Alcohol and Weight Gain

It’s no secret that alcohol and our society share a love affair. For some, alcohol is a part of their lives, and they may never get hooked, but for others, alcohol becomes their entire life. Our youth has become especially vulnerable to alcoholism with the emergence of social media. Trends fill the web in the form of “memes” that, in essence, promote binge drinking. The event known as blacking out has become widely accepted by drinkers, and those in college are expected to consume extraordinary amounts of the elixir.

While the commercials promoted by alcohol companies are all glitz and glamor, there is a dark side that many don’t see. 

It’s easy to ignore becoming an alcoholic and fall prey to the thought of “it won’t happen to me,’ but the reality is, alcohol use disorders can occur when you least expect them to. Another part of drinking we fail to take into consideration is its ability to cause weight gain.

Alcohol problems are not a result of how much someone drinks and a simplified approach to alcohol reduction is moderating the amount of alcohol being consumed. It doesn’t work. Alcohol intake and how someone handles it varies by culture, and there are significant differences in those from different ethnic backgrounds and how they handle alcohol.

Either way, the amount of alcohol in the country continues to flow freely, and the statistics back up these statements. On average, six people die every day of alcohol poisoning in the United States, and 76 percent of those deaths are adults aged 35 to 64. In addition, 76 percent of those who die from alcohol are men, and alcoholism was identified as a factor in 30 percent of alcohol poisoning deaths. The United States government is providing programs to deter individuals from binge drinking.



Alcohol claims the lives of 88,000 people each year, which translates to 62,000 men and 26,000 women. These deaths are the result of drunk driving, alcohol poisoning, or any alcohol-related matter. Alcohol is one of the leading causes of preventable death in the U.S. Alcohol misuse, according to a 2010 study, cost the country $249 billion, and three-quarters of that cost consists of binge drinking.

As we described above, young adults are prone to alcohol because of the culture set in place, and 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries — a darker statistic highlights 97,000 students experience sexual assault or date rape because of alcohol.

Alcohol is dangerous, period, and the shield of legality shouldn’t make you doubt that for even a second. The question at hand, however, is the correlation between alcohol and weight gain.

Those who significantly cut back on their alcohol intake or quit drinking often notice how they start to shed excess weight. Why is that? Is it the late night junk food consumption in the middle of an alcohol binge, or is it something more? Our article will delve into the topic and share insight as to why alcohol is such a contributor to weight gain.

Why Alcohol Affects Everyone Differently

Maybe you’ve been drinking for years heavily and can put down several cocktails in a sitting and carry on a normal conversation, or perhaps you drink significantly less, and one beer will have you slurring your speech. The side effects of alcohol vary considerably between individuals and many reasons for this include:



  • Those who consume large amounts of alcohol in a short period are likely to experience a much stronger effect than those who drink the same amount over a more extended period. Consuming at a faster rate will have alcohol build up in your bloodstream faster than your liver than process it.


Alcohol can have a much more potent effect depending on your food intake. Food in the stomach will slow down the absorption rate of a drink into your blood, and those drinking on an empty stomach will get drunk much quicker; this can be dangerous.


A larger man can consume much more alcohol than a smaller man because larger individuals have more bodily fluids that dilute alcohol.


Those younger and those older can have an increased effect. The amount of fluids we retain decrease as we age and an older person will be affected much more than they were in college. Younger bodies will also feel it more since they have a lower tolerance because of their developing body.

Why Does Alcohol Cause Weight Gain?

When alcohol is ingested, it’s broken down into acetate, which can be compared to vinegar, and the body will burn this before other consumed calories or stored fat. If you drink and consume more calories than your body requires, you’re going to store the fat because the body is getting all its energy from the acetate in the cocktail you drank at happy hour.

Alcohol is commonly known as having empty calories, and it provides the body with calories that have zero nutritional benefits. A 12-ounce can of beer can have 155 calories, whereas a 5-ounce glass of wine can have 125 calories.

Alcohol and Weight Gain

The Healthline website states that an afternoon snack should have between 150 to 200 calories, meaning a night out of binge drinking can lead to consuming hundreds of unnecessary calories.

We’ve all heard of a beer gut, and it’s true, alcohol does contribute to excess belly fat. Foods high in simple sugars, and the extra calories are stored as fat in the body. Additionally, alcohol consumption affects your judgment when it comes to food. It’s challenging to suppress your urge to eat junk food. When you’re intoxicated, and your inhibitions are lower, it leads to poor decision-making and can lead to binge eating.

What To Do About Alcohol and Weight Gain?

If you’re someone that is noticing a change in your body due to excessive alcohol consumption, your best option may be to cut back on drinking or quit drinking altogether. Unfortunately, drinking alcohol socially is a slippery slope.

While not everyone who drinks is predisposed to alcoholism, the statistics provided above paint a picture of how prevalent the disorder is throughout the U.S. If alcohol is causing weight gain, and you are having trouble reducing your alcohol intake or stopping, you may have developed an alcohol use disorder. If you notice withdrawal symptoms when you cut back drinking, this could mean you need professional help to get your weight and alcohol use under control.

Call Serenity at Summit For Professional Treatment Today

Alcohol and weight gain are widely known, but at a certain point, it can become a serious issue that affects all parts of your life. If the alcohol doesn’t harm you first, the weight can place additional stress on your body. Our bodies must be treated like temples, and Serenity at Summit can bring you to that place of enlightenment.

We offer a smooth transition back into your life through therapies and care made to revitalize body and mind alike. Contact us immediately at 844-326-4514, or contact us online to get your alcohol intake or weight gain under control.

We offer a smooth transition back into your life through therapies and care made to revitalize body and mind alike. Contact us immediately at (609) 473-6720, or contact us online to get your alcohol intake or weight gain under control.