Alcohol Addiction and Weight Problems

Drinking alcohol is widely linked with weight gain; however, the idea that alcohol somehow converts to fat in the user’s body has no scientific basis. Nonetheless, drinking does have specific effects on the user’s total weight and metabolic health.

Alcohol and Weight Gain

The reason that so many alcohol addicts gain large amounts of weight is that alcohol interferes with one’s metabolism. Eating carbohydrates, fats or both while consuming alcohol prevents the body from breaking down and distributing these components as it needs to, causing them to be stored as fat instead. Yet, paradoxically, alcohol makes the consumer feel hungry more often than usual, especially at night when the body needs rest from digesting food. This causes the drinker to eat more. The situation is complicated by the fact that eating while drinking slows down the process of intoxication. Thus, the drinker faces a choice: either get drunk more quickly or gain more weight. Weight gain is even more likely if the drinker eats junk food, which is often what alcohol causes one to crave.

Alcohol and Weight Loss

When drunk in the place of carbohydrates, alcohol can actually help the user lose weight. Considering that carbs are ideally half of a healthy diet, this philosophy can turn a casual drinker into an alcoholic very quickly. The multiple chronic health issues associated with alcohol abuse are certainly not worth a small amount of weight loss. If one needs to lose weight, there are healthy, non-addictive ways to do so that leave the body in better shape, not worse.

Alcohol and Long-Term Digestive Health Issues

Insulin-resistant alcohol consumers are at a heightened risk of type 2 diabetes because of how alcohol raises the body’s resistance to insulin. Additionally, the body’s inability to digest food properly when it is consumed at the same time as alcohol can be traced to the liver. The liver destruction caused by alcohol inhibits the digestive process. This is due to the permanent destruction of liver cells that occurs as the liver metabolizes alcohol to acetate. Even after the user has conquered alcohol addiction, the liver will not recover to its full capacity. This has permanent consequences for future digestive health.

Recovering from Alcohol Addiction

If you or your loved one suffers from alcohol addiction, please call our toll-free helpline for advice. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, and we want to help you in any way we can. We can recommend treatment programs specific to alcohol addiction that best fit your current situation. Call us today.