What role does alcohol play in weight gain? That is a question many people ask when they are on track to becoming more health conscious. The answer to that question is something everyone should be aware of. Alcohol can make you gain weight.
Why Does Alcohol Make You Gain Weight?
Alcohol contains calories. It can be difficult to associate caloric intake with any beverage you consume. It is a liquid, not a solid like a good steak or a baked potato. Yet, outside of water and diet drinks, almost every beverage you consume has calories. And alcohol has plenty of calories to share. A regular beer runs about 150 calories. A glass of white or red wine can run about 125 calories. A shot of whiskey is about 100 calories. A mixed drink like a pina colada can run as high as 500 calories. Having "just a few drinks" can lead to a lot of excess calories, which can lead to excess weight.
Besides it’s actual nutritional value, alcohol can cause fatty liver disease. Consuming too much alcohol can disrupt the ability of the liver to metabolize fat efficiently. This leads to the liver cells absorbing and retaining large amounts of fat within its cells. Fatty liver cells cannot metabolize fat efficiently, which leads to more fatty cell development. This allows excess fat deposits to start in areas outside the liver, which leads to weight gain.
Alcohol also disrupts your sleep patterns. Many people think having a drink late at night will help them sleep. The fact is that while alcohol can get you to sleep faster, it will disrupt the rest of your night's sleep. A disrupted sleep cycle can play a major role in how well your metabolism responds the next day. Being sleepy in the morning can make it harder to exercise. It can make a fatty, sugary breakfast more tempting. Even worse, it can make late night snacking a regular thing, which brings us to our next point. Alcohol consumption is not conducive to healthy eating habits. Most people want to snack when they drink. Eating while you are drinking is a good thing when it comes to metabolizing alcohol. The buzzed feeling from alcohol visually leads to a loss of willpower and poor food choices. That usually means salty, sugary or greasy foods.
Consuming alcohol can be part of a healthy lifestyle. It must be done in moderation and in a way that will promote a healthy weight. If you want to have a drink with dinner, order your meal first and start with a large glass of water. This will stop you from selecting a less healthy option when your guard down might be down.
If you want to learn more about how to live healthily, contact us here at Matrix Age Management in Amarillo. We can create a customized lifestyle plan that will keep you healthy throughout your life.