It’s common knowledge that excessive recreational drinking can lead to adverse health effects, with some symptoms more severe than others. For one, it can affect mental health and lead to psychiatric disorders like depression and hallucinations. However, it’s also crucial to remember that alcohol and weight issues are obvious signs that most people overlook.
In general, weight gain can be caused by many factors like lifestyle choices and underlying health conditions, but alcohol also contributes to it. In this blog, we’ll discuss factors and how alcohol affects weight loss and gain.
How Drinking Alcohol Makes You Gain Weight
When it comes to alcohol and weight issues, many surrounding concerns and questions come to mind. One of which is “How can alcohol make you gain weight?” The answer is that liquors cause adverse effects on your body and organs, contributing to weight gain. Here’s a more in-depth explanation of the factors:
1. Alcohol affects hunger levels.
If you’ve ever noticed that your appetite increases after drinking alcohol, you’re not alone. Alcohol directly impacts the body’s hunger signals, leading you to feel more hungry than you are.
The brain’s hypothalamus, which controls appetite and thirst, is impacted by alcohol consumption. Alcohol can interfere with the hypothalamus’ natural operation, increasing hunger signals. It can also lower blood sugar levels, making you hungry.
Alcohol can also interfere with leptin and ghrelin, hormones that handle the body’s hormonal balance. While ghrelin is a hormone that increases appetite, leptin aids in controlling appetite. Alcohol can boost ghrelin levels while decreasing leptin levels, which increases hunger.
2. Alcohol impairs your decision to choose healthy options.
Alcohol and weight issues can also be caused by impaired decision-making due to excessive intoxication. This is because alcohol can enhance impulsivity and weaken inhibitions, resulting in bad choices that may not align with your health goals.
In addition, alcohol can alter how your brain interprets rewards, making junk food more alluring and rewarding.
3. Alcoholic drinks are loaded with calories.
There’s a reason why it’s called “beer belly.” This is because alcoholic beverages can contain many calories, and many consumers might not be aware of their intake. Some drinks, like different kinds of beer, wine, and mixed drinks, can have as many calories as an entire meal.
For instance, a glass of wine might have up to 150 calories, and a pint of beer can have up to 200. Some mixed drinks can have as many as 500 calories in each serving, making them even more calorie-dense.
4. Alcohol affects your hormones.
Alcoholic beverages impact your three hormones: dopamine, serotonin, and cortisol. In particular, alcohol increases cortisol levels, also known as the “stress hormone.” Increased stress causes your body to go under survival mode, which increases your appetite for sweet, fatty, and salty foods.
Additionally, excessive cortisol leads to fewer testosterone levels, which causes a decrease in muscle mass.
5. Alcohol affects digestion.
“How does alcohol slow metabolism?” and “How does alcohol affect digestion?” are some questions people have about alcohol and weight gain. The answers can be attributed to how excessive alcohol consumption disrupts the digestive system’s normal functions. Instead of prioritizing carbohydrates and body fat for energy, the body focuses on digesting and eliminating alcohol.
Consequently, the unburned fat is stored, leading to additional weight gain.
6. Alcohol affects your sleep patterns.
Weight gain is one of the many detrimental repercussions of poor sleep on your health. Lack of sleep can interfere with the hormones that control appetite and hunger, increasing desires and overeating. Furthermore, lack of sleep can make it more difficult to exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle due to fatigue and low energy levels.
Although alcohol drinking is a common social activity, it can negatively affect body weight and general health. Alcohol and weight gain are linked because excessive drinking can increase caloric intake, interfere with digestion, change hormone levels, and impair sleep habits. Drinking alcohol can also make it harder to choose wholesome foods and increase hunger.
By understanding how alcohol affects the body, individuals can develop responsible drinking habits and adopt practices contributing to reaching and sustaining a healthy weight. Guidance from a reputable rehabilitation facility focused on addressing “how does alcohol affect weight loss” can also steer individuals towards sobriety.
Start your journey to sobriety with Haven House Recovery Center.
At Haven House Recovery Center, we understand that quitting alcohol addiction is not an overnight process, and you’ll need all the help you can get. Our alcohol rehab in Murfreesboro, TN, provides a comprehensive recovery service, including activities that make it easy to break free from addiction.
If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction or mental health issues, take the initiative to contact us so we can restart your life.