Updated: Apr 11
As you embark on your rapid weight loss journey, understanding the relationship between alcohol consumption and weight gain is crucial. This article will explore how alcohol can impact your rapid weight loss progress and how it affects your doctor's weight loss program.
We will delve into the science behind metabolism, hormones, and fat storage and provide practical suggestions for maintaining a healthy relationship with alcohol.
How Alcohol Affects Your Metabolism
Alcohol can impact your body's metabolic processes, making it harder to lose weight. When you drink alcohol, your liver uses an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase to break it down into acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is a toxic substance that your body breaks down further into acetate. Eventually, the acetate is converted into carbon dioxide and water.
The problem is that while the liver breaks down alcohol, it doesn't have time to focus on other metabolic processes like fat oxidation. This means your body isn't as good at burning fat for energy, and you may find reaching your goals on the soza weight loss program more difficult.
Alcohol's Caloric Content
One often overlooked aspect of alcohol consumption when trying to achieve rapid weight loss is its caloric content. Alcoholic beverages contain calories, contributing to weight gain if not balanced with your daily energy expenditure. Here's a breakdown of calories per gram for different types of alcohol:
Alcohol: 7 calories per gram
Carbohydrates: 4 calories per gram
Fat: 9 calories per gram
Protein: 4 calories per gram
As you can see, alcohol is calorie-dense, which can quickly add up and impede your doctor's weight loss program.
The Role of Hormones and Appetite
Alcohol can also affect your hormones, particularly those involved in appetite regulation, such as ghrelin and leptin. Research has shown that alcohol can increase ghrelin levels, stimulating appetite and leading to overeating.
Additionally, alcohol can decrease leptin levels, the hormone responsible for signaling fullness, further exacerbating the problem.
Moreover, alcohol can impair your judgment and self-control, making it more challenging to stick to your SOZA Weight Loss plan and resist the temptation of high-calorie, nutrient-poor foods.
Drinking Often Can Make It Harder to Choose Healthy Foods
As a result of alcohol's impact on your hunger hormones, you might eat more than you usually would. When you consume alcoholic beverages, your body's ability to tell when you're full is disrupted. This can lead to overeating and consuming larger portions than necessary, contributing to weight gain.
Additionally, alcohol can make it more difficult for you to make healthy food choices because it affects your judgment and self-control. When under alcohol, you might be more likely to indulge in high-calorie, nutrient-poor foods, like greasy fast food or sugary snacks.
These choices can negatively impact your overall health and weight loss efforts. It's important to be aware of these effects when consuming alcohol, so you can take steps to maintain your self-control and make better decisions regarding your food intake.
Alcohol and Fat Storage
When you drink alcohol, it makes it harder for your body to burn fat. This can cause fat to build up around your belly, which is unhealthy and can lead to problems like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Belly fat is also known as visceral fat. This belly fat can also make losing weight and following your doctor's plan more difficult. In a way, there is a correlation to alcohol making you fat.
Healthy Drinking Habits for Rapid Weight Loss
While alcohol can contribute to weight gain, it is possible to maintain a healthy relationship with alcohol and stay on track within your rapid weight loss program by following these practical tips:
Moderation: Stick to the recommended guidelines for alcohol consumption. For men, this is no more than two standard drinks per day, and for women, no more than one standard drink per day.
Choose low-calorie options: Opt for drinks with lower alcohol content and fewer calories, such as light beer or wine, and avoid high-calorie mixers. See below.
Stay hydrated: Drink water alongside your alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated and help counteract the diuretic effect of alcohol.
Eat before drinking: Consuming a balanced meal can help slow alcohol absorption and reduce the likelihood of overeating due to alcohol-induced hunger.
Avoid binge drinking: Binge drinking not only increases your caloric intake but also exacerbates the adverse effects of alcohol on your metabolism and hormones, hindering your rapid weight loss efforts.
Mindful drinking: Pay attention to your body's signals and stop drinking when satisfied rather than continue drinking excessively.
Here's What You Can Drink on the SOZA Weight Loss Program
It's an absolute no-brainer to tell you that it's best not to drink for the many reasons mentioned in this article.
However, if you still want to enjoy an alcoholic drink occasionally, choosing low-calorie options is best. Here are some recommendations:
Light beer: Light beers typically have fewer calories than regular beers, making them a better choice for those watching their weight.
Dry wine: Dry wines, such as Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, or Cabernet Sauvignon, generally have fewer calories and less sugar than sweet wines.
Vodka, gin, or tequila with low-calorie mixers: Opt for spirits like vodka, gin, or tequila and mix them with low-calorie options like club soda or diet tonic water. Avoid sugary mixers like regular sodas and fruit juices.
Spritzers: Mixing wine with club soda can create a refreshing, low-calorie spritzer that allows you to enjoy wine in moderation without consuming too many calories.
Champagne or sparkling wine: These bubbly options typically have fewer calories per serving than other wine or mixed drinks.
Remember, moderation is key.
Stick to the recommended guidelines for alcohol consumption, which is no more than one standard drink per day for women and no more than two standard drinks per day for men.
It's also a good idea to drink water alongside your alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated and to help counteract the appetite-stimulating effects of alcohol.
General Recommended Guidelines for Alcohol Consumption
The recommended guidelines refer to the alcohol consumption guidelines set by health organizations like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
These guidelines suggest limiting alcohol intake to reduce the risk of health problems and negative consequences of excessive alcohol consumption.
