Alcohol Consumption and Obesity: An Update PMC

Males are more likely to gain abdominal fat from drinking than females. Females may gain weight in their abdominal region after menopause when estrogen levels naturally decline. Drinking alcohol may impair the body’s ability to recover after a workout, so people with AUD may find that they have a reduced ability to burn excess calories with exercise. In this article, learn about how alcohol slows weight loss efforts and which types of alcohol are lower in calories. Drinking less is better than drinking more, too, and abstaining from alcohol will always be the healthiest choice for weight loss and overall wellness. You can drink wine in moderation and lose weight, especially if you choose wine varietals that are better for you.

Is beer the worst for belly fat?

"In general, alcohol intake is associated with bigger waists, because when you drink alcohol, the liver burns alcohol instead of fat," says Michael Jensen, MD, an endocrine expert and obesity researcher with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Beer also gets the blame because alcohol calories are so easy to overdo.

While alcohol doesn’t necessarily affect everyone the same way, it can cause some people to gain weight due to its high-calorie content and the way it affects metabolism, hunger-hormones, and decision making. If you want to enjoy a drink but limit your alcohol intake, try subbing in some of our favorite nonalcoholic drinks and spirits, several of which are low-calorie or low-sugar. So, if you’re eating pizza or even a light salad with your cocktail, the calories from that food get stored as fat instead of burned for energy. Opt for low-calorie options like light beer, and skip mixed drinks with a lot of liqueur, juice, and syrup. Ensure you eat a hearty meal before going out, and keep healthy snacks on hand if you get hungry. Alcohol may have various effects on your health that link to weight gain.

How to lose weight fast without exercise

Generally, red wines offer more health benefits, while dry sparkling and white wines are the lowest in calories. Weight changes are influenced by several factors, including age, genetics, diet, activity level and more. While the factors influencing weight gain or loss are complex and multifaceted, changes in your weight are ultimately due to the balance between the amount of calories you consume versus the amount your body uses. Furthermore, as I and countless others have found, alcohol has a “disinhibiting” effect and can stimulate people to eat more when food is readily available.

  • Finally, while we often think of alcohol as a sedative, because it is, it also disrupts the quality of our sleep (Park, 2015).
  • While recent research on humans is limited, past studies have suggested that different hunger-related hormones, like ghrelin and leptin, might be affected by alcohol consumption.
  • Remember that when you drink alcohol, you are replacing potentially healthy, and filling, food with calories that will not fill you up.
  • If you drank 765 calories worth of beer once a month for a year, you’d be adding an additional 9,180 calories for the year.
  • Calissendorf et al. [58] found that alcohol did not increase plasma levels of neuropeptide Y (NPY); however, animal models have shown that central NPY levels are increased following alcohol consumption [62].

Weight is certainly not the only factor when it comes to health. Still, there are a few things you may want to know about alcohol intake and body composition if you think drinking may affect your weight. Studies have not yet consistently established a cause-and-effect relationship, but the consensus is that drinking higher-than-moderate amounts of alcohol can contribute to weight gain. Drinking too much can increase cravings and reduce your ability to make good food choices. Late-night tacos or fries are much more likely after a few drinks.

Alcohol Consumption and Obesity: An Update

Over time, alcohol may make you gain weight if you drink it in excess. Heavy drinking may activate hormones that signal appetite, hunger, and stress. Alcohol is also high in calories but lacks nutrients supporting good health. In contrast, light-to-moderate alcohol consumption does not cause weight gain. Add all of this together and it’s easy to see how drinking heavily can cause you to gain weight over time. That doesn’t mean you have to totally swear off alcohol if you want to lose weight—you just need to be smart about drinking.

  • The dietitians at the center believe that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss.
  • You can skip drinking altogether and volunteer to be the designated driver.
  • Reading this article is a complete eye opener to why I gained a ton of weight.
  • If you consume too much of it, you can develop alcohol poisoning or even die.
  • Get started by speaking with one of our compassionate treatment specialists.

While the researchers didn’t observe a similar effect in women, they did find that both men and women consumed more fats and made poorer food choices on the days they drank alcohol (Breslow, 2013). Prospective studies have looked at the association between alcohol intake and adiposity gain in various populations, with follow-up periods ranging from several months to 20 years [4, 30, 31]. Results of these studies have been varied and do not provide a clear picture. Several studies have found no association or a negative association between alcohol intake and changes in weight, BMI or other measures of adiposity [12, 30, 32–39]. Other studies have found such an association only in women, while finding a positive association between obesity risk and alcohol intake in men [40]. This study, however, did not specify the amount of alcohol intake, and did not control for participant’s physical activity (PA) levels [40].

Best alcoholic drinks for weight loss

Eating while drinking alcohol slows absorption and helps maintain impulse control. If we’re talking about temporary belly bloat, wine and beer can cause your belly to expand. Your temporary belly boat may also result from too much salt or fatty foods.

What alcohol is the most fattening?

  • Navy Strength Gin.
  • Cognac.
  • Wild Turkey Bourbon.
  • Champagne.
  • Red, White, and Rosé Wine.
  • Gin.
  • Vodka. Like gin, vodka's standard ABV is 40 percent, so a shot will be about 64 calories.
  • Whiskey. Whiskey is also generally made at 80 proof, which means it contains about 64 calories per shot.

Many alcoholic beverages (especially mixed drinks like cocktails) have a higher calorie count from added sugars or fat. However, studies also show that heavy drinking and binge drinking appears to increase the development of excess body fat, among other health problems (Traversy, 2015). Alcohol has also been shown to influence a number of hormones linked to satiety. The results of several studies propose that alcohol may influence energy intake by inhibiting the effects of leptin, or glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) [56, 57]. To date, the evidence suggests that alcohol does not appear to increase appetite through the action of peptide YY (PYY), ghrelin, gastric inhibitory peptide (GIP), or cholecystokinin (CCK) [57–61]. Calissendorf et al. [58] found that alcohol did not increase plasma levels of neuropeptide Y (NPY); however, animal models have shown that central NPY levels are increased following alcohol consumption [62].

However, alcohol also plays a large role in weight management. Anyone looking to drop those final stubborn pounds may want to consider skipping their evening glass of wine. Here, a few types of alcohol with the least calories per serving, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). “If somebody is getting hungover the next day, the chances of them waking up and having a healthy lifestyle [are slim],” Simon says. Drinking alcohol can also lead you to make poor food choices.

What alcohol is OK to drink on a diet?

  • Vodka soda. A vodka soda is a classic drink made by combining vodka with unflavored club soda.
  • White wine.
  • Hard seltzer.
  • Tequila with lime.
  • Light beer.
  • Gin and diet tonic.
  • Dry martini.
  • Paloma.

If you have or think you are at risk of developing an eating disorder, do not use the Lifesum app and seek immediate medical help. Alcohol is high in calories and may interfere with weight loss. While cutting down on alcohol or not drinking at all will not necessarily produce weight loss immediately, it can be a good first step. Physical responses to excessive alcohol use can prompt cravings for fat and sugar, which further interfere with weight loss. People should also avoid drinking on an empty stomach because this can intensify the effects of alcohol and bring them on more quickly.

Alcohol With the Fewest Calories

Doing five shots once a month for a year can add up to 5,820 calories, or 1.6 pounds of weight gain. The more you drink, the more weight you might gain thanks to excess calories alone. As beer generally has more carbs and calories than wine, you’re better off drinking wine. Some low-quality winemakers add sugar to their end product before bottling to adjust the taste. There is no magical way to tackle belly fat other than the tried-and-true method of cutting calories and getting more physical activity.

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