How Does Alcohol Affect Weight Loss?
Trust the weight-loss specialist at Metabolic Medical Centers to help you reach your weight loss goals. For more information, call us or schedule an appointment online! We have convenient locations to serve you in Mount Pleasant SC, Irmo SC, Charleston SC, Bluffton SC, Murrells Inlet SC, and Columbia SC.
Table of Contents:
How does alcohol affect weight loss?
Does alcohol stop weight loss?
How does the body respond to alcohol?
What are the health benefits of quitting alcohol?
Drinking alcohol is so integrated into society that the majority of people enjoy a drink at least occasionally. However, its mainstream acceptance and availability can obfuscate the negative effects it can have on our health, especially for those trying to lose weight. Many alcoholic beverages have a high amount of sugar or carbohydrates, which can quickly add up after a few drinks. Furthermore, alcohol has an effect on various physiological processes, including metabolism and various endocrine functions.
Alcohol is associated with changes in weight, however, the reasons involved can be complex. Alcohol can disrupt a number of systems and functions in the body that have an influence on weight, both directly and indirectly. One of the most obvious ways alcohol can affect weight is through increased calorie intake; beer is high in calories, and sugary drinks are also packed with calories. In addition, alcohol can also affect appetite, causing cravings for greasy, fatty foods, often at late hours. These cravings are a result of fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
Alcohol can have several effects on weight loss as it influences different physiological functions such as metabolism. Alcohol can affect weight loss because:
• It is often “empty” calories — Alcoholic drinks are often referred to as “empty” calories because they have a high caloric content but have very little nutritional value.
• It is used as a primary source of fuel — When alcohol is consumed, the body uses it as a source of fuel before anything else, including lipids from fats or glucose from carbohydrates.
• It can affect the internal organs — The primary role of the liver is to act as the “filter” for any foreign substances that enter the body, including things like drugs and alcohol. Known as alcoholic fatty liver, excess alcohol consumption can damage the liver, affecting the way the body metabolizes and stores carbohydrates and fats, which can make it difficult to lose weight.
• It can contribute to excess belly fat — The effects alcohol can have on the body are well-known because of the prevalence of the “beer gut” or “beer belly.” Consuming foods and drinks high in calories can quickly lead to weight gain as the extra calories are stored as fat.
• It affects judgment… especially with food — Even the most disciplined dieters have a hard time fighting the urge to eat greasy, fatty foods when intoxicated. Alcohol lowers inhibitions and can lead to poor decision-making when it comes to food choices, especially because of its effects on blood sugar levels.
The body responds to alcohol in different ways, and on top of affecting people differently, it can also have drastically disparate effects on the same person at different times, depending on the situation. Common physical effects of alcohol include:
• Skin flushing
• Lowered inhibitions, leading to poor social judgment
• Trouble concentrating
• Loss of coordination
• Loss of critical judgments
• Dulled perception, especially vision
• Mood swings
• Reduced core body temperature
• Raised blood pressure
• Passing out (loss of consciousness)
• Cravings for fatty foods
Quitting alcohol can have many health benefits, especially for people who drink frequently. The benefits of quitting alcohol include:
• Better-looking skin
• Improved sleep
• Healthier weight
• Better mental health
• Improved immunity
• Enhanced nutrition
• Lower risk of cancer
• Reduced cardiovascular risk
• Better memory and thinking
Trust the weight loss experts at Metabolic Medical Centers to help you reach your weight loss goals. Call us today to book an appointment to learn more about how alcohol affects weight loss. We have six South Carolina locations to better serve you. We look forward to serving you! We serve patients from Mount Pleasant SC, Irmo SC, West Ashley SC, Murrells Inlet SC, Columbia SC, Bluffton SC, Sullivans Island SC, Isle of Palms SC, Daniel Island SC, Charleston SC, James Island SC, North Charleston SC, Pawleys Island SC, Myrtle Beach SC, Hilton Head SC, and Hardeeville SC.
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