Can Alcohol Cause Weight Gain?
Alcohol is one of those things that we often forget to figure into our daily caloric intake. It is usually seen and felt as a treat or an extra, making it harder to think of the drinks as part of our diet or to plan for the added calories. Using the great infographic and research from Lucas James Personal Training, we’ll take a closer look at how alcohol can affect our diet and weight.
How Much Weight Does Alcohol Make You Gain?
When trying to determine how much weight alcohol can make you gain, it’s perhaps most evident in looking at the calories. Protein has 4 calories per gram, carbs have 4 as well. Fat has the most, as we might expect, with 9 calories per gram. Alcohol weighs in at a hefty 7 calories per gram, not far off of the high caloric content of fat.
If you are eating normally and exercising normally even a few extra unaccounted for drinks can go a long way towards weight gain. Quite simply, if the calories you consume exceed the calories you burn, you’ll gain weight. How much weight you gain depends on how many drinks you have over your usual daily diet. Just one glass of wine is like eating an entire slice of cake!
Worst Alcohol for Weight Gain?
If you are a moderate drinker, choosing your drink carefully may help to save you from gaining the extra pounds. An easy way to determine how bad your drink is for your diet is to look closely at the mixer. Some drinks to stay away from are those containing sodas, juices and anything frozen or blended. This means the following drinks should be reserved for very special occasions:
- Pina Coladas
- Spirits & Soda (e.g., Cola and Rum)
Can You Drink Alcohol and Lose Weight?
As mentioned earlier, losing or maintaining weight is in part as easy as watching your calories by minding the math. But when we throw in the metabolism aspect, it may not be so simple. Alcohol affects your metabolism in an interesting and destructive way.
Here’s a step-by-step of how:
- You drink the alcohol.
- You metabolize the alcohol.
- Soon, the process of fat oxidization halts.
- Then, your metabolism begins to slow.
- Finally, weight gain begins.
Therefore, if you are trying to lose weight while also keeping a regular intake of alcohol in your diet, you may need to work extra hard to keep your metabolism up or cut even more calories in your other meals.
Alcohol Weight Gain Facts
Sometimes numbers and facts speak louder than long drawn out arguments. Here are a few interesting alcohol weight gain facts from Lucas James Personal Training.
- Those that are considered ‘wine drinkers’ have more than 2,000 extra calories every month.
- Regular drinkers spend 10% of their caloric intake on alcohol.
- A margarita can have up to 500 calories.
Can I Lose Weight by Drinking Water?
Finally, Lucas James Personal Training suggests drinking water in between the alcoholic beverages. The added liquids in your system may help you to drink less alcohol overall, while also hydrating you with no extra calories. In this regard water may help you to deter weight gain.
Women’s Health Magazine points out that water does not have ‘magical properties’ but might help thwart off weight gain and possibly help you to lose weight for a number of reasons, here’s two:
- The more you drink, the less you may eat. If you feel full on water, you’re less likely to eat to fill up.
- Thirst is not hunger. Water keeps you hydrated. When you’re thirsty, you sometimes confuse this feeling for hunger and eat instead of filling up on liquids.