culinary orgasm in my mouth?

Like everything in life, it has to do with intention.

Personally, I discovered that wine with my meal actually caused me to eat less. It reminded me to slow down and savor what was on my plate.   Not to mention the health benefits of a glass of red wine.

However, if you’re drinking a bottle a night or downing a few cosmos with the girls, chances are you’re going to continue to struggle with the extra pounds, not to mention the impact on your health.  But, if you drink elegantly, always focusing on savoring (not stuffing), you may be surprised when you slip into your favorite LBD that’s been hanging in the back of your closet.

And, let’s not forget to move more, live more and laugh more, all necessary ingredients of a healthy lifestyle.

When it comes to weight loss, pleasure is key in your eating and drinking. (tweet it) And, remember, true pleasure feels good long after you’ve left the table and doesn’t leave you with a hangover the next day.

Speaking of pleasure, I have an exciting announcement that will debut in the coming weeks. Stay tuned, my fabulous friend.  This will not be something you will want to miss.  And, yes, Champagne will be involved.



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