Alcohol Consumption and Obesity: An Update PMC

Several studies suggest that consuming alcohol before or during a meal does not influence the amount of food eaten in that meal, despite increasing the energy density of the meal [5]. Thus, individuals do not appear to compensate for the added energy from alcohol in the short-term, and alcohol appears to have little effect on satiety [5]. In a 2010 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, the drinking habits of 19,220 U.S. women aged 39 or older with “normal weight” (based on BMI) were tracked for 13 years. 60 percent were light or regular drinkers, while 40 percent reported drinking no alcohol. Over the course of the study 41 percent of the women became overweight or obese, but the nondrinkers were the ones who ended up gaining more weight. Meanwhile, the risk of becoming overweight was 30 percent lower for women who limited themselves to one or two alcoholic beverages a day.

does alcohol make you gain weight

However, there is a thin line that is easy to cross if you aren’t keeping your drinking and choices under control. If the drinker compensates for the calories in alcohol by decreasing calorie intake from food, this would explain the lack of weight change with moderate drinking. In several studies, volunteers were given, unknown to them, either an alcoholic beverage or a similarly tasting but alcohol-free beverage before a meal and then allowed to eat what they wished. The volunteers ate the same amount of food each time; the effect of ingesting calories in the alcohol beverage had no effect on how much they ate subsequently.

Weight gain

So, while drinking alcohol in moderation may be fine, excessive intake can aid weight gain, and lead to serious health ailments. Moreover, she threw light on an important aspect of consuming snacks along with drinking alcohol. Snacks such as peanuts, roasted nuts, and chips add to indirect weight gain, as calories from both the alcohol and the snacks get compounded, said Chaturvedi. 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].

  • It has been examined across small and large cohorts, in many countries, across various ethnicities and age groups [4].
  • Cortisol plays an important role in helping to regulate blood sugar and fight inflammation in the body.
  • Consuming several alcoholic drinks can lead to a high calorie intake, and this can result in weight gain.
  • Finally, more recently, Cresci et al. [55] found that self-reported alcohol intake was not a significant predictor of success or failure in losing 5% of body weight during a 6-month weight loss intervention.

This study, however, did not control for PA levels and only assessed alcohol intake on a yes/no scale [42]. Alcohol consumption can lead to weight gain and increases in belly fat (4). However, the most significant cause of weight gain in the stomach due to alcohol consumption is the empty calories your body has to burn off and then consume bad foods. 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. In excess, alcohol consumption may cause adverse effects on your body, leading to weight gain.

How is alcohol bloating treated?

But once you go back to eating right and exercising, you should be able to flush out that water weight quickly. Alcohol does not cause weight gain the same way eating a donut does. It impacts our decision-making, lowers our metabolism, produces additional stress, and traps us in an unhealthy cycle of binge eating and lounging. But calorie content is just the beginning of your alcohol-induced weight gain journey. Think again if you can circumvent this problem by drinking “skinny” margaritas or clear liquor with soda water. Overall, Simon says, that the best protection against weight gain is “sticking to that average of four or less drinks a week for women, and less than two drinks a day for men.”

  • This is equivalent to only 3.7 pints of beer or 3.1 large glasses of wine.
  • Sweet wines tend to have more calories, while sparkling wines tend to have fewer.
  • However, if you drink a lot of beer or binge drink regularly then you are at a very high risk of belly fat gain, as well as various other serious health problems.
  • If you find yourself consuming more alcohol than you plan, or you feel out of control when you’re drinking, seek medical help.

All of these calories mean that frequent drinking can lead to relatively easy weight gain. Depending on what you order or pour, just one drink might contain anywhere from fifty to several hundred calories. Exercise is also a really effective way for both men and women to lose belly fat.

Does Alcohol Really Cause Weight Gain?

The information and materials contained on this website are not intended to constitute a comprehensive guide concerning all aspects of the therapy, product or treatment described on the website. The State of Victoria and the Department of Health shall not bear any liability does alcohol make you gain weight for reliance by any user on the materials contained on this website. After your body has depleted all its energy metabolizing the alcohol, it wants to be replenished. Cortisol plays an important role in helping to regulate blood sugar and fight inflammation in the body.

When people discuss alcohol’s effect on weight, they typically refer to the calories in alcohol as the leading cause of weight gain. 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. At Second Nature, you’re provided with a registered nutritionist or dietitian who can support you manage your alcohol intake to suit your lifestyle and preferences.

Why Alcohol Makes You Gain Weight Temporarily

Drinking alcohol can also lower levels of the male sex hormone testosterone, increasing their risk of belly fat. As much as we enjoy drinking alcohol, we perhaps don’t always keep in mind how it affects our bodies. While many viewpoints exist on how alcohol, in moderation, can also be beneficial to health, the fact remains that the calories found in alcohol are ‘empty’.

15 Lowest-Calorie Alcohol Drinks For Weight Loss, Per Dietitians – Women’s Health

15 Lowest-Calorie Alcohol Drinks For Weight Loss, Per Dietitians.

Posted: Mon, 04 Mar 2024 08:00:00 GMT [source]

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