What is the Wine Diet?

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  • Written By: Paul Woods
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  • Last Modified Date: 07 February 2020
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The Wine Diet is a book first published in the United Kingdom outlining a weight-loss plan that touts the beneficial effects of limited consumption of wine, particularly red wine. First published in 2006, the book was subsequently republished in 2007 in the United States under the title The Red Wine Diet. Typically, wine diet supporters point to the benefits of an organic chemical occurring in red wine called procyanidins. The chemical, which is most often found in younger French and Italian wines, is said to help fight heart disease.

A number of other books on the subject similarly support the healthy benefits of red wine. Some of these books include, The Wine Lover’s Diet and The Vino Diet™. The diets tend to differ in the interpretation of the benefits of wine. In addition to the reduced risk of heart disease, some suggest wine, in moderation, as a healthier substitute for high-fat or high-sugar foods. For women in particular, some believe, red wine speeds metabolism, which can result in weight loss as well.


Along with the limited consumption of red wine, proponents of dieting with wine usually suggest an overall healthier focus on food choices. The diets typically encourage participants to eat more fruit and vegetables. Creators of the diets also encourage participants to eat only when they are hungry, to avoid overeating and to avoid drinking wine too late in the evening or too close to bedtime. Some researchers say drinking just before sleep can lead to weight gain.

Professor Roger Corder is the author of The Wine Diet. He is generally acknowledged as the originator of the concept. Corder is a British teacher and pharmacological researcher and is a pharmacist.

The Wine Diet, or The Red Wine Diet, is divided into 11 chapters and features two weeks worth of sample menus. Chapters one through six focus on the benefits of red wine, in particular why it is beneficial and why wine is the preferred source of many for procyanidins. The seventh and eighth chapters detail which red wines offer the best source of the chemical and why moderation is important. Final chapters focus on healthy lifestyle choices.

Among the criticisms of The Wine Diet is the assertion that it does not encourage participants to exercise enough as part of an overall weight-loss plan. The book does speak to the benefits of 60 minutes of activity daily. There also are substitutes for alcohol mentioned in the book for those who prefer not to drink alcohol.


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Post 3

This is interesting as I've always been told the last thing you want to do when you're on a diet is drink any kind of alcohol. It's not that red wine has many calories. Alcohol generally tends to have about 100 calories per standard drink I think, although it depends on what kind it is, of course.

But alcohol is so easily converted to energy, your body will burn it in preference to burning fat.

So, if you've been avoiding sugar and carbohydrates all day in order to make your body start burning fat, drinking a glass of alcohol might ruin it all.

Of course, it sounds like this is more to do with other benefits than weight loss, so I guess it's up to you what you want to do.

Post 2

@indigomoth - Pretty much I think the alternative to red wine is drinking grape juice or eating grapes instead. You won't get the concentration of the chemical that you get in the wine but it's still enough to theoretically help.

I've actually heard that eating dark grapes is very good for you, and much better than drinking grape juice, because it's the skin that contains the chemical. The skins are included in the wine making process, and obviously you'll eat them along with the grape unless you peel it.

But they are removed to make the juice. So, unless it's a juice where they specifically say that they keep the skins when pressing the juice, it won't have as much of that chemical included.

Fruit juice is generally not that good for your teeth and has too much sugar anyway. I'd rather drink wine, or eat grapes... or both, really.

Post 1

I think it's a bit silly to write a whole book and call it The Wine Diet when it is really based around the idea that a glass or two of red wine can do you some good.

That's the kind of thing that really only takes a couple of scientific papers to spell out, or maybe an article in a health magazine.

The rest of the book is taken up in repeating the same kind of advice we all hear all the time, that we should eat well and exercise in order to lose weight.

Well, I don't object to the method, but I'm definitely not going to be buying any of these books anytime soon. About the only thing I can think of that they might offer is an alternative to red wine that can give you the same benefits and I doubt that takes an entire book to explain.

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