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Is It Easier to Lose Weight than You Think?

Stop drinking wine to lose weightBy Linda Gabriel

What if it were just as easy to lose weight as it is to gain it?

If you’re reading this it’s likely you’ve struggled with dieting, exercise, and weight loss – probably for years. You’ve read countless articles, spent time and money as you suffered through your attempts to lose weight. You’ve watched people be tortured and shamed on prime time shows like The Biggest Loser or Celebrity Fit Club. It’s obvious that it’s painful and difficult to lose weight.

Or is it?

How I Lost 10 Pounds in 2 Months. Effortlessly.

When I was in my early 30’s I was the mother of two young children.  I’d gained 50 pounds with each pregnancy and had managed to lose all but about 10 extra pounds. Those 10 extra pounds weren’t what I now refer to as “vanity pounds” – the attempt to look like an underweight runway model.  My BMI (Body Mass Index) was too high and those 10 extra pounds posed a health risk.

Not only was I responsible for a couple of active toddler boys, our family was building a home while remodeling our current home into an office for my husband’s practice. The office he was leasing had been rented to a new tenant so there was a strict deadline by which we had to have everything done. It was left to me to handle the daily problems that cropped up in our simultaneous building projects.

How did I deal with the stress? 

Every day I had a glass of wine.. or two. Finally the day came when all had been completed. We had finished the projects, had moved office and home but I was still polishing off my couple of glasses of wine with dinner each night. I can’t remember exactly when it hit me but one evening I had a “Betty Ford” moment.  I liked my wine a little too much.  It had served it’s purpose, but now that the major stressors were gone I really didn’t need it any more.  So I decided to quit.

I quit drinking wine.

Within 2 months I lost 10 pounds. Effortlessly.

The only thing that had changed in my diet was no more wine with dinner. I was also getting a bit more daily exercise now that I was living in a larger house with an upstairs bedroom, but I really didn’t notice the difference consciously. The truth is, after a couple of days, I really didn’t miss the wine. I’m not a drinker and it had just become a habit during a time of stress.

Those last 10 pounds made a noticeable difference in my appearance. Friends started asking me, “What did you do to lose weight? You look great!” When I told them it was as simple as cutting out wine with dinner the answer was always, “It couldn’t be that easy.” One friend’s response to my explanation was to lower her voice to a conspiratorial whisper and ask, “Really, Linda. You can tell me. What did you do?” “No, seriously,” I insisted. “I just stopped drinking wine.” She refused to believe me.

The disbelief was universal.

Virtually everyone insisted that it couldn’t be that easy. But I’m telling you truthfully – it was.

I had trouble believing it myself. I wanted to figure out how cutting out wine with dinner had made such an amazing difference. Once upon a time I’d looked up the caloric value of a glass of white wine. It was 90 calories, right? I checked again.  I’d failed to notice it’s 90 calories for 3-4 ounces. Nobody drinks only 3-4 ounces of wine.

I’d been mindlessly consuming an extra 600 calories each night!

I pulled out one of my lovely wine goblets and decided to measure how much liquid it actually held. I was shocked to find the capacity was 12 ounces!  Because it was stemware, the glass appeared to hold much less than say, a full can of cola. But most certainly it did. I was shocked to realize I’d been drinking at least two 10 ounce glasses of wine.

600 x 7= 4200 calories per week.

4200 x 8 weeks = 33,600 calories.

It takes approximately 3500 calories to gain (or lose) one pound. Suddenly it was clear how cutting out those glasses of wine had led to losing 10 pounds in 2 months.

If you eat 100 extra calories than you burn per day, that adds up to a weight gain of 10 pounds per year.
200 extra calories per day? Twenty pounds per year.

You could be 10 pounds thinner in just a few weeks!

The reverse is also true. If you cut out 100 calories per day, you will lose 10 pounds within a year. 100 calories amounts to a soft drink or a few bites of food per day. 200 calories is one extra cookie, or the amount you eat when you “finish your plate” instead of stopping when you are full. If it’s easy for you to quit drinking wine or beer, you could be 10 pounds thinner in just a few weeks.

Automatically. Efforlessly. Without suffering or shame.

Let me ask you another simple question. Where could you effortlessly cut out a few hundred calories per day?

Photo Credit: garryknight

Related Posts:

How to Change Your Beliefs about Weight Loss

Does Size and Shape Really Matter?


{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Hi Linda! I hardly ever read anything about dieting for two reasons: 1) no real problem with weight here 2) It usually makes me roll my eyes.

    Finally some sanity! I’m truly laughing out loud here–can’t believe I’m reading this. All you have to do to lose a couple of pounds–or more–is cut some calories or burn some calories and/or both. It really is that simple.

    Any time I’ve gained some weight–and I have gained and lost about 20 pounds a couple times, and almost every winter 3-5 or so–it’s because I’m eating more and exercising less. Very simple. Right now I’ve got about 5 pounds of “winter weight” that have to go. What do I do? Skip some of the olive oil, stop the treats of cream on my oatmeal, cut out some of that cheese on the weekend not to mention the wine that goes with it–all high calorie, creamy stuff I crave in the winter (cold salads just don’t cut it for me in winter). Snow is gone, add a mile or two to my walks/runs, put skates on. Bingo. Gone. No biggy.

    I love peanut butter too so that has to get minimized. At 120 calories/Tablespoon–oops!

