And even if they weren’t, the potential negative health effects of alcohol (including liver disease, hypertension, and heart damage) would quickly outweigh the benefits. Chronic alcohol use and binge drinking damage the heart muscle, making it harder for the heart to pump blood effectively. Alcohol can also contribute to arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) and hypertension (high blood pressure), increasing the risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart failure. Researchers examined results from adult men and women who took part in a national nutrition survey.

Some people choose alcohol for calories instead of food.

So yes, it’s possible to gain weight from alcohol, but it’s not inevitable. Also, since alcohol delays your liver’s ability to break down fat, you will likely accumulate unhealthy fat the more you drink. Most people intuitively know that alcohol equals unnecessary calories. If cortisol triggers our fight or flight response, it is logical to cue the body to stock up on the energy we get by eating.

  • Beer is high in carbs and alcohol but low in almost all other nutrients.
  • Those messages aid in your body’s stress response and help control your energy and metabolism.
  • The strength of a beer depends on the amount of alcohol it contains, which is measured as alcohol by volume (ABV).
  • Alcoholic beverages are often high in empty calories, with about seven per gram.
  • The sensitivity analyses of with obesity and overweight (including obesity) as outcomes produced similar results with the main analyses, which highlights the robustness of our data.

What is Beer?

  • Perhaps these individuals adjust their behaviors in other areas (e.g., better diet, more exercise) when they increase their alcohol consumption so as to preserve their moderate lifestyle (French and Zavala, 2007; French et al., 2009).
  • Firstly, in addition to its acute effects, alcohol has a physiological impact on appetite and heart rate, which in turn may contribute to the total energy balance [5].
  • High stress levels increase cortisol, which changes the rate at which the body breaks down certain macronutrients, leading to an increase in appetite and overeating,” says Lauren Twigge, RD, owner of Lauren Twigge Nutrition.
  • Alcohol can affect several dozen neurotransmitters and receptors, making understanding its mechanism of action in the brain complicated.

Individuals who did not report consumption of the alcoholic beverage type in the week prior to measurement were considered non-drinkers. Low consumption was defined as less than or equal to the median for the alcoholic beverage type, and high consumption was defined as greater than the median for the alcoholic beverage type. The number of participants in each alcohol consumption category (i.e., non-drinker, low or high) included in the analysis is shown below each figure. Not taking into account some of these potential confounding factors can certainly lead to biased estimates of the relationship between alcohol intake and body weight given that large inter-individual variations exist. This situation can be explained by the socio-cultural norms about alcohol and the differences by sex in alcohol metabolism that reflect differences in body fat between males and females [15,53]. Another explanation might be that alcohol drinkers might not compensate for the energy intake from alcohol by consuming less energy from food.

Factors that may Explain the Conflicting Findings between Alcohol Intake and body Weight

As for red wine vs white wine for weight gain, it matters much more the calorie content than the type. Since resveratrol levels in red wine are too low to make much difference, it really comes down to whether the wine is dry or sweet. In terms of weight gain from beer vs wine, beer may be slightly worse, but the two are similar overall. Alcohol use, especially excessive alcohol consumption, can harm your physical and mental health.

For example, a piña colada has as many as 500 calories per seven-ounce serving. 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. Alcohol can reduce your blood Sober House sugar level, which may increase hunger. Some evidence suggests that people may seek high-carb foods to satisfy their cravings if their blood sugar dips slightly. Generally, glands in your body release the right amount of hormones at an exact time, which send messages to your tissues.

  • But even if you don’t consume massive amounts of alcohol, you could still be subjecting yourself to serious weight gain.
  • A review of research published in the journal Hypertension adds to mounting evidence suggesting that even light drinking may be enough to increase blood pressure over time.
  • Alcohol is high in calories and is likely to increase abdominal fat.
  • This is important to note, since low levels of testosterone may increase your risk of weight gain, especially around the belly (30, 31, 32, 33).

The types of foods we tend to reach for when we’re stressed happen to be more calorie-dense foods, such as chips, candy and ice cream. Stress eating can make you feel out of control around food, says Twigge. “This can lead to an even higher level of stress, resulting in a vicious circle that many people find themselves trapped in,” she says. Learn more about the association between chronic stress and weight gain, the effects of stress on your eating habits, how to manage stress to prevent weight gain and more. Studies have shown that a good percentage of people who drink alcohol also smoke, which can raise blood pressure as well. In summary, the public discussion around wine has made it seem more harmless than it really is.

can drinking alcohol cause weight gain

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