How Does Alcohol Affect Weight Loss? Find Out the Surprising Truth!
June 15, 2022
by Melissa Bartlett
How Does Alcohol Affect Weight Loss? Are you aware of how many calories are in your favorite beer, wine, or cocktail? If not, you should be! It’s hard to lose weight if you don’t know how your drinking habits can affect your weight loss success. That’s why we put together this quick reference guide for people who want to learn more about how does alcohol affect weight loss.
Table of Contents
How Does Alcohol Affect Weight Loss? Find Out the Surprising Truth!
What alcohol is?
First and foremost, it’s important to distinguish between different types of alcohol. Not all alcohol is created equal—not even close. Beer, wine, hard liquor and malt beverages all have different calorie counts, so you’ll want to know how much you’re drinking if you’re trying to lose weight. The general rule is that clear liquors like vodka, gin and whiskey have more calories than dark liquors like rum and tequila.
Malt beverages (those little bottles of beer) generally have fewer calories than regular beer. Compared to one 12-ounce beer that contains 100 calories, a 5-ounce glass of red wine has 120. drinking one-and-a-half ounces of 80-proof liquor is about the same as 100 units of beer. And don’t forget mixers: Sweet mixers like tonic water or juice can add hundreds of extra calories per drink. In other words, take a look at your drink before downing it for maximum effect on your waistline.
The effects of drinking too much alcohol
In the liver, alcohol is first broken down into a toxic compound called acetaldehyde, thanks to an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase. Next, an enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase converts acetaldehyde into acetic acid, which is then excreted through breath and urine. The more you drink, the more these enzymes your liver produces to break down alcohol.
As a result, your body cannot process as much at one time. If you consume too much – generally defined as four or more drinks in a two-hour period for women and five or more drinks in a two-hour period for men – the excess acetaldehyde is converted into fat that is stored around your organs (especially your liver), giving you a puffy face and a potbelly. Basically, when your liver slows down the production of glucose and you’re binge drinking, not only will you be hungover but you’ll also be hypoglycemic because your blood sugar levels are low.
How does alcohol affect weight loss?
Drinking alcohol can seem to prevent weight loss, but that’s not always true. When you drink heavily, most of your calorie intake comes from alcohol and so it could give a false impression that you aren’t eating very much. And if you don’t eat enough to meet your nutritional needs, then weight loss is difficult or impossible. But if you choose your alcoholic drinks carefully and moderate your intake, then drinking alcohol while trying to lose weight doesn’t have to be an obstacle. Some research has even shown that drinking certain types of alcohol in moderation can actually help you lose weight more quickly than going without. Here are some tips for how does alcohol affect weight loss:
The Effect of Alcohol on Your Metabolism: The first thing to know about how alcohol affect weight loss is that it slows down your metabolism. That means you burn fewer calories throughout the day when you drink, which makes losing weight more challenging. Research suggests that each additional drink you consume per day increases your risk for obesity by 3 percent; heavy drinkers who binge on weekends are at even greater risk.
When researchers followed a group of middle-aged men over a 20-year period, they found that those who drank heavily were 2.5 times more likely to become obese than those who didn’t drink regularly. Drinking also interferes with your body’s ability to regulate appetite and blood sugar levels, both of which can lead to overeating and weight gain.
What are the problems with mixing alcohol and dieting?
There are a lot of reasons why people choose to lose weight by drinking less alcohol. For one, alcohol can trigger feelings of hunger and lead to increased calorie consumption. In fact, in a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that adults who drank beer regularly tended to consume more calories from food than adults who did not drink beer as often.
Secondly, mixing alcohol with sugary drinks like juices and soft drinks is unhealthy and can make you gain weight easily. Researchers have shown that just one sugary alcoholic drink can cause your body to store an extra 385 calories every day. This means drinking two or three cocktails on a regular basis could be adding as much as 10 pounds per year—without you even realizing it!
The best time to drink if you are trying to lose weight
Drinking on a schedule can help you control your caloric intake for two reasons. First, it is pretty tough to lose track of how much you’re drinking if you only drink at certain times of the day. Second, and more importantly, if you know that drinking will end in a few hours, you’ll be less likely to order an extra beer during happy hour or sip cocktails throughout your night out with friends.
In other words, alcohol can be part of a healthy diet and exercise routine—as long as it’s used in moderation. And yes—you can still lose weight if you choose to have a drink here and there when going out with friends!
Alcohol and carbohydrates
The effect of alcohol on weight loss depends on what you drink and how much. It’s not that drinking any type of alcoholic beverage will prevent you from losing weight; it’s just that some types have more carbs than others, which can lead to extra calories. Keep in mind that alcohol is high in calories but low in nutrients—it lacks protein, fiber, and vitamins like B6 and B12.
That said, most beverages that are labeled low-carb or light are still pretty high in carbohydrates. And many mixed drinks (like margaritas) pack a lot of sugar into one glass. So be careful how much alcohol you drink if you’re trying to lose weight—and keep an eye on your carb intake, too. Here are a few common drinks and their carb counts: Beer: 12 grams per 12 ounces (one bottle) Wine: 3–7 grams per 5 ounces (one glass) Champagne: 6 grams per 5 ounces (one glass) Spirits: 0–5 grams per 1.5 ounces (one-shot) Mixed drinks/cocktails: 7–15 grams per 4 ounces (one serving).
A general solution for people who love alcohol and really want to lose weight
It is not advisable to drink alcohol, but if you absolutely must, do not drink it with your main meal. rather than consume your alcoholic beverage with a meal, you can either drink it as an appetizer or dessert. With every alcoholic beverage you consume, remember how many calories you’re drinking, and decide whether you can afford it based on your current weight loss goals. To illustrate, 12 ounces of beer equals 220 calories and 5 ounces of hard liquor is equal to 100 calories. When thinking about how alcohol affect weight loss, keep in mind that these are just rough estimates; these numbers will vary depending on the brand and ingredients used.
If you’re looking for ways to avoid gaining weight while still enjoying drinks like wine or champagne, look for lighter options such as white wine over red wine. In addition, choose sparkling wines instead of dry wines (for example prosecco instead of chardonnay). There are also lower-calorie options for cocktails—just be sure to ask what’s in them before ordering! The more ingredients there are in a cocktail, the more likely it is that there are high amounts of sugar and/or fat.