    I’ve been the same weight, more or less, all my life, and I’m 48. And I’ve followed exactly what you say here when I do gain a few pounds. It’s so simple!

    Thanks 🙂

    • Linda Gabriel

      Thanks for chiming in Leah! It’s funny how pervasive the belief is about how difficult and complicated it is. You don’t even have to give up your peanut butter, just eat it half as often as you currently do. I’ve used this method to coach so many clients and they always surprised at how easy it actually is. Even for people who have a lot to lose, you just start with 10 pounds then cut back a little bit more. Rinse and repeat! Of course there are other factors such as stress, which I hint at in this article. But there are so many effective calorie-free options. It’s not just about calories though. I find when people connect to a purpose-filled lifestyle, their weight tends to normalize automatically.

      Considering you hardly ever read stuff about dieting, I doubly appreciate your taking the time to comment.

  • Tammy

    Oh, dear. I had actually done a similar math problem in my head this morning when I woke up. I *love* my nightly wine. Maybe too much. My recent acceleration in weight gain (4 years ago) coincided with a huge amount of stress from several important sources accompanied by a new habit…wine.

    I don’t want to not have wine at night which probably means I really should make myself do without for a nice long dry spell. During that time I am thinking I can drop a few of those unwanted pounds. I gained 45 in 6 months. Do you think I might lose the same?

    • Linda Gabriel

      Yes Tammy, stress can cause weight gain, and then when you add the extra calories in wine you can suddenly have a problem. If you were to eliminate your nightly wine, you’re very likely to lose those pounds in about the same amount of time. Walking is a great way to relieve stress. Maybe you could substitute an after dinner stroll? Let me know how it works out for you!

  • Sara

    Hi! I’m only 21 and have had a problem wirh my weight since I was in my early teens. I was thin and didn’t care about my weight because I wasn’t one who ate alot and I had other things on my mind. Bbut then some stuff happened in my life causing me to lose appetite and just eat unhealthy snacks instead. So I gained some pounds tipping me over the edge og a normal weight, and the bloating was the worst. So I started to exercise and eat less and lost pounds making me underweight. But I was in university and I was si i of a diet-obsessed lifestyle. So slowly I exercised less, and with that came eating more. Now I’m back to a normal weight, and just about to tip over the weight line again, I’m not in the excellent shape that I used to be and my obsession still haunts me. But even now I know losing weight, for people who have no conditions, is as easy as you said – cutting back and exercising more. Exercising is really important, helps speed the processan amount depending on the amount/quality of exercise, and provides distraction and motivation.

    SB

  • Hi Linda!

    I love your article on this topic I have debated in my head for years. I was in denial that nightly wine consumption was leading to my weight gain. In my 20s, I used to be able to skip meals in order to “save” calories for wine, but now in my early 30s, this doesn’t work. My body grew hip(s) to my trick and decided to store the calories with or without dinner.

    Starting Jan 2nd (when these things usually start!) I decided to experiment and see what would happen if I cut back from consuming 22 units of wine a week to 7. The difference is shocking. I lost three pounds in three weeks, my stomach is flat again and the puff in my face has slimmed out. I can’t wait to see what happens once I start running once the weather warms up.

    THANK YOU for these calorie calculations! I printed them out. : )

    • Linda Gabriel

      Thanks for your comments Lisa. I’m so glad you found my article useful… and congratulations on your (easy) weight loss!

  • N

    Hello,

    What an eye opener! I am so glad I read your article. I am in the same boat, have two kids and at night I talk myself into having 1-2 glasses of wine because it will “relax” me. I have been trying to lose 15 vanity pounds and haven’t been able to. I will try out what you say and instead of wine, drink a herbal tea! I will keep you posted. Again, thank you so much!!!
    N

    • Linda Gabriel

      Thanks for your comment. Yes, please let me know your results.

  • Hi Linda. This is very interesting stuff, and yes I am also in the bad habit of wine drinking every night. People regard me as being slim, but to me I see ugly love handles which are really stubborn to shift even though I go to the gym and don’t overeat. I am going to give it a go trying to cut down and to be honest, I feel really sluggish every morning even after only one 175 ml glass of white wine from the night before which is all I have but I also have funny dizzy spells in the mid mornings at work which I think might be connected. Blood sugar inbalance? Hopefully it’ll have several improvements on me!! Thanks for sharing this information, Debbie

  • Kathy

    Cutting out my evening wine happy hour, I have lost 7 lbs in 3 months. No other dieting. I still have a glass when going out for dinner

  • Cut wine loose weight

    Cut wine loose weight

  • Anonymous

    I had a bad break up a few years ago. Unfortunately he inherited the “friends” and my social life outside of the home took a nose dive.
    I never drank too much – just a drink to be sociable and maybe a glass of wine with dinner.
    Now I stay in more and drink wine with dinner and while reading or watching TV in the evening. When the weather is nice I go out for a stroll after dinner. However in the winter I just hunker down at home.
    I have always had a Slim figure and have asked myself where those extra pounds came from. I eat a very healthy diet.
    I believe I have my answer now! I will consciously reduce the amount of wine I consume and I am sure that will help me lose those few extra pounds rapidly. I always exercise and get enough rest. Hoping the wine remedy will work for me!

    • Linda Gabriel

      I bet this will help! Thanks for sharing.

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