Still, you may have heard that red wine, in particular, may offer more benefits than other alcohols. Red wine contains resveratrol, an antioxidant compound that may fight disease and has been linked to heart benefits when consumed in moderation (10). When compared side by side, wine has slightly more calories than light beer and most liquors, but less than regular and heavy beers. Mixers like juices and sodas can significantly increase the calorie and carb contents of distilled spirits, such as vodka, gin, and whiskey.

This means that they provide your body with calories but contain very little nutrients. Here are eight ways alcohol can impede your weight loss and what you should drink instead. Anyone looking to drop those final stubborn pounds may want to consider skipping their evening glass of wine. Beyond bloating, make sure you remember alcohol should be consumed in moderation. The body can only metabolize a certain amount of alcohol every hour. How much alcohol you’re able to metabolize is dependent on your age, weight, sex, and other factors.

Is Wine Fattening?

The relationship between alcohol and weight loss is direct, and alcohol can contribute to weight and overall health. A less extreme version of substituting alcohol for food when attempting to lose weight is to eliminate carbohydrates from one’s diet, and to consume wine instead. Several years ago we had dinner with an acquaintance who refused to take any bread from the breadbasket because he was on a diet, and lectured us on the evils of carbohydrates. “I prefer to drink my calories,” he told us, pointing to the bottle of red wine he had ordered. This he did—by consuming the entire bottle.

Instead, regular heavy drinking may lead to weight gain over time. 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. does alcohol cause you to gain weight “The extra calories from moderate drinking (one serving of alcohol for women a day or two servings for men per day) can certainly fit into the calorie allotment for weight maintenance,” Angelone says. The important thing is that you factor those calories in along with what you eat, she says.

Alcohol can affect your organs

Diets high in refined carbs and low in fiber appear to have the opposite effect on appetite and weight gain, including increases in belly fat (88). High protein diets may promote weight loss and prevent weight gain by increasing fullness, since protein takes longer to digest compared to other macronutrients. Protein also supports muscle repair and growth, which contributes to a higher metabolism and more calories burned at rest (50, 51, 52, 53).

does alcohol cause you to gain weight

Making changes to your diet for weight loss can be a challenge. While much attention is paid to the food you eat, it’s equally important to consider what you drink. Weight loss plans nearly always include changes to diet, and cutting back on fruity juices, sugary sodas, and alcoholic beverages can also help lose weight. Studies have revealed varying results regarding the links between AUD and obesity in men and women. In general, though, heavy drinking does not support healthful lifestyle choices, such as eating a nutritious diet and exercising regularly.

Does Alcohol Cause Weight Gain? It’s Complicated.

A simple vodka, lime, and club soda will be one of the best bets if you don’t want to keep the pounds off. If you’re doing everything else right in your diet and exercise program, then having an alcoholic beverage or two shouldn’t contribute much to weight gain. However, as long as you keep your calories, macronutrients, and meal timing correct, it could even lose weight.

  • That also applies to alcoholic drinks by forcing you to cut out sweet syrups and give up the mixed drinks containing soda.
  • Some alcoholic drinks, such as beer, can also cause boating due to gas.
  • That’s an additional 2,000-3,000 calories of fatty, salty, nutritionally poor food sitting in your stomach, which is still reeling from the 4,000+ nighttime calories you crammed into it less than 12 hours ago.

If you are trying to lose weight, you can boost your efforts by cutting back on alcoholic drinks. Some mixed drinks can contain as many calories as a meal, but without the nutrients. Aside from the immediate influence on appetite that comes from alcohol consumption, there are also effects on energy storage. Alcohol inhibits fat oxidation, suggesting that frequent alcohol consumption could lead to fat sparing, and thus higher body fat in the long term [62]. However, the results of the various cross-sectional and longitudinal studies examined in this review do not unequivocally support such a hypothesis. Finally, there is also evidence to suggest that traits that predispose individuals to binge drinking may also predispose to binge eating [66].

Alcohol and weight loss: What to know

Since you’re motivated to lose weight, you should check out our 30-Day Weight Loss Challenge. This knowledge will help you generate more appreciation for the drink, consume it slower, and treat each drinking opportunity like a ritual. We do this with our favorite mezcal, which is distilled locally from wild-harvested agave plants. A meal of protein and vegetables is best to set the foundation for a few drinks. Is one or both of you over the moderation limits of 1-2 drinks twice per week?

  • Most studies on alcohol’s effects on appetite have been conducted in animals.
  • Is one or both of you over the moderation limits of 1-2 drinks twice per week?
  • They break down food into the basic macro- and micronutrients that are absorbed and used by the body.
  • This can inflame the stomach lining, leading to irritation and bloating that can last a few days.

Sleep deprivation, whether from lack of sleep or impaired sleep, can lead to an imbalance in the hormones related to hunger, satiety, and energy storage. Plus, lower testosterone levels may affect quality of sleep, especially in older men. Alcohol lowers inhibitions and can lead to poor decision-making in the heat of the moment — especially when it comes to food choices. There are also other elements that can cause weight gain outside of calorie content. Sweet wines tend to have more calories, while sparkling wines tend to have fewer.