Some 4 years ago, I’ve read on the internet something saying that two glasses of red wine a day along with many other health benefits, also helps with the weight loss, abnormally low blood pressure and premature ageing of the skin due to it’s powerful antioxidants. A few more articles pointed out the benefits of dark chocolate as a natural antidepressant and antioxidant. As, I had a few pounds to shed (12), been refused to start the gym classes at the local country club due to my very low blood pressure (I had to bring in a medical certificate to attest that I am allowed to work-out ), I wasn’t exactly in the happier mood and I was, just as every woman of my age concerned with the appearance of my skin, I decided to diet for the first time in my life. So, in the name of diet, I’ve been drinking two glasses of red wine a day , snacking heavily on dark chocolate, hot cocoa and cocoa nibs. Four years later the diet is more than a diet. It’s a habit. It’s something I cannot do without (I even moved to Spain so I can indulge my wine craving for less – joking but the red wine is really cheap and good over here).
The extra pounds (8) have gone within two months without ever going hungry or doing without my favorite chocolate treats. Yes I’d like to be just a little bit thinner but I guess I’ve reached what my body thinks it’s the ideal weight for a woman of my age, and simply because I’m influenced by fashion magazines and insist I should have a tinier waist and 4 pounds less, it won’t budge. I’ve been the same weight for the last 3 years and 8 months without exercising, cutting down on butter, pastries, sticky toffee puddings or bacon or anything that’s supposed to fatten us up. Yes, I feel more cheerful (but that might also be down to the Spanish weather) and my friends and family are telling me I still look 25. (If I wouldn’t have a mirror in my house, I’d call them suck-ups).
All in all, I think, that even though by some standards, I could call myself an alcoholic, I feel that this selective and easy to follow and fall in love with diet, has been very beneficial.
I also have friends talking to me about how their diets work for a while and how hard it is to keep a slim body after you stop dieting, how they try every new thing on the market, and how they felt hungry for most of their adult lives, how they make themselves drink disgusting tasting slimming teas, how they find that new research they read about just made them start something new and how lucky I am to be able to keep on the slim side without any effort. The truth is, I am not making any effort , but luck has nothing to do with my slim body. It’s in the read wine, chocolate and a few other choices I make:
‘Clever’ CHOICES I MADE (as soon as I’ve got clever):
- Not counting calories : counting calories brings to mind thoughts of food and hunger.
- Eating what I crave: Cravings are important messages from our bodies. Listen!
- Exception: If I crave something that I’ve seen on a TV advert, I won’t buy it or eat it. Generally, food that needs advertising is junk.
- Start the day with a glass of water (water and lemon juice is even better, green tea if you prefer)
- Coffee is a must in the morning as well. (not instant and try it with less and less sugar) – Coffee is also supposed to be very good for us, rumor has it, so drink it throughout the day, If it makes you restless, make it decaff. Or, replace the coffee with a pure cocoa brew.
- Eating the five a day (fruit and vegetables portions): That’s easy especially because I can add cream to the fruit and butter to the vegetables. The red wine diet allows for those indulgences.
- Exercise: I try to walk for half an hour every day, I brush my teeth standing on my tiptoes, or one legged, occasionally I do yoga (nothing extreme)
- Coke and fizzy drinks – only occasionally
- Fast Food – only on my kids birthdays. The rest of the time, I try to include in my diet as many Omega3 foods as possible.
- Plenty of water – yes, Other alcoholic drinks – rarely
THE RED WINE:
I Drink one glass of red wine every day. No more than two at night. At parties, 1 glass for every hour.
I choose wine which isn’t “easy” drinking (soft, fruity and smooth) but is high in tannins and acidity because the astringent wines have better health benefits and can be sipped and enjoyed for longer. My shopping list always includes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, Tempranillo, Crianza. Young wines are also richer in metabolism boosting ingredients so I choose wines that are three years or younger (also cheaper).
Apparently these wines contain health-boosting chemicals called Polyphenols (which are also found in dark chocolate). These polyphenols have a big role in improving blood vessel function, de-clogging the arteries, lowering the bad cholesterol, speeding up digestion and metabolism,…
Other foods with similar healthy effects on our bodies are: berries, nuts, apples and cinnamon
Eat minimum two squares of dark chocolate every day. Have it while you watch TV, especially during the junk food adverts (it’ll make you feel quite smug). If you’re not a sweet toothed person, cocoa nibs are even better.
OK, if you prefer milk chocolate, I have bad news: It has too much fat in it. It’s still more beneficial than let’s say toffees or treacle, but if you want to loose weight you should start moving towards the dark side…the dark side of the cocoa world I mean. Start with 50% cocoa content, learn to like it, move over to 65%, 75%, try different brands, flavors differ. 75% cocoa content chocolate is good enough for you to get all the benefits of cocoa without the downsides of the milk and sugar. Darker than that, well done you, not for me thanks!
Savory cooking with 99% cocoa content chocolate:
There are many savoury dishes where pure cocoa will add flavour and smoothness. I only tried the gravy one for it’s ease of use and I can confirm: Just throw a square or two per cup of almost ready gravy, let it melt and mix. Result: smoother than ever texture and a heavenly taste.
Conclusion: drinking red wine and eating dark chocolate every day helps you lose weight and stay young.
Not only will you shed pounds, look great, feel happy but you will also live longer and decrease your risk of heart disease, dementia and diabetes and many other health issues.
Well, in case you didn’t yet reach for your glass of red, there’s a more convincing book that you should have a look at: The Red Wine Diet by Roger Corder.
That’s all I know about the feel good red wine and dark chocolate diet
Life’s for living. Enjoy every drop and bite!