While responsible drinking can enhance culinary, social, and some religious experiences, alcohol can also affect weight loss attempts. Although studies haven’t established a cause-and-effect relationship, the consensus shows that excessive drinking of alcohol can contribute to weight gain.
We’ll discuss how alcohol slows down weight loss efforts and examine which types of alcohol are lower in calories.
Can Alcohol Affect My Weight Loss Efforts
Yes, drinking alcohol can slow down your weight loss efforts. Alcohol and the mixers used in many drinks are high in calories. They have empty calories, which don’t help the body meet its nutritional needs. It also reduces your interest in exercise and interferes with your body’s fat-burning mechanisms.
Drinking alcohol can also relax people’s inhibitions, making them more likely to overeat or consume unhealthy foods.
While some studies found that drinking light-to-moderate amounts of alcohol doesn’t necessarily link to weight gain, researchers suggest alcohol intake can sometimes increase the risk for obesity.
Some say that alcoholic beverages significantly contribute to the total calories consumed daily. A United Kingdom research found that calories from alcoholic drinks composed 19% and 27% of men’s and women’s recommended daily calorie intake, respectively.
Reducing Alcohol Intake for Weight Loss
After discussing how alcohol can affect your weight loss journey, this section will provide tips to reduce alcohol intake for a fitter body.
Start by setting limits on drinking by having a few alcohol-free days weekly and using a smaller glass. Women and men should only drink up to one and two drinks a day, respectively, because alcoholic beverages contain empty calories.
It will also help if you choose wine or low-alcohol beers because cocktails, beer, and other mixed drinks have higher calorie counts. Alternating alcoholic beverages with water can help people consume less alcohol within a set time.
Additionally, people must avoid drinking on an empty stomach because it can intensify the alcohol’s effects and bring them on more quickly. On the other hand, eating while consuming alcoholic beverages slows absorption and helps maintain impulse control.
Likewise, looking at the beverages’ calorie content can help people who want to balance alcohol intake with their weight loss journey.
Four ounces of margarita contains 168 calories, 3.5 ounces of whiskey sour carries 160 calories, and 12 ounces of beer has 153 calories.
On the other hand, 5 ounces of red wine carries 125 calories, 5 ounces of white wine contains 121 calories, 1.5 ounces of gin, rum, tequila, vodka, and whiskey have 97 calories, and 4 ounces of champagne contains 84 calories.
Ultimately, it’s crucial to stick with these steps because it takes time to change habits and achieve your weight loss goals.
Alcohol Use Disorder and Weight Loss
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a medical condition characterized by having no control over alcohol intake, compulsive alcohol use, and feeling negative emotions when not drinking.
Research revealed varying links between AUD and obesity in men and women. Heavy drinking doesn’t usually support healthy lifestyle choices, such as regular exercise and a balanced diet.
Excessive alcohol intake can prompt people to consume fatty and sugary foods, further interfering with weight loss. It may also impair the body’s ability to recover after a workout, and people with AUD may discover they have a lower ability to burn excess calories with exercise.
AUD can also cause anxiety and depression, affecting a person’s body image and motivation.
You can effectively treat AUD by combining lifestyle changes with booking behavioral therapy sessions, taking prescribed medications, and joining support groups.
Sobering Up for a Healthier You
Alcoholic beverages contain high calories and may interfere with your weight loss journey. While reducing alcohol intake or quitting doesn’t guarantee immediate results, it’s a good start. Making lifestyle changes and seeking help can put you back on the right path.
Weigh to Wellness offers weight loss programs in Birmingham, Alabama, to help people live healthier lifestyles. With over 25 years of experience and overseen by board-certified professionals, our clinic is suitable for all lifestyles. Contact us now to get started!