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Why should I drink less alcohol if I want to lose weight?

Dr. Andrea Pennington, MD
Integrative Medicine
Alcohol provides 7 calories per gram. That's just two calories per gram fewer than fat provides! It’'s almost twice as many calories than you get from protein or carbohydrates. Alcohol really just provides nutrient-poor calories. Alcohol has no nutritional value, yet it contributes to your fat stores because the sugar that's produced from the alcohol stimulates insulin release and gets converted into fat. The average glass of wine contains 350 empty calories, and an apple martini has about 400 calories! Those are about the size of an entire meal for a person who is limited to just 1500 calories per day. Plus, you'll be less likely to burn the calories you consume or the fat calories you have stored because alcohol slows down all of the metabolic and cellular processes in the body. Alcohol also tends to lower your inhibitions. It artificially frees you to do things you don't normally do, so you may feel freer to splurge and misbehave. So, after a few drinks at a social gathering you may be more likely eat desserts or late night snacks.

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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.