Wine and your weight-gain

NOT HELPING: By the time your body gets around to burning food calories, it stores the extra calories you've eaten as fat cells. Photo: Shutterstock.
NOT HELPING: By the time your body gets around to burning food calories, it stores the extra calories you've eaten as fat cells. Photo: Shutterstock.

It's hard enough staying in shape with our busy lifestyles these days but are we making it harder with our lifestyle choices?

After a busy day, many of us feel compelled to enjoy a glass or two of wine to help us relax or unwind.

Whether or not you will gain weight from alcohol depends on what you drink, how much you drink, how often you drink, what you eat when you drink, and your unique body and lifestyle.

Drinking alcohol - particularly in excessive amounts - has many other serious health risks beyond possible weight gain, including high blood pressure, high triglycerides, insulin resistance, heart disease, stroke, liver disease and some cancers.

While the relationship between alcohol consumption and obesity remains unclear, there are good reasons to think that alcohol may play a role:

  • It stops your body from burning fat.
  • It is high in kilojoules.
  • It leads to greater hunger and less satiety (the feeling of being full).
  • It causes poor food choices.

No one has ever drunkenly craved a salad and there's a reason. A study conducted by Purdue University found that moderate consumption of alcohol enhances the taste of salt and fat, which is why bacon and scrambled eggs the next morning are so satisfying.

Dr. Edward Miller, Wine & Health

Your liver recognises the byproducts of alcohol as toxins, so your body stops processing nutrients from food you've eaten while it takes care of the "bad guys" first.

As a result, your body burns empty alcohol calories for energy while the digestion of nutrient-rich food is put on the back burner.

When you consume more calories than you burn (a likely scenario when alcohol is part of your meal) your body stores the excess as fat.

THE STRUGGLE IS REAL: If you are finding that clothes are a little tighter than usual, back off on your regular tipple and see the difference. Photo: Shutterstock.

THE STRUGGLE IS REAL: If you are finding that clothes are a little tighter than usual, back off on your regular tipple and see the difference. Photo: Shutterstock.

Drinking dry wine actually causes your blood sugar to drop. This is because your body focuses on metabolising the alcohol calories first before food calories.

The result is that your brain sees this information a little blindly and calls out for food or blood sugar.