It’s no secret that drinking alcohol can lead to weight gain. Many people struggle with their weight mainly because of their alcohol addiction. Alcohol has a lot of calories. Like most people, you are more likely to consume more calories from alcohol than you realize. A recent study found that people who drink regularly underestimate the number of calories they consume from alcohol by as much as 30 percent. That means if you’re drinking three beers a night, you’re probably consuming closer to 400 calories from beer alone—and that doesn’t even account for the calories in the food you’re eating while you drink.
However, reducing your drinking can help you lose weight and improve your health. Let’s look at this in detail:
How Alcohol Affects Your Weight
It’s not just the number of calories in alcohol that can lead to weight gain but also the type of calories. Alcohol is what’s known as an “empty calorie” food, which means it has no nutritional value. So, when you drink alcohol, you’re getting calories that do nothing to improve your health.
Alcohol can harm your weight-loss efforts. When you drink alcohol, your body burns it for energy instead of burning fat. That’s why you may have noticed that you tend to pack on the pounds when you drink regularly. And, if you’re trying to lose weight, you may find it more challenging to shed those extra pounds when you are drinking alcohol. On top of that, drinking makes you hungrier and may result in poor food choices, which automatically causes weight gain.
Health Benefits of Cutting Down on Drinking
There are plenty of good reasons to reduce your alcohol consumption, even if weight loss isn’t one of your goals. Alcohol can contribute to many health problems, including liver damage, high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer. If you’re trying to improve your health, reducing alcohol is a good start.
And, if you are trying to lose weight, cutting down on drinking can help you reach your goals. When you cut out alcohol, you’ll automatically consume fewer calories. And, as you start to lose weight, you’ll find it easier to stick to your diet and exercise plan. Let’s discuss a few other health benefits in detail below-
- Liver Relief– Reducing drinking can help improve your liver health. Your liver is responsible for processing alcohol; too much alcohol can lead to fatty liver disease. Fatty liver disease can lead to inflammation, scarring, and even liver failure. If you’re trying to improve your liver health, reducing alcohol is a good start.
- Lower Blood Pressure– High blood pressure is a common problem in the United States. Drinking too much alcohol can contribute to high blood pressure. Drinking less is the best start if you want to reduce your blood pressure.
- Improved Heart health– Alcohol consumption can lead to high blood pressure and other heart-related problems. Cutting down on your alcohol consumption can help improve your heart health.
- Reduced risk of cancer– Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of developing cancer. If you’re concerned about your cancer risk, reducing your alcohol consumption is a good idea.
- Better sleep– Drinks that contain alcohol can cause sleeplessness. If you’re having trouble sleeping, cutting back on your drinking might help you get a better night’s sleep.
- Boost Brain Power– Research has shown that moderate alcohol consumption can improve brain function. However, heavy drinking can lead to problems with memory and cognition. If you want to keep your brain healthy and like drinking, it’s best to stick to moderate drinking.
- Weight Loss– As we mentioned above, reducing your alcohol consumption can help you lose weight. You’ll consume fewer calories if you stop drinking. And, as you start to slim down, it will be easier to maintain your diet and exercise routine.
- You will Eat Much Less– Alcohol can increase your appetite and make you eat more. If you’re trying to lose weight, reducing your drinking can help you consume fewer calories and lose weight.
- Improve Digestion– Heavy drinking can cause problems with digestion. And, if you’re trying to lose weight, shedding those pounds will be difficult if you have digestion problems. Drinking less alcohol will improve your digestive system.
- Reduce Stress– Alcohol consumption can boost stress and anxiety levels. Stress might make it more difficult to maintain a diet and exercise plan when trying to lose weight. If you want to reduce your stress level, reducing your drinking is an excellent idea.
- More Energy– You’ll have more energy when you quit drinking. Alcohol can cause tiredness and difficulty in obtaining a restful night’s sleep. Limiting your alcohol consumption is an excellent place to start if you want more energy.
- Fresher Skin– Drinking too much alcohol can cause dehydration, leading to dry skin. If you’re concerned about your skin health, cutting down on your alcohol consumption is a good idea.
- You will Stay More Hydrated– Dehydration can cause various problems, including dry skin, fatigue, and headaches. If you’re trying to improve your health, staying hydrated is essential. And one of the best ways to stay hydrated is to reduce your alcohol consumption.
As you can see, there are many benefits to reducing alcohol consumption. If you’re trying to improve your health, cutting back on your drinking is a smart place to start. With better health, it gets easier to reduce weight.
Tips for Cutting Down on Drinking
If you’re ready to cut down on your alcohol consumption, you can do a few things to make the process easier.
- Start by cutting back on the number of drinks you have each week. If you’re used to drinking four beers a night, try having two instead. Or, if you typically drink a bottle of wine with dinner, have a glass instead.
- You can also try having alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic ones. For example, have a beer followed by a glass of water. Or drink a cocktail followed by soda water.
- Another option is to switch to lower-calorie alcoholic drinks. Instead of beer, try a light beer. Or, instead of a sugary cocktail, have a glass of wine, vodka, and soda.
- Finally, make sure you’re eating before you start drinking. Eating first will make you less likely to drink as much. Drinking on an empty stomach can lead to quicker intoxication.
If you’re looking to lose weight and improve your health, cutting down on your alcohol consumption is a great place to start. There are many benefits to reducing your alcohol intake, including weight loss, better sleep, improved digestion, and more energy. So, if you’re ready to make a change, use these tips to help reduce your drinking.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much alcohol can I drink and still lose weight?
If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s best to stick to moderate drinking. That means no more than two drinks a day.
Can I still lose weight if I only cut down on my drinking and don’t make any other changes?
Yes, you can still lose weight if you only cut back on your alcohol intake but not the ideal weight loss you would expect. You may find it more difficult to lose weight if you don’t make other changes, such as eating a healthier diet and exercising regularly.
How long will it take to see results from cutting down on drinking?
The amount of time it takes to see results from cutting down on your drinking will vary depending on several factors, including how much you were drinking before and how much weight you want to lose. However, you should see some positive changes within a few weeks.
What are some other benefits of cutting down on drinking?
In addition to weight loss, some other benefits of cutting down on your alcohol consumption include better sleep, improved digestion, increased energy, and reduced stress.
Why is it important to stay hydrated when cutting down on drinking?
Staying hydrated is important for overall health and can also help you lose weight. When you’re dehydrated, your body holds onto water, leading to bloating and weight gain. If you want to avoid these problems, make sure to drink plenty of water when cutting down on your alcohol intake.