How to Drink Wine, Eat Chocolate & Stay Thin like the Real Housewives of New Jersey
It amazes me how every single house wife looks good in every single shot. It doesn’t matter if they are meeting for a playdate or if Joe and Melissa are picking up the trash truck for their latest business . . . these ladies look hot. The clothes they wear show off every inch from Dina to Kathy to the twins; they are always in fashion and at every event. With all of the dinners and parties they attend, they must know a few tricks to indulging and still being able to slide into those Herve Leger dresses. Here are the Housewives’ 6 rules for drinking wine and eating chocolate (and some recommendations by yours truly on which wines and chocolates to buy accordingly):
1. Data is key
Know the calories in your wine and chocolate
Wines with a higher alcohol content have more calories than ones with a lower alcohol content. Wine can vary from 8% alcohol to 15%, and that number is crucial to counting calories and staying fit while still enjoying that drink with dinner. How does alcohol content play in to calorie-count? A gram of alcohol has 7 calories compared to a gram of carbohydrate (sugar), which has only 4 calories. Alcohol has nearly twice the calories as sugar! So if you want to make it easier to maintain your hotness, start reading those labels.
There’s a similar, simple rule for chocolate. White chocolate delivers more calories than milk or dark (which are roughly equivalent). If you’re looking for the chocolate that provides the most positive result, dark chocolate is packed full of antioxidants and is generally agreed to be the healthiest of the three.
Wine: Choose a Brut such as the Cellar Rimarts Uvae Brut Nature, even more specifically notice that it’s a Brut Nature compared to a Brut or Brut Extra. The Brut Nature has the least amount of alcohol, with no sugar added.
Chocolate: Go dark, real dark. The higher the percentage of cocoa, the less sugar involved in the bar. I recommend indulging in a square of Alter Eco’s Blackout Bar at 85% cacao.
2. Eat before you drink and dive into that chocolate
Having a Gewurtz or a Zinfandel as a light wine that feels like a spritzer? Those sweeter wines typically have more sugar and more calories. You can still have a glass, but eat a robust salad from the Brownstone before that party/girl fight/charity event in Franklin Lakes and you will be less likely to go for a second glass. To best suppress those cravings, eat twenty minutes beforehand. That way your stomach isn’t fooled into thinking it’s empty. And, if wine’s involved, drink plenty of water ahead of time. It helps with just about everything: how thirsty you think you are, how quickly you feel the effects of the wine, and how awful you feel tomorrow (if you’re really indulging!).
3. Maximize your calories
Meaning that if you are going to eat something, it should be great. Bad chocolate cake has the same number of calories as good chocolate cake. And it’s more satisfying too, so you’re not craving more. (It’s been said that M&M’s are specifically formulated to have just the right amount of chocolate in them to keep you craving more, which is why it’s hard to stop at half a bag.)
The same goes for wine. Grab what you will have the most satisfaction out of in just one glass. Buying inferior wine encourages more drinking; especially since they are usually the cheaper ones so you don’t feel the need to savor it.
There is nothing wrong with adding some extra calories to your day. But make sure what you’re eating and drinking is truly worth it, something you truly enjoy.
Wine: I recommend this full bodied Sangiovese
Chocolate: One piece of an ArtPassion Chocolate called Vdokhnovenie from Russia will have you mesmerized.
4. Don’t eat or drink too late at night
Even though we see the Housewives heading out most nights we typically don’t see them eating late into the night. Fighting perhaps, but not eating. Nighttime tends to be the most sedentary time of the day, when your calorie needs are minimal. Eating and drinking after dinner tends to pack on the pounds.
All that late-night sugar can always disrupt your sleep and wine can give you that delightful hangover in the morning. The point may be to focus on your waistline, but there are simply too many quality-of-life issues that arise with late-night snacking and drinking to make it worth it. Put down the glass and the truffle if it’s nearly bedtime!
5. Eat what you love, just eat less
Sometimes you don’t want to maximize your calories, sometimes you want to have that high-calorie glass of delicious wine that goes perfectly with dinner. Good for you! But know there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Save the rich chocolate for special occasions and find something a little nicer to your calorie budget for the rest of the days.
Wine: A Tawny Port such as the Fonseca 20 Year Tawny Port. These super-sweet high-alcohol ports have the most calories, but their rich and intense flavors make them the perfect finish to any meal. Plus, they are typically served in two-ounce servings.
Chocolate: Port and chocolate are a perfect marriage of decadence and luxury. I recommend Cocoa Planet’s Deep Dark Truffle disc with Madagascar chocolate, sea salt, and olive oil.
6. Walk yourself thin with shopping and parties
These ladies are constantly on the move from shopping in Franklin Lakes, running after their little ones, yoga, college tours, BBQ tours of Texas. This isn’t just burning calories, it’s avoiding boredom. And let’s be honest, boredom is a dangerous invitation to nonstop snacking and drinking. Always be moving. Always be doing something, going somewhere. You’ll burn off your indulgences and enjoy life for all it’s worth.
Wine: For such a natural activity, I’d recommend a natural wine like the 2013 Poco a Poco Russian River Pinot Noir (bonus: it has subtle hints of cocoa). There is such a thing as natural wines which can be studied here
Chocolate: You’ll need a hearty bar with major chunks of nuts and spice to help improve your heart and provide a bit of fiber. My recommendation is the Bixby Mulligan bar chocked full of heart healthy walnuts, cinnamon and raisins.
One more small tip, if you’re a white wine lover (like our gal Ramona across the state line), you can easily cut down on the calories you’re drinking by pouring half of your glass of wine over ice and filling it the rest of the way with club soda. Club soda has zero calories, so you can basically enjoy two wine cocktails for the same number of calories in one glass of wine.
Incorporate these six tips into your life and you’ll soon find you can enjoy your wine and chocolate and still look as glamorous as the housewives. You deserve to feel amazing, too, and they’ve laid out the groundwork you can follow in their footsteps. And paired with the recommendations given, you’ll see that these tips do not hinder your lifestyle one little bit. You should find it’s the complete opposite, actually! So drink up, grab a bite, and get on to your next adventure.