For example, 1.5 oz (45 ml) of spirits contains around 97 calories and a standard 5-oz (148-ml) serving of red wine contains 125 calories. A standard 12-oz (355-ml) serving of beer contains more than both of these at 153 calories (2, 25, 26). This could be important since beer contains more calories than many other sources of alcohol. Nevertheless, drinking more than that could very well lead to significant weight gain over time. The strength of a beer depends on the amount of alcohol it contains, which is measured as alcohol by volume (ABV).

Does Alcohol Make You Weigh More The Next Day?

Instead, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise that you drink in moderation. Most studies on alcohol’s effects Sober House on appetite have been conducted in animals. More human research is needed to understand how alcohol affects hunger.

Alcohol Belly vs Hormonal Belly

Over one-third of U.S. adults have tried dietary supplements for weight loss or were influenced to try weight loss supplements. Chronic stress is implicated in a host of health problems, including depression, digestive issues, cognitive cloudiness and pain. “Chronic stress can wreak havoc on health, contributing to weight gain and elevated blood sugar. Stress also affects our ability to manage food cravings,” says Lauren Harris-Pincus, M.S., RDN, founder of and author of The Everything Easy Pre-Diabetes Cookbook.

It makes it difficult to choose healthy options

  • The best way to get rid of your beer belly is to reduce your alcohol intake, exercise regularly and improve your diet.
  • In reality, drinking wine can affect your health as much as any other type of alcohol, including your weight.
  • First, as previously mentioned, energy from alcohol appears to be additive to energy from other sources [5].
  • This can inflame the stomach lining, leading to irritation and bloating that can last a few days.
  • 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].

It is highly likely that the paradoxical results seen in studies examining the effect of alcohol on weight gain and obesity are also the product of a multitude of factors beyond the individual’s ingestion habits. Future research must consider the other important factors that may influence the link between alcohol and obesity, some of which are discussed below. However, a clear cause-and-effect association between alcohol intake and weight gain is not apparent based on the mixed and conflicting available evidence on the topic. Given that both excessive alcohol intake and obesity are of public health concern, a better understanding of the association between alcohol consumption and excess body weight is warranted. The UK Chief Medical Officers’ low-risk drinking guidelines advise that not to drink more than 14 units (175 mL wine equals 2 units) a week regularly for men and women to keep health risks from alcohol low [30]. The inverse association between overall alcohol consumption status and BMI must be interpreted with caution.

can drinking alcohol cause weight gain

Alcohol can contribute to excess belly fat

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]. Moving to the main results, the coefficients on frequency and intensity in the augmented model are positive and statistically significant for men but not significant for women. For men, switching from abstinence to drinking twice a week—a substantial change in drinking behavior—leads to a negligible increase in BMI of approximately .032 BMI units.

One study suggests that the number of people present at a meal is positively correlated with the quantity of food consumed and that the association is stronger when alcohol is involved (de Castro, 2000). The liver converts alcohol into acetate, which is released into the bloodstream and used by the body as an energy source. As acetate levels rise, the body begins to burn more acetate and less fat (Leibowitz, 2007; Stewart et al., 2006). Another important confounding factor to be considered is physical activity level.

Disrupts Sleep

  • The MEOS is induced through chronic alcohol intake, and the level of induction increases with increased intake,” they wrote.
  • Most people intuitively know that alcohol equals unnecessary calories.
  • For example, 71 percent of men and 60 percent of women experienced some change in drinking frequency or intensity while 43 percent of men and 36 percent of women experienced change in both frequency and intensity.
  • With the new Amy Winehouse biopic “Back to Black” in U.S. theaters as of May 17, 2024, the late singer’s relationship with alcohol and drugs is under scrutiny again.
  • We are also indebted to Shay Klevay, William Russell, and Carmen Martinez for editorial and administrative assistance.

Studies have not yet consistently established a cause-and-effect relationship, but the consensus is that drinking higher-than-moderate amounts of alcohol can contribute to weight gain. While light-to-moderate, responsible drinking can enrich social, culinary, and even some religious experiences, alcohol can also affect weight loss attempts. There are almost 155 calories in one 12-ounce can of beer, and 125 calories in a 5-ounce glass of red wine. By comparison, a recommended afternoon snack should have between 150 and 200 calories.

can drinking alcohol cause weight gain

How can communities develop environments that reduce alcohol-related cancer risk?

Still, the researchers noted that more research is needed to understand how eliminating or limiting alcohol intake affects weight loss. In excess, alcohol consumption may cause adverse effects on your body, leading to weight gain. For example, alcohol may affect hormones that control appetite, hunger, and stress. Alcohol is high in calories and is likely to increase abdominal fat. Overall, however, the data describing the stress-weight link isn’t fully clear, including how much of an impact stress may have on your weight status. “Research gives mixed results on stress and its direct link to obesity, as people respond to stress in different ways,” says Twigge.

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