Alcohol and Weight: 8 Ways Drinking Slows Weight Loss

why does alcohol make you gain weight

While drinking one or two glasses of wine on occasion likely won’t lead to weight gain, regularly consuming excessive amounts of wine can contribute to this outcome and other negative health effects. This article reviews the calories in wine, how it compares with other alcoholic drinks, and whether drinking too much of it can lead to weight gain. This can lead to overconsumption of foods high in fat and sugar, which are quick and dense forms of energy, to prepare the body for the perceived threat. Nowadays with chronic stress, this food is now used for comfort which can lead to overeating and eventually weight gain (82). Today, most people experience chronic, low-grade stress rather than acute stress from an immediate threat (e.g., running from a predator). The main stressors are psychological stress and behaviors that increase the risk of negative health events (e.g., highly processed diets, physical inactivity, poor sleep).

Best alcoholic drinks for weight loss

  • That can make it easy to inadvertently consume more calories than you need.
  • While cutting alcohol completely out of your diet isn’t necessarily the only way to lose weight, there are many improvements that can be made in your health journey by simply cutting back on the booze.
  • For example, drinking two 16 fluid ounce (480 mL) bottles of soda in a day adds up to 384 calories and 104 grams of sugar.
  • Though menopause affects all women differently, in general it tends to cause fat to be stored in the abdomen, rather than on the hips and thighs.(59, 60, 61, 62) .

Lack of exercising can keep you from burning off those alcoholic calories and eat bad foods the night before. Other types of alcohol like spirits and wine have fewer calories per standard drink than beer. This means they may be less likely to cause weight gain and belly fat. Men tend to drink more than women, which can result in more weight gain. Drinking alcohol can also lower levels of the male sex hormone testosterone, increasing their risk of belly fat. Drinking large amounts of beer has been linked with an increased risk of weight gain and belly fat.

Here’s How To Clean Up Your Diet Now That You’re Sober

  • Many alcoholic drinks, such as wine, beer, and liquor, are made by fermenting natural starches and sugars.
  • Drinking no more than one drink per day for females and two for males can help prevent bloating and other problems relating to alcohol use.
  • Consuming alcohol also makes you hungrier for high fat, high sodium food while impeding your judgment, which further contributes to poor food choices.
  • Generally, you must consume fewer calories than you use to lose weight.
  • So, your system prioritizes getting rid of alcohol before it can turn its attention to its other work.

Reducing alcohol consumption can also help manage weight, along with a balanced diet and regular exercise. Abdominal bloating after drinking alcohol may be due to gastritis. The main characteristic of gastritis is inflammation in the lining of the stomach.

  • Josh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition Science.
  • Alcohol consumption can lead to weight gain and increases in belly fat (4).
  • Several studies suggest that people who consume the highest amount of protein are the least likely to have excess belly fat (54, 55, 56).
  • And if the dieter wishes to add some high-fat foods like cheese, salad dressing, butter, or olive oil to their daily food intake, the calorie count goes up rapidly.

Factors that may Explain the Conflicting Findings between Alcohol Intake and body Weight

why does alcohol make you gain weight

If you find yourself consuming more alcohol than you plan, or you feel out of control when you’re drinking, seek medical help. Beyond bloating, make sure you remember alcohol should be consumed in moderation. The body can only metabolize a certain amount of alcohol every hour. How much alcohol you’re able to metabolize is dependent on your age, weight, sex, and other factors. If you’ve noticed you’ve gained weight or tend to bloat when you drink alcohol, you may want to consider cutting back on your alcohol consumption.

why does alcohol make you gain weight

Stress and cortisol

Eat more protein when consuming alcohol instead of carbs and sugars. Your body will feel fuller and you’ll boost your metabolism by eating high protein foods. This is the trick to drinking alcohol and still losing weight (10).

Bottom Line on Alcohol and Weight Gain

why does alcohol make you gain weight

However, they add more calories to your diet and can cause weight gain. A less extreme version of substituting alcohol for food when attempting to lose weight is to eliminate carbohydrates from one’s diet, and to consume wine instead. Several years ago we had dinner with an acquaintance who refused to take any bread from the breadbasket because he was on a diet, and lectured us does liquor make u gain weight on the evils of carbohydrates. “I prefer to drink my calories,” he told us, pointing to the bottle of red wine he had ordered. This he did—by consuming the entire bottle. Alcohol can also influence hunger via several central mechanisms. The effects of alcohol on opioid, serotonergic, and GABAergic pathways in the brain all suggest the potential to increase appetite [62–65].

why does alcohol make you gain weight

A summary of the studies examined in this article, organized by the trend between alcohol and weight gain/obesity can be found in Table 1. So it’s important to monitor your alcohol consumption as part of a balanced diet, regardless of whether or not you’re managing your weight. Over time, alcohol may make you gain weight if you drink it in excess. Heavy drinking may activate hormones that signal appetite, hunger, and stress. Alcohol is also high in calories but lacks nutrients supporting good health. In contrast, light-to-moderate alcohol consumption does not cause weight gain.

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