Q: I have been doing pretty good with working out, and eating Healthy. Well I love to drink Red wine, and I notice when getting on the scale in the morning I have either not lost anything, or I may have gained a pound. Do you think it is the wine?

This, right here, is why I’m not a fan of checking the scale every morning. It’s an inaccurate measure of any real progress. There are countless reasons why you would’ve seen a rise or fall in your weight for the day. I wouldn’t worry about that.

Here are the real questions – the lifestyle-focused questions: are you enjoying your wine as a part of a larger celebration? Or are you just drinking it every day/every other day? How much are you drinking? The average 4oz (half a cup) or half a bottle? Are these fancy meals with the finest cab, or are you two-buck-chuckin’ it with MickeyDs? It may not always be the wine that’s doing it. It may just be the size of the meal you’re consuming with the wine that’s adding much bulk.

While hard liquor is not a part of clean eating, wine is just a tad bit more iffy. It’s simply fermented grapes – you could easily make it yourself – but because red wines are also reportedly able to both impart antioxidants as well as improve cholesterol, it is viewed with a different eye. The problem with it is that it is still alcohol, and it still comes with lots of negative effects that people need to be mindful of.

Aaaaand…. just as a reminder:

I mean, let’s get this out of the way early – alcohol is absolutely not “clean.” It is a chemical – a fermented version of sugars from various sources, be they potatoes, agave plants, grapes, molasses, berries, barley, whatever.

The fermented version of these sources is, in fact, considered a “foreign substance” inside the body. It does not provide nutritional benefit. It does not provide sustenance. It does not fill up the body. It does not provide energy. If anything, it slows you down and make you binge on garbage food. (At least, it did in college… or maybe that’s because all the food in college was garbage food. Not sure.)

When the body ingests something it considers a “foreign substance,” the substance is then passed down to the liver to be “handled.” The liver is the “detoxifying” organ. That’s one of its jobs. The liver digests the substance… converts it into an energy source, and then sees to it that the energy source is properly stored away for future use.

Excerpted from Q&A Wednesday: Is There A Place For Alcohol In Clean Eating? | A Black Girl’s Guide To Weight Loss

Realistically speaking, I’d love to get into the details of choosing a quality wine for that rare celebration, because a poorly made wine has everything from “natural flavorings” to salt added to it and no one’s trying to bother with that. That’s not what we’re discussing, here, though. We’re talking about wine in relation to weight loss, and that has far more to do with quantity than the particularities of quality.

The bottom line is that when you start getting down to your goal, calories start to matter. A lot. And you have to start cutting the things that don’t fit into that calorie budget. That includes non-essentials (like breads), “fun stuff,” and… um… your lively spirits.You have to also remember that any benefits that wine can give you are benefits that can be acquired elsewhere, like in the fruits and vegetables that should dominate your plates, anyway. And, because you’ll also remember that the way you lose it is the way you keep it off, if you lose your weight by cutting wine consumption to one night a week or a couple nights a month, that’ll also be how you maintain your weight: by keeping consumption at a minimum (or even cutting it altogether.)

All in all, the key to lifestyling is to be just as habit-minded as you are goal oriented. That means understanding your habits and adjusting them for the long haul, with enough faith to understand that even though you’re not neurotically focused on your weight, your habits will carry you through. Take a long, hard look at whether or not the amount of wine you’re consuming fits into your calorie budget, and adjust accordingly. If you decide to make room for wine, think about what it is giving to your body and whether or not those calories might be better served elsewhere. That’s probably the best bet for weight loss altogether.