Alcohol and weight have always seemed to have a bad relationship. A glass of your favorite wine after work or a nightcap with an old friend are usually the first things to go when we begin a diet. However, research as to why alcohol should stop during diets isn’t as clear as anti-alcohol diets make out.
It is not always common knowledge that alcohol is loaded with calories. We subconsciously assume it isn’t as bad because it’s so easy to consume as opposed to eating a big burger or a plate of fries, but alcohol is just as bad- if not worse. The human body targets alcohol calories before the other calories (calories from extra ingredients in cocktails mainly)- the proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, which are stored in the body until needed. To balance out the calories, we need to exercise more or consume less of other calories.
On the other hand, it isn’t as simple as it seems. Studies show that drinking wasn’t associated with body mass index in men, and it actually had a zero to negative effect in women, meaning that some women who drank actually had less body mass index than women who didn’t. However, this study heavily relied on a specific age and drinking level. It relied on moderate drinking habits, meaning two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women. It did not include heavy drinkers (four drinks a day for men, 3 drinks a day for women), who had a higher risk of obesity.
Through several studies and experiments, they found that two glasses of wine a night for men and one glass of wine a night for women did not increase weight gain. So maybe you can enjoy that glass of your favorite wine after work, after all!
Overall, the problem with studies on people is that everyone is different. It may be that for the majority of people, one to two glasses of wine a day will have no effect on weight gain, but for a minority, it might. It is all down to genetics, stress, eating patterns and exercise. In the end, it all comes down to alcohol and weight management. You just have to find what works for you, moderation is usually the answer.