Wondering if that glass of wine is worth the extra calories? You’re not alone.
A lot of people wonder how alcohol affects their weight and whether or not it’s really contributing to their lives or just making things worse.
So, what’s the scoop? Can you drink and still lose weight? This article will show you everything you need to know about how alcohol can impact your weight – and what you can do about it.
Read on to learn the truth about alcohol and weight gain.
Table of Contents
Sugar Carbs and Calories in Alcohol
Alcohol is made from natural sugar and starch. However, the amount of sugar and calories vary depending on the fermentation and distillation process. For example, vodka is a distilled spirit with very little sugar, while rum is made by fermenting sugar cane and contains more sugar.
When it comes to alcohol and weight gain, it’s not just the alcohol itself that’s to blame. The mixers and sugary drinks often added to alcoholic beverages can also pack on the pounds.
What Alcoholic Drinks Have the Most Calories?
What type of alcoholic beverage you drink also makes a difference. The general rule of thumb is that the sweeter the drink, the more calories it contains. For example, a piña colada can have hundreds of calories, while straight vodka is calorie-free.
Wine is also relatively low in calories. A lot of beers will have more calories than your typical white or red wine.
We find it’s best to avoid high-calorie mixers and stick to lower-calorie drinks like vodka and soda or red wine. Of course, the best way to avoid weight gain from drinking is to moderate your alcohol intake.
How Much Alcohol Does It Take for Weight Gain?
What causes weight gain in the first place? When you consume more calories than you burn off, you’ll put on weight. How many extra calories you need to finish will depend on your metabolism, activity levels, and how much weight you want to gain.
If you drink alcohol regularly, you are more likely to be overweight or obese than someone who doesn’t drink. Drinking just one alcoholic beverage a day can increase your risk of obesity.
Caloric Intake and Weight Gain
Exactly how many alcoholic calories does it take to gain weight? To gain one pound, you need to consume about 3,500 extra calories.
Consuming an additional 500-1,000 calories per day on top of your normal daily intake. If you’re drinking 2 alcoholic beverages a day, you could be consuming an extra 1,000-2,000 calories. This is the equivalent of eating an extra meal or two each day.
If you’re not careful, it’s easy to consume more calories than you realize when drinking alcohol. To avoid weight gain, it’s essential to be aware of how many calories are in your drinks and limit your intake.
Alcohol Makes Smart Food Choices Difficult
What foods do you crave when you drink? Alcohol can impair your judgment and make you less likely to stick to your diet. For example, you’re more likely to crave high-calorie foods when you’ve been drinking.
You’re also more likely to eat more significant portions than if you were sober. If you drink, be sure to eat a healthy meal beforehand, so you’re less likely to make bad food choices.
Alcohol Increases Your Appetite
One of the main ways that alcohol causes weight gain is by increasing your appetite. When you drink, your body releases a hormone called ghrelin. Ghrelin is also known as the “hunger hormone” because it tells your brain that you’re hungry.
When there’s excess ghrelin in your system, it can be hard to control your appetite. You’re more likely to overeat, especially high-calorie, unhealthy foods.
Plus, alcohol can make you less aware of how much you’re eating. This can lead to consuming more calories than you intended. So, not only does alcohol make you more likely to eat unhealthy foods, but it also makes you feel hungrier in general.
Binge Drinking Changes Daily Motivation and Lifestyle
It’s no secret that alcohol can have a negative impact on your health. But what you may not know is that alcohol can also change your personality.
When focusing on being healthier, it’s essential to be aware of how alcohol can impact your motivation and lifestyle. Excessive drinking can lead to depression. When you’re depressed and inactive, it’s hard to keep weight off.
Plus, alcohol can make you less likely to stick to your diet and exercise routine. Have you ever tried to work out hungover? It’s not a great experience.
Alcohol can make you feel dehydrated and weak, both mentally and physically. It’s no wonder that people who drink heavily are less likely to exercise regularly.
Relationship Between Alcohol and Sleep Schedules
You need around 7-9 hours of sleep every night. A lack of sleep can sabotage your weight loss efforts and lead to weight gain.
Alcohol can also disrupt your sleep patterns and cause you to wake up feeling unrested. In addition, drinking alcohol before bed can cause you to eat more calories the next day.
If you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re more likely to crave unhealthy foods. When we’re tired, we tend to crave high-calorie, fatty foods. We’re also less likely to have the energy to cook healthy meals or go to the gym.
The Effect of Drinking on Your Metabolism
Your metabolism slows down when you drink alcohol. This means that your body burns fewer calories. In addition, alcohol can increase your appetite and make you more likely to eat high-calorie foods.
When you drink, your liver starts to burn alcohol instead of fat. This can lead to weight gain, especially around your abdomen.
Plus, your body becomes more tolerant of alcohol when you drink frequently. This means that you need to drink more to get the same effect.
