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How does drinking alcohol cause weight gain?

Judy Caplan
Nutrition & Dietetics

Alcohol contains calories just like food. If you do not take into account these extra calories, you can gain weight. Alcohol comes from grain and can be calorie dense. If you add high calorie mixers like soda or juice, the calorie content can soar. Another problem with drinking alcohol is that after a few drinks it is harder to stick to your weight loss diet. Alcohol lowers your resolve and you will be more likely to indulge. Sometimes after a night of drinking, you get hungry. Usually that means grabbing fast food. Fast food can be high in fat, sodium, and carbs which all contribute to weight gain.

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
For weight loss, avoid drinking excessive alcohol—not solely because of their own calories, but also because of the calories they inspire you to consume later. Alcohol lowers your inhibition so you end up feeling like you can eat anything and everything you see. Limiting yourself to one alcoholic drink a day has a protective effect on your arteries but could still cause you to put on pounds since it inhibits leptin, the hormone that promotes a feeling of fullness.
YOU: On A Diet Revised Edition: The Owner's Manual for Waist Management

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YOU: On A Diet Revised Edition: The Owner's Manual for Waist Management

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.