Can Drinking Alcohol Make You Gain Weight?
We’ve all heard the conflicting reports. Some say that it is very beneficial to have a drink or two per day. They say it adds time to your life and makes you healthier for absorbing the all-important antioxidants. Other reports say that drinking will only make you gain weight, slow you down and it changes the way your body functions. The truth is somewhere in the middle.
Alcohol is a food. You ingest it like any other food except for the fact that alcoholic drinks have very little nutritional content. So, the calories gained from drinking alcohol are what nutritionists would refer to as empty calories; oh, so delicious empty calories. Calories, when it comes right down to it, are the only things in the world that make you gain weight. It is not the fat content of food nor the sugar in the cereal, no; the bottom line is the calorie content. If you consume more calories than are burnt throughout the day then you will gain weight. Consume less calories than you need and you will lose weight. It’s a very simple formula, but with alcohol it gets a little more complex.
The body converts the alcohol you drink into acetate which is essentially vinegar, but it is a very sneaky vinegar. Your body will turn to this vinegar for energy first, before it burns any other calories you consume. This means that you could have a beer with your mac and cheese, but that basically guarantees that the fatty calories in the mac will be converted into fat stores because your body will be busy burning off the acetate in the beer.
Another thing to watch out for is the fact that people consume about 20% more calories when eating a meal with alcohol. Alcohol makes you hungry and care-free, which can be a dangerous combination around a delicious meal.
This is not to say that alcohol will make you fat. That all-important calorie game comes into play: exchange something else during the day if you plan on drinking. Anticipate the extra calories and eat healthier during the day or exercise to make up for the calories you are about to consume. This is the healthy and reasonable approach to a lifestyle that includes drinking. Just have some foresight, plan accordingly and you will be fine. You could even lose weight while drinking moderately with the right planning.