Do you enjoy a few drinks after work each day, but find that your waistline is getting bigger? That’s because alcohol can make you gain weight. That’s right. Even if drinking a couple of glasses of wine daily has been shown to be heart healthy, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have other consequences. It’s especially bad if you’re trying to lose weight, since not only the food you eat, but the calories you get from what you drink can add pounds. It has other health consequences, too, such as an increased risk of liver disease or diabetes.
Even though it may cause weight gain and have other negative effects, drinking moderately may have benefits.
It’s all about moderation. For instance, moderate alcohol consumption may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. One research study found that people who drank in moderation were less prone to it than those who never drank alcohol. Alcohol reduces the blood thickness and improves HDL—healthy cholesterol—levels. Those both help reduce the potential of dementia. Moderate intake of wine and beer may also boost the immune system. Wine is often cited as being heart healthy. However, nowhere, has science ever found it helped healthy weight loss.
Alcoholic beverages add calories without providing benefits.
While you might get a few vitamins from umbrella drinks that contain fruit, those drinks normally also have lots of sugar. The calories from the sugar are stored, since the body uses the calories from alcohol immediately. They can’t be stored. For women who haven’t passed menopause, it simply means you’ll add more pounds, but for those past menopause, the oestrogen levels drop, which causes the excess weight to form around the mid-section as belly fat.
Fat burning slows when you drink alcohol.
As noted before, the body uses the calories from alcohol first. It impairs the way glucagon works. Glucagon elevates glucose levels and breaks down fat. It all goes back to how the body sees alcohol. It doesn’t view it as a drink, but rather a poison and the liver works hard to rid the body of poison. While the liver is trying to rid the body of the alcohol, it can’t do its other tasks, so breaking down fat doesn’t occur. It also causes blood glucose levels to drop, leaving you feeling ravenous. Everything looks good and you tend to overeat. Not only does alcohol stop fat burning, it stimulates your appetite.
- If you’re trying to build muscle, avoid alcoholic drinks. It reduces testosterone levels that help with muscle gain. Lower testosterone levels directly and indirectly affect how much weight you lose.
- One study shows that a simple drink before dinner can stimulate your appetite, so you eat more. One study compared those who had an alcoholic beverage to those who had a soft drink and the ones who drank alcohol ate far more.
- Each gram of alcohol is high in calories. It has twice the calories of protein and more than most carbs. A gram of fat has 9 calories with alcohol coming in close at 7. However, fat makes you feel full and is important for bodily functions, which includes burning fat.
- The spike in the insulin level caused by alcoholic drinks can increase the potential for more than just weight gain. It can increase the potential for insulin resistance. While you can still lose weight and drink moderately, it is harder to do.
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