Diary / Wellness / Sep 26, 2022
Guide to Losing Your Summer Wine Weight
Written by: Robin Levine Shobin
Photography by: Henry Leutwyler
The end of summer hits me hard. Real hard. And not because summer is over, I actually prefer the fall (call me crazy), but the end of summer for me is even worse than the holiday season in terms of weight gain. I call it "fun regret." The summer fire pits and gorgeously lit dusk evenings lasting until 9PM that call for my wine glass to be filled on a daily basis, multiple times over. I can easily resist holiday soirees and a Thanksgiving feast. But put me smack in the middle of a late summer evening and I am filling my mouth with burgers, s-mores, wine, and whatever else is cooking.
Couple that with gorgeous “healthy” summer fruit smoothies all day and my end of summer weight gain is a disaster. I deal with this every year. And after talking to some of my Charlotte’s Book community, apparently I am not the only one. So here’s my crash course Girlfriend’s Guide to losing your summer wine weight in a hurry. And spoiler alert, it’s not pretty. As Heather Marr, aka the Model Trainer, says, “To drop weight output needs to be greater than input. Period. There is no way around this.”
CANCEL ALL OF YOUR SOCIAL PLANS FOR SEPTEMBER
I know this sounds harsh, but for me the temptation is just too much. And it makes it that much harder to control what you are eating. When you need to lose weight fast, every bit counts. “One of the easiest ways to drop some weight is to bring your lunch to work and make your own dinner,“ says Marr. It puts you in control of all of the calories and nothing is hidden, she explains.
I literally block out my September to stay home so I can accomplish this. I usually just say I have too many obligations around the Jewish holidays. You are not Jewish? Say you are being invited to friends for the Jewish holidays. Nobody will push back on you.
STOP DRINKING WINE (PREFERABLY ALL ALCOHOL)
I know, I know, wine is delicious. It has resveratrol! It helps with stress! But it’s filled with sugar and calories. It’s the primary reason for my summer belly. I try as hard as I can to stop drinking alcohol all together the month of September. “Not only is alcohol empty calories, it affects fat oxidation, workout performance and even quality of sleep," says Marr.
But, if I can’t find the willpower, I order a martini extra dry with extra ice, and to be served with the shaker. The ice dilutes the vodka so you can sip on this drink for quite a while. I’ll still get my buzz on but cut down the wine calories.
I also turn to tequila. And I order it neat. Nutritionist Keri Glassman often warns me, “beware of margaritas—even 'skinny” margaritas.' Agave is not a good substitute from sweeteners.” She says it’s higher in fructose than any other sweetener, even high fructose corn syrup.
My other wine replacement weapon is CBD or THC. I love the brand Dosist. They make “Sleep” pens that are limited to 2.5mg of THC per dose. It’s just enough to instantly relax you. Unlike edibles, the effects on you are highly controlled and instant, plus I don’t find the urge to snack because the dosage is so small. If that’s not your thing, try some valerian root at night. It doesn’t taste as good, but it's calming and has no calories. Herbalist Daniela Turley introduced me to it, and it really works.
LAY OFF ALL “HEALTHY” SMOOTHIES AND COCONUT WATER
A delicious berry smoothie sounds healthy — it’s filled with antioxidants, but its also filled with sugar. So is coconut water. Yes, there is no added sugar, but it’s still sugar. And that means a whole lotta calories. Try looking at some of the juices and smoothies coming out of Juice Press or Liquiteria, your looking at 300-500 calories a pop. And coconut water sounds healthy, but just 8 oz of coconut water has 10 grams of sugar. Often bottles are 2 servings. “Cut out all liquid calories. They have faster gastric emptying time," says Marr.
I drink a bottle of HALO Sport everyday after I workout. It’s made with organic lemon juice and then filled with electrolytes, minerals, and antioxidants. I can get the benefits of all the antioxidant goodness of drinking a fruit smoothie and the electrolyte hydration benefits from a coconut water, but without all the sugar. Added bonus: it’s only 10 calories a bottle.
DO HARD CORE CARDIO
On the weekend I will run or hike with my dogs 5-6 miles a day. Do this for 2-3 weeks in a row and some pounds will come off. Can’t find time to hike? Put the treadmill on a 3-5% incline and do 3-4 miles everyday. Yes, every day. For 2-3 weeks straight. Just do it. The only thing that keeps me on the treadmill are secret TV indulgences. I just downloaded the first season of Private Practice. It’s working, the 3-4 miles flies by.
START USING A PROBIOTIC
I’m pretty good about gut health in general, but my summer diet throws me totally off balance and I end up bloated, bloated, and more bloated. In addition to getting serious about cutting carbs and dairy, I throw in a serious probiotic regimen to get my belly back to being normal. I have discussed my intense affinity for Bobbi’s EVOLUTION_18 Probiotic stick. It’s so easy to take and it’s so delicious. It was developed by Bobbi with the help of Dr. Amy Shah. Amy is also on the Science and Advisory council of HALO Sport. She clearly knows what she is talking about!
CUT THE CARBS
See my point above on smoothies. I’m really guilty of this. I also get stuck in the “gluten-free” trap. “Gluten-free” still mean calories and carbs. For some reason, I see that phrase and think it’s healthy. This label doesn’t give you a license to eat all you want. That said, don’t starve yourself of carbs; just get laser-focused on eating the right carbs. “Replace some starch like rice or pasta with lower carb and calorie options like cauliflower rice and zucchini noodles," says Marr.