Soon, you could be drinking more than you intended to maintain the same level of intoxication. This can quickly lead to weight gain and other health problems like insulin resistance.
Alcohol and Insulin Resistance
Did you know that alcohol can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes? When you drink, your liver produces more sugar. This can lead to insulin resistance, which makes it difficult for your body to regulate blood sugar levels.
If you have insulin resistance, you’re more likely to gain weight. You’re also at a higher risk for other health problems like heart disease and fatty liver disease.
Plus, if you’re trying to lose weight, you may find it more challenging to control your blood sugar levels. This can make it harder to stick to your diet and exercise routine.
Alcohol Consumption Contributes to Fatty Liver Disease
Drinking alcohol regularly can contribute to fatty liver disease too. Your liver is responsible for breaking down fats.
When you drink alcohol, your liver can’t function properly. This can lead to a build-up of fat in your liver, eventually leading to fatty liver disease.
Fatty liver disease is a severe condition that can lead to cirrhosis or scarring of the liver. In extreme cases, it can even lead to liver failure.
If you have fatty liver disease, you’re at a higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems. Even if you don’t develop fatty liver disease, drinking too much alcohol can still damage your liver.
Alcohol can cause inflammation and scarring of the liver. Over time, this can lead to liver damage and other health problems.
Increased Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke
Since it’s challenging to exercise with a weak heart, alcohol can throw a major wrench in your fitness plans. When you drink heavily, your blood vessels constrict and blood pressure rises. This puts you at a higher risk for heart disease and stroke.
Having high blood pressure makes it less likely that you’ll commit to an exercise routine. Certain types of exercise can be dangerous for people with high blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, you should talk to your doctor about how much alcohol is safe for you to consume.
Alcohol can also make existing heart conditions worse. Heavy drinkers are also more likely to have an irregular heartbeat. This is because alcohol can damage the heart muscle.
An irregular heartbeat can lead to serious health complications. Once you have a heart issue, you’ll have to completely change the way you workout. Your weight loss plans can be stunted, to say the least.
Weakened Immune System
Drinking too much alcohol can weaken your immune system. This makes it harder for your body to fight off infections and leads to illnesses like the common cold or flu.
Another complication of a weakened immune system is making it harder to recover from injuries. As you wait to recover, managing your weight can be challenging.
You’ll have limited mobility and low energy levels. In addition, alcohol can make existing health problems worse.
For example, if you have diabetes, drinking can make it harder to control your blood sugar levels. This can lead to severe complications like diabetic ketoacidosis.
If you have a weakened immune system, you’re also at a higher risk of developing more severe infections. These can include pneumonia, tuberculosis, and even HIV/AIDS.
To avoid lengthy injuries, it’s best to keep your immune system robust and powerful. Limiting drinking and committing to a healthy diet is the smartest way to go.
Drinking Alcohol Increases Triglyceride Levels
Excess alcohol consumption can also increase your triglyceride levels. Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your blood. When you drink too much, your liver produces more triglycerides, which can be dangerous.
If you have diabetes, high triglycerides can also make it harder to control your blood sugar levels. One of the problems has to do with the way alcohol is metabolized in your body.
When you drink, your liver breaks down the alcohol into sugar. This can cause your blood sugar levels to spike. Remember, alcohol can also interfere with the way your body uses insulin.
Having high triglycerides and unregulated insulin levels can be a dangerous combination. Your body will have a hard time maintaining a healthy weight, along with other health complications.
Limit the Effects of Alcohol on Weight Gain
Drinking alcohol can directly lead to weight gain. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. If you want to limit the effects of alcohol on your weight, there are a few things you can do.
For one, you can commit to drinking in moderation. This means limiting yourself to one or two drinks per day. If you want to cut back even further, consider having just one drink every other day.
In addition, you can make sure to eat a healthy diet. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins will help you maintain a healthy weight. And it will make it easier for your body to process the alcohol you’re consuming.
Finally, you can make sure to exercise regularly. Exercise is one of the best ways to manage your weight. It will also help offset the effects of any additional calories you’re consuming from alcohol.
You don’t have to commit to an extreme exercise schedule. Just working out for 20 minutes every day is enough to make a difference.
Drinking in moderation can be a challenge, but it’s essential to do what you can to protect your health. If you’re struggling to cut back on your drinking, talk to your doctor. They can help you develop a plan to reduce your alcohol consumption safely.
Knowing the Truth About Alcohol and Weight Gain
Now you know the truth about alcohol and weight gain. So, the next time you’re out drinking with friends or enjoying a cocktail on a date night, be mindful of what mixers are being used. And most importantly, drink responsibly!
Are you ready to start the next chapter of your fitness journey? UnCraveRx is committed to helping you reach all of your weight loss goals. Find a provider and get started today.