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Updated on August 21, 2023
5 min read

Does Wine Make You Gain Weight?

Some research suggests that drinking wine can make you gain weight. However, other research indicates that wine may have some properties that protect against weight gain.

Generally, alcohol consumption can lead to weight gain. However, having a few glasses of wine or drinking moderately won't make you gain weight. But drinking several glasses every night or drinking heavily can.

Too much wine can add extra calories. Plus, the effects of alcohol can cause a hangover that may lead you to be less active after drinking. A lack of exercise can lead to weight gain.

What Research Says About Weight Gain and Alcohol 

Alcohol and weight go hand in hand. Over time, heavy drinking can cause weight gain. Heavy drinking refers to consuming 15 or more drinks per week for men and 8 or more drinks per week for women.1

However, drinking in moderation shouldn't cause weight gain. This means limiting your alcohol intake to two drinks or less per day for men or one drink per day or less for women.1

So, if you drink several glasses of wine or alcoholic beverages every day, you may notice the number on the scale increasing. This is especially true if you mix alcohol (like vodka) with soda which contains a lot of sugar.


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Can Moderate Wine Consumption Help You Lose Belly Fat?

Light to moderate alcohol intake, especially wine consumption, may help protect against weight gain.5 While you may not lose weight, a little wine can help you avoid gaining weight.

In particular, red wine's antioxidants can boost your body’s good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein). This can protect your body against fat buildup.7

Studies show that wine can help reduce your risk of mortality from cardiovascular complications. Wine contains resveratrol and proanthocyanidin, which may be good for the heart. It can also increase your life span.4

How Many Calories Are in a Bottle of Wine?

Different types of wine contain different calorie counts. For example, white table wine generally has about 128 calories per 5 ounces. Meanwhile, red table wine usually has about 125 calories per 5 ounces.3

Dry dessert wine may contain about 157 calories per 3.5 ounces. And red dessert wine likely has about 165 calories per 3.5 ounces.3 Additives like sugar can also increase the calorie count in wine and other alcoholic beverages. 


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Beer Belly vs. Wine Belly: Which is Worse?

A beer belly and a wine belly are caused by drinking too much alcohol. Abdominal obesity is a major health hazard, regardless of whether it comes from drinking beer, wine, or a poor diet. 

Abdominal obesity can increase your risk of:2

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED)

Men who consume 1,000 ml/d of beer are at a 17 percent higher risk for waist circumference gain compared to those who drink lightly, if at all. There’s no association between beer consumption and waist circumference gain for women. However, research shows a significantly lower risk for waist circumference gain in women who abstain from drinking beer compared to women who drink lightly.8


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5 Ways to Drink Wine Without Gaining Weight 

Here are five ways to drink wine without gaining weight:12

  1. Drink in moderation if you are going to drink at all (and take it slow)
  2. Drink wines with less sugar
  3. Choose wines that have fewer calories per bottle
  4. Maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly
  5. Drink one glass of water for every glass of wine you drink (water promotes weight loss and prevents you from drinking as much alcohol)

The most important thing is to watch what you drink. Women who were initially at average weights and consumed light-to-moderate amounts of alcohol experienced less weight gain than women who drank more. They also have a lower risk of becoming overweight or obese.11

What Type of Wine is ‘Healthiest?’

Certain wines are healthier than others. For example, red wine may have more health benefits than white wine.

Red wine is packed with antioxidants and seems to do a better job at cardiovascular protection than spirits.6 Red wine is also known to reduce platelet aggregation, which can prevent blood clots and thrombi.9

Certain wines that have higher concentrations of polyphenol compounds may also be better for you in some ways. However, some wines, like merlot or cabernet sauvignon, only carry a fraction of these important compounds from grapes.13

Drinking Wine Every Night? (Signs of Misuse)

Drinking alcohol in moderation is generally considered safe. But if you find yourself drinking wine every night, drinking alone often, or drinking more and more to achieve the same effects, you may have an alcohol use disorder (AUD).

Other signs of alcohol misuse also include, but are not limited to:

  • Allowing alcohol to get in the way of work or family obligations
  • Allowing alcohol to affect professional and personal relationships negatively
  • Spending a lot of money on alcohol or experiencing financial issues due to alcohol consumption
  • Making dangerous decisions while under the influence that can result in injury to the self or others (such as drinking while driving)
  • Experiencing alcohol cravings to cope with stress
  • Finding it difficult to quit drinking or to reduce alcohol intake
  • Noticing mood changes while not drinking alcohol
  • Noticing physical changes from drinking alcohol, like weight gain

If the above signs resonate, you are not alone. More than 14 million adults in the U.S. struggle with AUD.10

Treatment Options for Alcohol Misuse & Addiction

There are various treatment options for alcohol misuse and alcohol addiction. If you or someone you know is dealing with AUD, consider reaching out to a healthcare professional.

It is not safe to quit heavy drinking or significantly cut back on it alone. There are also various treatment options to help you recover from alcohol addiction, including:

  • Inpatient treatment: Involves checking yourself into a rehab facility for 24-hour medical supervision
  • Outpatient treatment: A treatment program where people are allowed to leave the rehab facility
  • Behavioral therapies: and counseling groups can help you deal with any triggers that make you feel like drinking
  • Support groups: can help you connect with other recovering people and learn from people who have achieved sobriety10

You may explore alternative faith-based programs, spiritual practices, holistic therapies, and other options. Some treatments and therapies may work better for you than others. 

Help is available. Reach out to a medical professional like your primary care physician to explore treatment options. Trying to recover from alcohol addiction alone is unsafe.

Updated on August 21, 2023
13 sources cited
Updated on August 21, 2023
All Alcoholrehabhelp content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable media sites, academic research institutions and, whenever possible, medically peer reviewed studies.
  1. Alcohol Questions and Answers.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 Feb. 2021. 
  2. Beer Belly.” Harvard Health, 2 Apr. 2018.
  3. Calorie Count - Alcoholic Beverages: Medlineplus Medical Encyclopedia.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  4. DK;, Bertelli AA;Das. “Grapes, Wines, Resveratrol, and Heart Health.” Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  5. M;, Sayon-Orea C;Martinez-Gonzalez MA;Bes-Rastrollo. “Alcohol Consumption and Body Weight: A Systematic Review.” Nutrition Reviews, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  6. R;, Chiva-Blanch G;Arranz S;Lamuela-Raventos RM;Estruch. “Effects of Wine, Alcohol and Polyphenols on Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors: Evidences from Human Studies.” Alcohol and Alcoholism (Oxford, Oxfordshire), U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  7. Red Wine and Resveratrol: Good for Your Heart?Mayo Clinic.
  8. Schütze M;Schulz M;Steffen A;Bergmann MM;Kroke A;Lissner L;Boeing H; “Beer Consumption and the 'Beer Belly': Scientific Basis or Common Belief?European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  9. Snopek, Lukas, et al. “Contribution of Red Wine Consumption to Human Health Protection.” Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), MDPI, 11 July 2018.
  10. Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder.” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 
  11. Wang, Lu, et al. “Alcohol Consumption, Weight Gain, and Risk of Becoming Overweight in Middle-Aged and Older Women.” Archives of Internal Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 8 Mar. 2010.
  12. Weight Loss and Alcohol: Medlineplus Medical Encyclopedia.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  13. WSU Scientists Turn White Fat Into Obesity-Fighting Beige FAT: Wsu Insider: Washington State University.” WSU Insider, 18 June 2015.
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All content created by Alcohol Rehab Help is sourced from current scientific research and fact-checked by an addiction counseling expert. However, the information provided by Alcohol Rehab Help is not a substitute for professional treatment advice.
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