Alcohol and Weight Gain: Causes, Relationship, and Solutions

Alcohol and weight gain

Regular alcohol consumption can also lead to weight gain, which may feel like bloating. Results of a systematic review assessing extant systematic reviews, which was published by the Foundation for Alcohol Research & Education, suggested similar findings. Drugs, alcohol, and obesity are all major public health concerns in the United States. Each of these conditions can lead to serious health problems, including addiction and obesity. For example, alcohol can cause weight gain by increasing appetite and slowing down the body’s metabolism.

The Myth of the Beer Belly

Without normal digestive function, even healthy food is potentially unable to be used to benefit the body. People continue to make poor food choices the day after passing their tipping point, with an average additional intake of 2,051 calories, taking the estimated additional calorie intake to over 6,000 in two days. This refers to the amount of alcohol it takes for your inhibitions to be significantly lowered such that your energy intake substantially increases over the following 48 hours. 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. Abdominal bloating after drinking alcohol may be due to gastritis.

Health Categories to Explore

Instead, metabolism shifts from burning stored food calories to removing toxic waste. The primary toxic chemicals produced by alcohol are called acetaldehyde and acetate. The findings provide enough evidence to propose educational awareness to athletes and coaches regarding alcohol consumption and muscle recovery. You might be concerned about your weight and whether your alcohol intake prevents you from losing weight. You may or may not be surprised to hear that alcohol consumption can significantly affect your weight, but not necessarily in the way you might think.

Alcohol and weight gain

Added Calories in Mixers

It may not seem like a big deal, but these disruptions can be difficult to re-balance. By cutting back on binge drinking, you could inadvertently lose weight to achieve a lower body mass index (BMI) without making any other changes to your lifestyle. As well as the result of passing your tipping point, research shows that poor sleep quality following binge drinking significantly affects weight. The average additional energy intake after a person has passed their tipping point is estimated to be 4,305 extra calories that same evening – more than twice the recommended daily calorie guideline for an adult woman. Plus, most alcoholic beverages have a lot of energy but little nutritional value, which is where the term ‘empty calories’ comes from.

  • Other studies have found such an association only in women, while finding a positive association between obesity risk and alcohol intake in men [40].
  • One explanation is that there is a learned association between alcohol and eating; however, several experimenters disguised the presence of alcohol in their protocols and still found increased energy intake [5].
  • A recent animal study found that mice given ethanol over a period of three days demonstrated a significant increase in food intake.
  • They noted that self-reported nutrient intake and physical activity did not differ between conditions, although there may have been dietary compensation that was not accurately reported by their 3-day food logs [49].

Alcohol can contribute to excess belly fat

Alcohol and weight gain

Although there is evidence to suggest that frequent alcohol intake may predispose to weight gain or obesity over the long-term, this effect is not strongly reflected in the recent research. First, it has been found that alcohol intake increases energy expenditure, likely due in part to the fact that it has a high thermogenic effect [53]. It has also been suggested that some of the energy ingested as alcohol is ‘wasted’, due to the activation of the inefficient hepatic microsomal ethanol-oxidizing system (MEOS). The MEOS is induced through chronic alcohol intake, and the level of induction increases with increased intake [54, 67]. Oxidation of alcohol via the MEOS produces less ATP than oxidation via alcohol dehydrogenase, using the energy from alcohol intake primarily to enhance heat production [37, 54]. The extent to which wasted energy from regular alcohol consumption contributes to weight gain prevention is unclear.

What your biological age can reveal about your health

Non-Hispanic Black adults (49.6%) had the highest age-adjusted prevalence of obesity, followed by Hispanic adults (44.8%), non-Hispanic White adults (42.2%), and non-Hispanic Asian adults (17.4%). The obesity prevalence was 40.0% among adults aged 20 to 39 years, 44.8% among adults aged 40 to 59 years, and 42.8% among adults aged 60 and older. Here, a few types of alcohol with the least calories per serving, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). If you only enjoy flavored drinks, try adding a bit of fresh ingredients like mint or a few raspberries.

Why does alcohol cause bloating?

But recent insights show that some antidepressants are linked to an increased chance of weight gain, compared to others. Ultimately, the risk-vs-enjoyment calculus of consuming alcohol should be considered on an individual basis, does liquor make u gain weight based on your current health status, your medication use, and other factors, experts say. “I don’t think alcohol is evil by any means but it’s a riskier proposition as you get older—you have to be more cautious,” says Moore.

Alcohol and weight gain

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