Does Alcohol cause weight gain?
When someone starts a diet, it appears that not only is sugar cut out but alcohol is also, generally, cut out also. The reason for this is that individuals will state it inhibits weight loss. Is there science behind these claims or is it a myth?
For those who regularly read my articles you will know that the only thing preventing you from losing weight is not being in a calorie deficit. If you eat more than you burn, you gain weight and vice versa. But how many calories are in Alcohol? Is it a fat, carbohydrate, or protein?
Alcohol itself has calories (7 calories per gram) and it is commonly paired with carbohydrates which also has calories (such as wine, beer etc). In addition, these calories are liquid which makes it easier to go over your calorie target for the day and not feel full.
For those of you who track your macronutrients, on the days that you drink, consider alcohol to be no specific macronutrient (not a fat, carbohydrate etc). What you do is you subtract the number of calories you drank from your total calories for the day and focus on still hitting your protein macronutrient goal for the day.
A rule of thumb is to ensure calories from alcohol do not exceed 15% of your total calories for the day. In addition, drinking to the point where you feel unwell the next day might influence your performance the following day and therefore your fitness goals for the day might be hindered.
Therefore, alcohol does not inherently inhibit fat loss, however, it can make it more difficult to remain in a calorie deficit. This means one should use alcohol in moderation.