You could do whatever it takes to lose weight, but one small mistake could prevent you from seeing the results you want. Alcohol consumption is one of these factors. Even with perfect calorie control and exercise, alcoholic beverages can impact your weight.
Alcohol contains seven calories per gram, compared to four calories per gram for carbohydrates and nine calories per gram for fat. A tall glass of white wine can contain as many calories as a serving of ice cream, and a pint of beer can be the same as a chocolate bar.
So you may be unwittingly consuming “empty” calories, which is not good for your weight. However, when it comes to alcohol consumption, there are a lot of things to keep in mind, not just calories. Read on to learn more about the multiple links between alcohol and weight gain.
How does alcohol affect your weight?
Various factors, including what you drink, how often you drink, and how much alcohol you drink, can influence the effect of alcohol on your weight. However, other factors that affect your overall health and well-being, such as your diet, genetics, gender, physical activity and age, also play a role.
A study showed that alcohol may be a risk factor for obesity in some people, especially when consumed in large quantities. However, alcohol can cause many other problems besides potential weight gain if consumed excessively.
For example, it can affect your circadian rhythm and your cortisol levels. A disruption in the circadian rhythm means a disordered sleep pattern that leads to a hormonal imbalance that can cause excessive hunger, stress, or a slow metabolism, all of which results in weight gain.
There are many reasons why alcohol causes weight gain, some of which are:
Alcoholic beverages are high in calories. For most forms of alcohol, two drinks contain around 250 to 300 calories. This is about 12% of the recommended daily calorie intake for men or about 15% of the recommended daily calorie intake for women. Additionally, the additives and mixers added to many alcoholic beverages contain extra calories, carbs, and sugar.
Calories from alcohol are empty calories, meaning they have no nutritional value. Therefore, alcoholic beverages provide your body with many hidden calories, with virtually no nutrients to support them.
Affects organs and hormones
Your liver acts as a filter for all substances that enter your body and helps metabolize fats, proteins and carbohydrates. However, drinking too much alcohol can lead to fatty liver disease, which affects how your body metabolizes fats and carbohydrates and makes it more difficult to lose weight.
Hormones are essential for the proper functioning of your body, and the consumption of alcohol can sometimes impair the functions associated with certain hormones.
For example, cortisol is linked to weight gain because it stimulates hunger and affects metabolism. Alcohol can cause increased cortisol secretion in the body and imbalances in other reproductive hormones like estrogen and testosterone, which also play a role in muscle building, fat storage and metabolism . These hormonal imbalances can facilitate weight gain through alcohol consumption.
Reduces sleep quality
Although alcohol can help some people fall asleep, it can also cause insomnia. Consuming too much hard liquor can disrupt your sleep. A good night’s sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy weight. If you don’t get enough sleep, you are more likely to crave unhealthy foods, which can lead to hormonal imbalance and weight gain.
Alcohol is more likely to make you reach for something to eat, as it can cause blood sugar levels to drop, which triggers cravings, especially for carbohydrate-rich foods.
Additionally, alcohol tends to affect an area of the brain that controls appetite, leading to even more cravings, especially the next day. So, alcohol-induced hunger causes you to eat more, which means more calories and, therefore, weight gain.
Used as primary fuel source
Your body will prioritize the processing of alcohol over other substances, which can inhibit fat burning and cause excess fat and carbohydrates to be stored as fat, usually in the body. abdomen.
The HealthifyMe rating
Alcohol can hinder your weight loss journey in various ways and can cause you to gain weight. It is high in calories and affects your hormones, making you hungrier. Moreover, it also leads to other health issues, affecting your overall health.
Can we still drink alcohol?
You can still enjoy drinking by keeping the following tips in mind.
- Keep a check on your portion size
- No high calorie mixer added
- Keep your calorie intake under control
- Stay hydrated
- Avoid drinking late at night
It is best to avoid the consumption of alcohol, as it is harmful in several ways. However, if you drink, it is best to take precautions. Hydrate between drinks, track when and how much you drink and what mixers and foods you pair your drinks with, and understand the healthiest choice.
Those on a weight loss diet should choose low-calorie alcoholic beverages. If you want to reduce your alcohol intake, try alternating each alcoholic drink with a glass of water or a low-calorie drink.