How To Avoid Weight Gain With Alcohol

by | Dec 16, 2022

toxic body storage

Let’s face facts; sometimes we’d all like to be able to have a drink or two without worrying about the calories and sugar. But for most of us, drinking fruity, tasty beverages (both alcoholic and even non-alcoholic) is accompanied by the inevitable few pounds of weight that we gain as a result, not to forget the stress and guilt from indulging.

However, like most things it’s not all or nothing. If we can be careful to make good choices and consume in moderation, we can stay healthy and have fun with our beverage choices (especially in this summer heat or festive season).

Calling the ladies – did you know

Alcohol affects women differently than men

Even though men are more likely to drink alcohol and consume larger amounts, the differences in men’s and women’s bodies cause alcohol to affect women differently. Biological differences between men and women, like body structure and chemistry, lead most women to absorb more alcohol and take longer to metabolize it. The effects of alcohol usually occur more quickly and last longer in women than men. These differences increase the long-term negative health effects of alcohol in women, compared with men.

In women, alcohol is associated with diseases and injuries

  • Liver disease: The risk of cirrhosis and other alcohol-related liver diseases is higher for women than for men.
  • Impact on the brain: Alcohol-related cognitive decline and shrinkage of the brain develop more quickly for women than for men.
  • Impact on the heart: Women who drink excessively are at increased risk for damage to the heart muscle at lower levels of consumption and over fewer years of drinking than men.
  • Breast and other cancers: Alcohol consumption increases the risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, liver, and colon. In women, drinking is also associated with breast cancer, even at low levels of consumption.

Why does alcohol make you bloated?

What is alcohol bloating?

Have you ever noticed puffiness in your face and your body after a long night of drinking alcohol? Bloating is one of the most common effects drinking alcohol can have on the body.

What causes alcohol bloating?

All of these calories mean that frequent drinking can lead to relatively easy weight gain. Depending on what you order or pour, just one drink might contain anywhere from fifty to several hundred calories.

Besides weight gain, alcohol can also lead to irritation of your gastrointestinal tract, which can cause bloating.

Alcohol is an inflammatory substance, meaning it tends to cause swelling in the body. This inflammation may be made much worse by the things often mixed with alcohol, such as sugary and carbonated liquids, which can result in gas, discomfort, and more bloating.

After a night out drinking, you may also notice bloating in your face, which is often accompanied by redness. This happens because alcohol dehydrates the body.

When the body is dehydrated, skin and vital organs try to hold onto as much water as possible, leading to puffiness in the face and elsewhere.

How is alcohol bloating treated?

If you’ve noticed you’ve gained weight or tend to bloat when you drink alcohol, you may want to consider cutting back on your alcohol consumption.

The body can only metabolize a certain amount of alcohol every hour. How much alcohol you’re able to metabolize is dependent on your age, weight, sex, and other factors.

Keeping an eye on your drinking, along with eating healthfully and getting enough exercise, can help you prevent a beer belly.

Is alcohol bloating preventable?

If you’ve been drinking alcohol, you should drink water to quickly get rid of bloating in your face and stomach.

In fact, drinking water before, during, and after drinking alcohol can help prevent its inflammatory effects on the body. If you’re feeling bloated while drinking alcohol, switch over to drinking water.

To help you navigate your alcohol intake this festive season, I’ve outlined a few tips to keep in mind while drinking — both related to the beverage itself and also to the food that can accompany the drinks.

These five tips to help you drink without gaining weight:

  1. Select the most appealing and satisfying beverage

This is rule number one because if you are not satisfied with your choices (similar to when we eat) we can end up over-consuming due to lack of satiety.

  1. Skip the mixers

Pre-made mixers are oh-so-delicious but are also often loaded with both real and artificial sweeteners and a lot of other stuff — like chemicals, colors and lots of calories. Instead of indulging in calories from the mixers, learn how to make drinks lighter and more simply.

  1. Avoid greasy, carbs and fried foods

So appealing when you drink alcohol, but the food that you end up eating along with cocktails can be the most detrimental part of the whole equation. Without really thinking, you can order food choices that are much higher in calories than we may have expected. The best way to prevent over-consuming calories in places you didn’t expect is to plan ahead what you will order before you begin to drink. This way you can be more calculated in what you order and avoid having your choices swayed as alcohol is consumed.

