Does Alcohol Make You Gain Weight
Alcohol, like everything that you put in your body, has an effect on your body. Often, people will ask if consuming any amount of alcohol will contribute to weight gain. Like most questions related to alcohol, the answer is a complicated “yes.”
So let’s get into exactly what makes this a complicated question and what exactly contributes to weight gain when consuming alcohol.
Alcohol Has Lots of Calories
This might seem obvious, but it’s true. Alcohol will make you gain weight just because it has calories in it. The type of alcohol will affect the amount of calories, but other effects will change how much you actually end up consuming.
For example, there are more calories in an ounce of vodka than there are in most beers. Beer is still known as more of a calorie-heavy drink because of the amount consumed. However, if one were to get to a more desperate point in their life, they might find themselves drinking as much vodka as one normally would beer, and thus, be consuming far more calories than they originally thought they were by switching to a “calorie-light” drink.
In neither case should drinking so much be encouraged, but this example serves as a useful guide to understand how the type of alcohol one consumes can increase your calorie intake.
Not only does alcohol itself have calories, but often the types of drinks mixed with alcohol will also have calories. These all need to be accounted for when consuming alcohol – nothing can be forgotten if one wants to watch their weight.
Alcohol Increases Your Appetite
Alcohol actually increases your appetite. This is not as well known by most casual drinkers, but who can’t remember a night when they ate a little too much after a night out drinking? Nearly everyone who’s gone out for drinks can relate to this, and there’s a scientific reason for it.
Not only this, but alcohol increases the odds that you’ll make poor food choices. Alcohol inhibits the brain’s ability to make proper choices, and replaces the “right” thing to do with whatever your body wants to do.
This on top of an increased appetite will surely lead one to make poor food choices, and likely encourage them to continue eating as long as they are under the influence.
Alcohol-Ridden Environments Don’t Promote Healthy Food Choices
Think about it, bars, clubs, these typical places to find alcohol all encourage bad eating habits. Those peanuts on the bar table? Lots of calories. Any other snacks at the bar? Probably also unhealthy food at the absolute minimum.
Any other place where one might encounter alcohol won’t exactly be promoting healthy food choices. Alcohol itself isn’t exactly a healthy food choice, and therefore it’s no wonder that most people would not be the most conscious about their health.
Alcohol Slows Your Metabolism
Your body can only metabolise so many things at a time. When you are drinking alcohol, your body usually looks to metabolize alcohol first, slowing the rate at which everything else gets metabolised.
This will increase the rate at which fat gets metabolised, meaning that in some cases it might be stored in other parts of your body instead, including your liver – which may eventually lead to liver disease. In most cases, however, it just leads to accelerated weight gain.
Alcohol Slows Your Central Nervous System
This has been studied extensively, and there seems to be a link to a slower central nervous system and weight gain. This is paired with many other aspects of health as an overarching concept, but it is still important.
A slow central nervous system can come from many different things, but it does come from habitual drinking. This will probably only be something that addicted drinkers will have to deal with.
Binge Drinking and Weight Gain
Binge drinking will have a much stronger effect on your body in all of these areas. It is widely accepted that some casual drinking is acceptable for health, but overdoing it will certainly lead to negative effects on your body.
One to two drinks per day is generally the rule for most people, however drinking three a day for women and five a day for men is thought of as binge drinking.
Binge drinking has a correlation to weight gain, no matter the substance. If one is partaking in regular binge drinking, they should recognize the likelihood that they will quickly gain weight. If that is something that they desperately want to avoid, they may be able to use it as a deterrent and use it to help them stop drinking.
In any case, binge drinking and binge eating are closely connected, as the habits for both are created in very similar ways. The fast release of dopamine, the general need for it to help soothe a current real-world problem – these are all reasons one would turn to drinking, over-eating, or both.
In either case, it’s prudent for the addicted individual to get help as soon as he or she can. Understanding one addiction is only so easy, understanding them both gets slightly easier. The reasons that one turns to drinking or overeating are generally one in the same, however neither can be directly addressed.
Typically, increased weight gain and binge drinking are treated the same way – address the clear issue first, then address whatever first triggered it either along the way or after the addicted individual has overcome their addiction.
Getting help for either of these problems is very similar, just like all previous examples before it. Getting help usually starts with admitting that one has a problem, then creating a support group that they can rely on and count on to try and help them overcome their addiction.
There are significant differences in both of these examples, for example, one typically doesn’t go to rehab for overeating.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, reach out as soon as you can. There is no time to waste when it comes to addiction. If you see the first signs of a dependency, reach out and get the help that you or your loved one needs. If you don’t know where to start, find us at ecosoberhouse.com and see how we can help you today.