According to these guidelines:
Women should have no more than one standard drink per day (this is ok on the SOZA Weight Loss program)
Men should have no more than two standard drinks per day (You can have one drink, not two, on the SOZA Weight Loss program)
A standard drink is defined as:
12 ounces (oz) of beer with about 5% alcohol content
5 oz of wine with about 12% alcohol content
1.5 oz of distilled spirits (such as vodka, gin, whiskey) with about 40% alcohol content
Drinking water alongside alcoholic beverages is advised to stay hydrated and help counteract the appetite-stimulating effects of alcohol. This can also reduce the chances of a hangover and help maintain self-control when making food choices.
Please note, if you are in phase two of the SOZA Weight Loss program, which is the rapid weight loss phase, then consider it best not to have a drink, at most, one drink.
Remember why you are doing this program and how important it is to you.
Conclusion, does alcohol make you fat or not?
Alcohol can contribute to weight gain and impede your progress during the rapid weight loss phase through its impact on metabolism, caloric content, hormones, and fat storage.
By understanding these factors and implementing healthy drinking habits, you can enjoy alcohol in moderation without sabotaging your rapid weight loss and doctor's weight loss program goals.
Always drink responsibly and consult with a healthcare professional if you have concerns about alcohol consumption and its effects on your health.
Gus Bouari from SOZA
Health Blog Writer
About Gus Bouari, SOZA Co-Founder
After his childhood friend and co-founder, Dr. Anthony Wehbe lost 50 pounds on the SOZA weight loss program, he also did the program and lost 35 pounds.
Gus is a wellness advocate and enthusiast. Gus truly believes we can all transform our lives by adapting to and following a healthy, wellness-focused lifestyle.
He has appeared on Miami NBC 6 Health in the Mix, discussing healthy eating and healthy cooking.
If you ever bump into Gus, it would most likely be at a health foods store helping fellow shoppers make better food choices.
His continuous education and certifications include Precision Nutrition PN1 Certification, Stanford Online University's Food Sustainability, Mindful Eating, Healthy Cooking, Nutrition For Health and Sustainability, Nutrition Science: Obesity, and Healthy Weight Loss.
Here are some clinical studies and reviews that support the claim that alcohol affects hormones, particularly ghrelin and leptin, as well as judgment and self-control related to food choices:
Klok, M. D., Jakobsdottir, S., & Drent, M. L. (2007). The role of leptin and ghrelin in regulating food intake and body weight in humans: a review. Obesity Reviews, 8(1), 21-34. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1467-789X.2006.00270.x
This review article discusses the roles of leptin and ghrelin in regulating food intake and body weight. It highlights the impact of alcohol on these hormones and how they may contribute to overeating and weight gain.
Calissendorff, J., Danielsson, O., Brismar, K., & Röjdmark, S. (2005). Inhibitory effect of alcohol on ghrelin secretion in normal man. European Journal of Endocrinology, 152(5), 743-747. https://eje.bioscientifica.com/view/journals/eje/152/5/1520743.xml
This study demonstrates that alcohol consumption can increase ghrelin secretion in humans, potentially stimulating appetite and leading to overeating.
Yeomans, M. R. (2010). Short-term effects of alcohol on appetite in humans. Effects of context and restrained eating. Appetite, 55(3), 565-573. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195666310004062
This study examines the short-term effects of alcohol on appetite, showing that alcohol consumption can lead to increased food intake. It also discusses how alcohol can impair judgment and self-control, making sticking to a diet plan more challenging.
Caton, S. J., Ball, M., Ahern, A., & Hetherington, M. M. (2004). Dose-dependent effects of alcohol on appetite and food intake. Physiology & Behavior, 81(1), 51-58. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031938403003840
This study examines the dose-dependent effects of alcohol on appetite and food intake, providing evidence that alcohol consumption can lead to overeating and the selection of high-calorie, nutrient-poor foods.
Schrieks, I. C., Stafleu, A., Griffioen-Roose, S., de Graaf, C., Witkamp, R. F., Boerrigter-Rijneveld, R., & Hendriks, H. F. J. (2015). Moderate alcohol consumption after a mental stressor attenuates the endocrine stress response. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 50(6), 639-646. https://academic.oup.com/alcalc/article/50/6/639/2001780
This study investigates the impact of alcohol on stress-related eating, showing that alcohol consumption can affect judgment and self-control, leading to unhealthy food choices.
Suter, P. M. (2005). Is alcohol consumption a risk factor for weight gain and obesity? Critical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences, 42(3), 197-227. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10408360590913542
The review concludes that excessive alcohol consumption can contribute to weight gain and obesity, but moderate alcohol intake may not have the same effect.
Purohit, V., & Brenner, D. A. (2006). Mechanisms of alcohol-induced hepatic fibrosis: a summary of the Ron Thurman Symposium. Hepatology, 43(4), 872-878. https://aasldpubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/hep.21150
The paper discusses how alcohol can affect the liver's ability to process fat, possibly contributing to fat accumulation in the abdominal area.
Traversy, G., & Chaput, J. P. (2015). Alcohol consumption and obesity: an update. Current Obesity Reports, 4(1), 122-130. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13679-014-0129-4
The authors conclude that excessive alcohol intake is associated with an increased risk of obesity, while the relationship between moderate alcohol consumption and obesity is less clear.
CDC's Alcohol and Public Health FAQs. https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/faqs.htm
This page answers frequently asked questions about alcohol consumption, including the definition of a standard drink and the recommended guidelines for alcohol consumption.