Like most foods and beverages, if you drink too much alcohol, you’re probably going to gain weight. It doesn’t really take a brain surgeon to figure that one out. However, it seems like when we decide to diet, instead of drinking alcohol in moderation, we’re told to cut it completely.


Well, we have some wonderful news for you: new research suggests that it’s possible to drink and (gasp) maintain a healthy weight.


Before we continue with the good stuff, we want you to keep a few things in mind. This applies to people who drink a small amount nearly every day; for example, no more than two 4oz. glasses of wine or two 1.5 oz. shots of liquor per day. These drinks are not like Weight Watchers Flex Points – you can’t save them up and binge on the weekend. It’s about slow and steady alcohol consumption.


According to a 2011 study from The Archives of Internal Medicine, moderate drinkers tend to be thinner than people who don’t drink at all. Ready to have some science knowledge dropped on you? Ethanol (which is found in your favorite alcoholic drink) improves your body’s response to the hormone insulin, and that regulates your blood sugar. By keeping your blood sugar in good standing, your body is less likely to send glucose straight to your fat cells.


Another health benefit from alcohol, according to Eric Rimm from Harvard Medical School, is that it increases your heart rate just enough to keep your fat burners going for about an hour after you finish drinking.


Of course, all of this research goes out the window if you’re the type of woman that has one drink and immediately decides they are “famished” and need to eat everything on the Happy Hour menu. Keep some almonds in a plastic baggie in your purse or something, but don’t order the mozzarella sticks or nachos just because you have the drunchies.


We know all of this is easier said than done, but know your limits and do everything in moderation. At least now when you say you’re dieting, the restrictions come with a glass of red wine a night.