Does Alcohol Make You Gain Weight? 5 Ways It Sabotages Weight Loss

”Visceral fat is more metabolically active and can be broken down quicker than other fat,” Jensen says, ”so it is usually the first to go, especially when you have a lot to lose.” Beer bellies tend to be more prominent in older people because as you get older, your calorie needs go down, you often become less active, and gaining weight gets easier. Boys and girls start out with similar fat storage patterns, but puberty changes that. Women have more subcutaneous fat 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.

  • By its very nature, alcohol also helps to remove inhibitions, so it’s easier to break those promises to yourself and eat another plate of pizza if it’s within arms’ reach.
  • Many healthy diets, like the Mediterranean diet for one, allow small amounts of alcohol consumption.
  • This shows that not only does alcohol make you want to eat more, but it also leads you to make poorer food choices, both factors that increase your calorie intake leading to alcohol weight gain.
  • As a licensed clinician, Cheryl stands ready to diagnose and treat a wide spectrum of mental, behavioral, and personality disorders that sometimes present alongside a substance use disorder.
  • The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies.

Reach out to us to see how we can help you live free from alcohol addiction. Alcohol is known to inhibit the release of testosterone, especially in men. While this can result in decreased libido and problems sustaining an erection, decreased testosterone is also known to contribute to weight gain. Excess alcohol can also turn to fat in your liver and can raise the amount of fat in your blood, says Sonya Angelone, R.D., a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

’Think of it as turning off fat burning’: 5 ways drinking alcohol sabotages weight loss goals

If you’re curious, “How long does alcohol stop fat burning? It can shut down all of the other metabolic pathways to focus more on metabolizing the alcohol instead. Alcohol can shut down fat burning for up to 12 to 36 hours depending on the individual and the dose.

For heavy drinkers, this number is significantly higher. So, if you’re eating pizza or even a light salad with your cocktail, the calories from that food get stored as fat instead of burned for energy. There’s also evidence that alcohol can influence hormones linked to feeling full, such as leptin, a hormone that suppresses appetite, and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which inhibits food intake. The end result is eating more food than usual because signals to stop eating are blunted by alcohol. ”This is paired with the fact that alcohol lowers inhibitions, meaning many people reach for foods that they’d normally avoid, such as those high in fat or sodium,” Hultin added. Also, researchers have found that alcohol affects an area of the brain that controls appetite and this can cause intense hunger, especially the day after drinking. According to a 2017 study published in Nature Communications, the nerve cells in the brain’s hypothalamus that are generally activated by actual starvation can be stimulated by alcohol.

Alcohol Keeps Your Body From Burning Fat

Many people have tried not drinking and realized it wasn’t as straightforward as they… If you’re taking an antidepressant, it’s important to understand the risks of combining alcohol with this medication. Alcohol is a depressant, so mixing it with antidepressants can make you feel worse. You may have more side effects from your antidepressants when… Alcohol can cause stress on the stomach and the intestines.

how does alcohol make you gain weight

This likely only has a significant effect on chronic drinkers. Most people are not under the impression that alcohol is calorie-free or a health “booster”, but many of them don’t realize that the calories are not the only problem when it comes to consuming alcohol. Calories derived from alcohol are not the same as those calories you might get from other carbohydrates or energy sources. The body is unable to store the calories that we derive from alcohol, so the body must immediately turn its attention to using those calories, rather than storing them as energy for later.

Alcohol Water Retention

Those intense hunger cues can make you reach for high-calorie foods, like pizza and burgers. If you want to drink alcohol and are keeping your weight in mind, Hultin suggested several lower-calorie options. ”Aim for 4% to 5% ABV in beer and 10% to 12% in wine,” Hultin said.

how does alcohol make you gain weight

Willa Hart is a Chicago-based freelance writer who writes about healthcare, science, and women’s news, among other topics. Alcohol wreaks havoc on your hormones, self-control, and ability to burn fat.

…and makes you want to eat everything in sight

Restore your electrolytes – This can be done by drinking sports drinks , broth or kombucha. There, she specializes in weight management, nutrition counseling, and diabetes, does alcohol make you gain weight and has for over 15 (!!) years. Like us at Aaptiv, she has a heart for running 5-10Ks, lifting weights, and hiking (which, wouldn’t we all if we lived near LA?).

  • Max began his career in the addiction field working as a group facilitator and teacher, developing and delivering a successful faith-based curriculum in a long-term residential treatment setting.
  • Cutting down on your alcohol intake can help you lose weight but for those who have an alcohol addiction or alcohol dependence, that’s easier said than done.
  • The calories that come from alcohol are considered empty, meaning they have no nutritional value.
  • Here are some of the ways alcohol may affect your weight.
  • If you’re thinking of beginning a weight loss journey, you could definitely benefit from cutting back on alcohol.

Drinks that have mixers, such as fruit juice or soda, contain even more calories. There is nothing wrong with having 1 or 2 drinks occasionally over a meal or in social situations.

Calories Are Calories Are Calories (Even in Drinks)

Wine only includes the wine fairies, these just make you a woman. For a man to drink wine, the ultimate effect is that eventually you will develop a vagina. Moreover, spirits will not do you much harm, unless you encounter the spirit snake which causes you to loose your memory and is related to some cases of alzheimers disease. So the moral of the story is to not drink unless you’re a woman drinking wine. Enjoying a glass of red wine with dinner has long been considered a “healthy” move because of its purported heart-healthy benefits. According to Harvard Health Publishing, the idea can be traced back to the 1980s.

Throughout that process, he learned the importance of helping others and living by spiritual principles. Throughout his recovery, James has used his personal story to help make a difference in the lives of others. Over the years he grew into becoming an advocate for people in recovery or seeking recovery from substance use disorders.

How alcohol makes you gain weight

Don’t forget to have a healthy meal before or with your drinks to help you resist the temptation of high-calorie bar food. Everyone’s body breaks alcohol down slightly differently, but there is always the same general process. Alcohol is broken down into acetate, which is burned before sugar and fat. It is usually burned first in the body and used as a type of fuel source. Bodies may thrive on alcohol and hold onto excess sugar or fat from food.

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Posted: Fri, 14 Oct 2022 08:06:00 GMT [source]