  1. Eat veggies when you drink

You end up a little hungrier when you drink. Make sure to fill up on veggies and plant-based fats, this may keep you feeling fuller for longer and away from other less-desirable choices. Any veggies are fair game, but raw ones can typically take up more space and make you feel fuller than cooked ones.

  1. Know which drinks make you hungry

There are often drinks that make you hungrier than others. It’s important to know which drinks do this for you so that you can be aware of the effects of consumption. Make sure to drink a glass of water along with each drink, and also try to minimize the number of drinks you have that are of the type that make you feel hungrier.

Best and worst types of alcohol for weight loss

Forgoing booze altogether is ideal if losing weight is a health goal, but if you must let’s look at the pro’s and conns.

You’ve heard having a glass of wine with dinner is good for your heart, right? Well, it’s not that good, according to some research.  While alcohol has been shown to provide some protective factors against heart disease and diabetes, the positive effects were offset by the fact that alcohol can increase the risk of cancer and accidents.

Alcohol contains empty calories and doesn’t provide any nutrients for your body. It’s also full of calories, so your actual weight can go up.

The other issue is that once people start drinking alcohol, they tend to lose track of their health and weight goals. Maybe your plans to have only one drink turn into two or three or four drinks, or you find yourself reaching for unhealthy foods once the alcohol kicks in. The more alcohol you consume, the more likely you are to make poor food choices.

So, how can you fight back if you’re concerned about your weight but don’t want to abstain completely? Think of alcohol as a treat. Choose dessert or alcohol for the night, not both!

You’ll want to ensure that your overall relationship with alcohol is healthy, too. The previously mentioned excessive alcohol consumption can lead to or exacerbate mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Be sure you’re enjoying it and not just drinking out of habit or in order to escape real problems that should be addressed with healthier stress management techniques or even therapy. It doesn’t have to mean you never drink alcohol — but do increase awareness around your habits.

Here are the best and worst types of alcohol to drink if you’re watching your weight

Four of the best types of alcohol for weight loss:

  1. Dry wine – red or white (about 105 calories per 5 oz. serving)

Enjoying a glass of dry wine with dinner has long been considered “healthy” however there has never been a long-term randomized trial that proved some of these claims. A red or dry white wine is one of the lower-calorie adult beverages you can reach for.

  1. Light Beer (96 to 100 calories per 12 oz. serving)

If you’re in the mood for beer, go light.

  1. Booze on the rocks (about 100 calories per 1.5 oz. serving)

Whether you’re into vodka, tequila, gin or whiskey, there’s no real difference in calories or carbohydrates. Your best bet when sipping alcohol is to have it straight, with sparkling water. For example, a whiskey drink can quickly go from a 100-calorie drink to 300-plus when you add sugary, high-calorie mixers.

  1. Champagne (85 Calories per 4 oz. Serving)

You’ll save about 35 calories per serving by choosing bubbly over a sweet white wine. While that might not sound like much, it’s also possible that you’ll feel fuller and turn down that second drink as a result of the carbonation.

Three of the worst types of alcohol for weight loss:

  1. Sugary Cocktails (500 calories per 8 oz. serving)

Fancy mixed drinks might sound tasty, but they’re often loaded with calories. A Long Island iced tea, for example, will set you back about 500 calories in one 8 oz. glass. That’s more calories you will find in a double cheeseburger from McDonalds.

  1. Craft Beer (170 calories per 12 oz. serving)

A 12-ounce craft beer runs about 170 calories (or more). The reason for this difference, compared with light beers, is that craft beers often have extra ingredients and carbs that amp up their flavour. Though the latter may lead you to drink less than you would when sitting with a light beer, ultimately craft beers tend to have higher alcohol content, and more alcohol means more calories.

  1. Sweet white wine (120 calories per 5 oz. serving)

Sweet wines contain more fructose which makes it a hard no if your goal is to shed unwanted weight.

An alternative to booze for anyone looking to lose weight

Keep in mind, mocktails are always an option. Going liquor-free is the ultimate way to cut back on alcohol calories. But you’ll still need to keep an eye on what’s going into the mocktails and choose a low-calorie or better yet, no-calorie water or sparkling water drink with lime. If you do choose to drink alcohol on a given night it’s a good idea to alternate between an alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink to keep your calorie intake in check. This will spread out the calories from alcohol and keep you hydrated.

This tool does not provide medical advice, it is intended for information purposed only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the Colleen The Coach website. If you suspect you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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