Does Alcohol Make You Gain Weight?


If you really pushed the boat out over the festive season, you might be feeling a little bit sluggish. Sure, the roast potatoes and Christmas pudding might have had something to do with this. But one hidden culprit you might not have identified is – Alcohol.

The fact is, alcoholic drinks are jammed packed with an absurd amount of sugar. This sugar is one of the main reasons you’re gaining weight at this time of year. The problem is, you might not taste the sugar in alcoholic beverages. Therefore, you forget it’s in there.

Being drink-aware is important for many reasons. Firstly, after a couple of cocktails you are far less likely to stick to your weight maintenance program because your judgement is impaired. Secondly, it can be challenging to know (or recall) how many carbs you’re consuming in each drink you enjoy, making it tricky to track your intake and stay in control.

Alcohol plays a significant role in our culture. We drink it to celebrate, commiserate, relax, gain confidence and as part of many rituals and routines. But if you want to lose weight effectively, it’s important you stay conscious and aware of your alcohol intake. Only then can you truly keep your carb count to a minimum and enjoy the perks of having a clear head!

We recommend that you speak to one of our behavioral consultants about your alcohol intake to discover whether or not it might be holding you back from effective weight loss.

Here are some fantastic tips, facts and tricks to help you to better understand how alcohol is impacting your diet.

  • While a large variety of beer and lager exists, each one is typically overloaded with carbs. Think of beer as liquid bread! On average (and depending on which brand you choose) you can find around 13g of carbs in a single can of beer! Bluntly speaking, if you drink one or two cans of beer, your body can never enter a state of ketosis, making weight loss harder than it needs to be.
  • Wine doesn’t necessarily have to be carb-heavy. In fact, there is such a thing as low carb wine! Dry reds (merlot, cabinet sauvignon) and dry whites (chenin blanc, sauvignon blanc) have a lower carb count than sweeter varieties. Moderation is still important though!
  • Cocktails are almost always a problem unless you’re making them yourself. Often they contain carb-heavy fruit juices and sweet liquors with unknown properties. If you enjoy a cocktail, try and switch it for a simple vodka soda and lime. Similarly, you might believe that ‘mocktails’ (alcohol-free cocktails) are better for your diet than their real counterpart is. Wrong! The sugar content in fruit juice alone will kick you out of ketosis and impact your insulin levels.
  • Vodka, whiskey, gin and tequila contain no carbs. However, a mixer can become problematic if you mix it with high sugar sodas or juices. By itself or with a sparkling water and lemon or lime mixer, you can still enjoy yourself without worrying about weight gain.

But, as you may have guessed, the safest way to boost weight loss is to cut alcohol out altogether. You can always slowly take it up again once you hit your goal weight as part of a balanced, active lifestyle.

Do you think your weight gain might be triggered by alcohol intake? WeightLossHQ can help. Visit our website for more information on nutrition and diet as well as a comprehensive membership plan that will give you everything you need to know about effective weight loss.


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