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Alcohol and weight gain

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Drinking a large glass of wine is like eating a slice of pizza, when it comes to calories. Your body doesn’t know or care whether you are drinking wine or munching on muffins.

If you drink a lot, it's likely to have an impact on your weight over time, as well as your general health.

Obesity is linked to conditions like diabetes, heart problems, circulation problems, stroke, cancer and depression

Why does alcohol cause weight gain?

  • High-calories, no nutrition: Alcohol has nearly the same calories per gram as pure fat. But alcohol calories are empty calories. Alcohol isn’t nutritious like food, so the calories in alcohol don’t make you feel full up like food calories.
  • Calories that make you hungry:As well as the calories in the alcohol, drinking also makes us more likely to overeat. Most of us have experienced this – the visit to the chip shop after a night out or the nibbles to go with our glass of wine or beer. This is because of the way alcohol affects the body:
  • Alcohol triggers the part of the brain that makes us feel hungry.
  • Alcohol reduces our inhibitions.You’re less likely to worry about picking the unhealthy options when you’ve been drinking.
  • Alcohol lowers blood sugar.The liver focuses on getting rid of any alcohol in your bloodstream, because it can’t be stored. This means the liver may not control blood sugar levels properly and may not release enough glucose into the bloodstream, which makes us feel hungry.

If you have a pint of beer or a big glass of wine most evenings, you will be taking in around 1000 extra calories a week. In a year, that could be an extra 12lb of weight you will be carrying.

The good news!

Cutting down on alcohol is an easy way to cut calories, without even changing your diet.

    • Your body won’t miss the empty calories in alcohol the way it might miss food
    • You are less likely to snack and give in to the temptation to eat junk food that can happen when you’re drinking
    • If you do something active instead of sitting drinking, you will lose even more weight

A piña colada cocktail contains more calories than a double cheeseburger!

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