Drinking alcohol can make it harder to lose weight. There are many reasons for this, including:
- Alcohol is high in calories, and so are the popular mixers used in many drinks.
- Calories from alcohol are empty calories as they do not help the body meet its nutritional needs.
- People typically consume alcoholic drinks as extras, adding to their regular daily calorie intake.
- Drinking alcohol relaxes people's inhibitions, which can make them more likely to overeat or opt for unhealthy foods.
- Alcohol interferes with the body's fat-burning mechanisms.
- Drinking too much alcohol can reduce an individual's interest in exercise.
Although some studies have found that drinking light-to-moderate amounts of alcohol is not necessarily linked to weight gain, researchers suggest that drinking alcohol can sometimes be a risk factor for obesity.
For some people, alcoholic beverages contribute a significant number of calories to the total amount they consume daily.
The following techniques can help people cut down the use of alcohol and achieve their weight loss goals:
- Set limits on drinking (define moderate drinking as up to one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men)
- Have a few alcohol-free days per week: As alcoholic drinks contain empty calories, it is best to avoid consuming them every day.
- Use a smaller glass: Portion control is important for achieving and maintaining a moderate weight, and that also holds for beverages.
- Alternate alcoholic beverages with water: Doing this can help people consume less alcohol within a set period.
- Opt for wine or low alcohol beers: Beer, cocktails, and other mixed drinks tend to have higher calorie counts.
- Stick with it: It takes time to change habits and lose weight.
People should also avoid drinking on an empty stomach because this can intensify the effects of alcohol and bring them on more quickly. Eating while drinking alcohol slows absorption and helps maintain impulse control.