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How to Drink Moderately Without Gaining Weight

A young woman enjoys lunch with a smile on her face.
Drinking without gaining weight comes down to one simple rule—moderation.

Alcohol is full of empty calories, and the result is often an expanding waistline.

And it’s not just a matter of simple math. Sure, two beers may only be a couple of hundred calories, but the problem is the stuff that often comes with them—pizza, chicken wings or even just a bowl of chips. Or maybe you’re more into chardonnay and cupcakes.

Either way, it’s not hard to take in an extra thousand calories for the day. Do that a few times a month and, before you know it, you’ve gained a pound.

Alcohol’s Effects on Weight Gain

Still, that’s not the whole story. There are actually a handful of studies that actually show moderate drinking can be a slight boost to metabolism.

Another study found that those who drank moderately were less likely to become obese than those who didn’t drink at all. One possible explanation is that those who drink moderately view alcohol as their “reward” and are less likely to eat chips, ice cream, or cookies.

A Fine Line

So which is it? Is alcohol good or bad when it comes to weight gain?

In the end, it seems to come down to how much you drink. One study showed that drinking four or more alcoholic beverages per day was more likely to lead to obesity than moderate drinking. The same was also true for those who don’t drink every day but drink heavily on regular occasions.

Alcohol Weight Gain and Addiction

The real danger of excess alcohol consumption, however, isn’t weight gain; it’s alcohol abuse and addiction.

A good sign that you may have crossed a line is that you cannot control how much you drink. If you plan to have three drinks during a night out, but end up closing the bar down, that’s a sign that you may need help. It’s also a problem if your goal is to only drink three days a week, but you find that you can never stick with the plan.

Lying about your alcohol use, hiding your alcohol use, and getting into legal and financial trouble because of your alcohol use are also major red flags.

Hope and Healing at The Raleigh House

What many people don’t realize is that, over time, alcohol can change the brain. It will make it difficult, if not impossible, for some people to stop drinking without help.

At The Raleigh House, we take a whole-person approach to recovery. That means we don’t just get the alcohol out of your system. We work with you to help you recover psychologically, mentally, spiritually, and socially as well. Rehab isn’t just about giving something up – it’s about getting your life back. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about the alcohol addiction treatment program at The Raleigh House.

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