How alcohol makes you gain weight

There’s a lack of evidence linking reduced alcohol consumption to weight loss. A study published in 2016 found that decreasing light-to-moderate alcohol consumption did not significantly affect weight loss. Still, the researchers noted that reducing alcohol intake led to less impulsivity, like overeating. Research has found that light-to-moderate alcohol intake does not cause weight gain.

can alcohol make you gain weight

Instead, regular heavy drinking may lead to weight gain over time. Research has shown that drinking a lot of alcohol on a frequent basis can result in weight gain, and in some cases, weight loss. Not only does alcohol affect the body’s fat-burning processes, but it also affects appetite and food choices. Low to moderate alcohol consumption is not necessarily going to make you “fat”, but you need to consider the caloric value of your drinks and compensate for that within your diet. Not only does the alcohol itself contribute to your weight gain by delivering concentrated calories that the body must burn immediately, but it can also negatively affect your dietary choices. Some people opt to forego a meal in exchange for a night of cheeky drinking, but the carbohydrate-rich alcohol is filled with simple sugars, which break down, but then your body crashes due to blood sugar fluctuations.

Can Exercise Eliminate Your Beer Belly?

Crouse and Grundy [48] looked at the effect of adding 630 kcal/day of alcohol to the diets of 12 men in a metabolic unit. There were no significant changes in weight for normal weight participants over the four-week intervention study. They however noted that about half of the obese participants gained weight, with the largest weight gain being 1.8 kg [48]. In a randomized crossover study, Cordain et al. [49] found that drinking two glasses of red wine (270 mL) with dinner daily for six weeks did not lead to changes in weight or body fat percentage in 14 men. They noted that self-reported nutrient intake and physical activity did not differ between conditions, although there may have been dietary compensation that was not accurately reported by their 3-day food logs [49].

Women have more subcutaneous fat (the kind under the skin) than men, so those extra fat calories tend to be deposited in their arms, thighs, and buttocks, as well as their bellies. Because men have less subcutaneous fat, they store more in their bellies. Yes, usually when you go out partying with your friends, you should know that the alcohol can alcohol make you gain weight you are consuming is empty calories. Pooja, in the video, asks, “Do you end up gaining a kilo or more after having one dinner outside the home? ” She then explains that logistically, it is not possible because that would require a surplus of 7000 calories in a day. After a late-night party, many feel like they’ve put on weight overnight.

Alcohol affects digestion and nutrient uptake

If you’ve just eaten a large meal, the calories from that are much more likely to be stored by the body as fat, since they cannot be properly broken down. Unfortunately, being “drunk” often leads to ravenous hunger, which compounds the problem even further. The mixers alcohol is combined with, unhealthy foods are eaten with alcohol, and other factors can be causes of weight gain as well. When alcohol is consumed, it’s broken down into acetate—which is similar to vinegar. The body burns acetate before any other stored energy in the body.

  • A single 12-ounce can of your average beer contains about 155 calories.
  • Another option is to drink alcohol only on weekends, and to alternate alcoholic drinks with low-calorie, non-alcohol beverages.
  • While we all enjoy a night out every once in a while, there’s a fine line between the occasional indulgence and going overboard.
  • While cross-sectional and longitudinal studies have controlled for a number of important lifestyle factors, there are many to consider when examining body weight regulation.
  • Changes in the way your body stores energy from food can make it very difficult to lose weight.
  • When alcohol is consumed, the body breaks it down into energy before all other macronutrients, such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Chronic alcohol use has been linked to reduced protein synthesis which in turn leads to reduced muscle mass leading to a lower BMI. Even though someone who engages in heavy drinking could be gaining weight, specifically, fat mass, they can also be losing muscle mass, which will lower their BMI. Consuming foods and drinks high in sugar can quickly lead to weight gain.

Alcohol Sugar Content

All of the content and media on Lifesum is created and published for information purposes only. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Users should always consult with a doctor or other health care professional for medical advice. If you have or think you are at risk of developing an eating disorder, do not use the Lifesum app and seek immediate medical help. This doesn’t mean you have to give up alcohol entirely in order to lose or maintain your weight. The best approach is moderation, but with alcohol, that usually requires either incredibly strong willpower or having a solid support system.

  • Bar food (and food that sounds good while drinking) isn’t known for being healthy or low in calories.
  • There is also evidence that alcohol stimulates nerve cells in the brain that stimulate appetite, which causes people to eat more while they drink alcohol.
  • Alcohol can also affect your hormone levels including testosterone.
  • Otherwise, keep reading as we look at the three ways alcohol can lead to higher body weight, waistline, and health problems in the long term.
  • A similar study among 20 overweight, sedentary women found no meaningful change in weight after 10 weeks of consuming a glass of wine five times a week.

But zooming out to year four, there was a small association between weight gain and any drinking in this group. However, there was no observed difference in weight based on alcohol consumption in the control group that received minimal weight loss and diet advice. If you’re wondering, “Does liquor make you gain weight alcohol belly fat? Any type of calories, whether it’s from sugary foods or beverages, oversized portions of food, or alcohol can increase belly fat and skin issues, such as acne. However, alcohol does seem to specifically have an association with fat in a person’s midsection.

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