Alcohol and Weight – What’s the Connection?


Did you know that April is Alcohol Awareness Month? You may be wondering what alcohol has to do with weight and health, and the answer may surprise you.

What comes to mind when you picture the over-consumption of caloric substances, battling willpower and the link to genetic and environmental factors? You’re probably thinking of the struggle of the struggle with weight, but the same can also be said about alcoholism.

How Can Alcohol Affect Weight-loss?

When we consume food substances, our bodies eat for energy and nutrition. Alcohol, on the other hand, provides very little nutrition. So, when we’re drinking it, how are our bodies really affected?

  • Appetite – Some people have said that drinking increases their appetite. If you’re drinking and facing the desire to eat, this can lead to over-consumption.
  • Calories – Ethanol and fat from foods have approximately the same amount of calories. Furthermore, many alcoholic beverages are high in extra sugar because they are mixed with sodas and juices. That’s a lot of extra calories!
  • Mindfulness – When we drink more than a moderate amount of alcohol, our mindfulness is usually affected. Consequentially, this can cause us to make poor choices which affect our nutrition and exercise.

How is Alcoholism Similar to Problems with Weight?

Much research has been done that finds similarities in the brain’s pathways that lead to excessive eating and dependence on alcohol.

Let’s take a look at our brain’s reward system. Over-consumption can trigger a gradual increase in our reward threshold, which means that we require more and more high-fat food or alcohol to satisfy our cravings. Because of this, addictions with both food and alcohol are very common.

What You Should Know about Alcohol

While alcohol in and of itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s important to understand that just like most things, moderation is key. So, this April, take some time to reflect on your own relationship with alcohol and talk about the importance of awareness with your friends and family!

Want more information on the connection between alcohol and weight? Learn more about the link in Your Weight Matters Magazine by CLICKING HERE.