How alcohol affects weight

Executive summary

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We’re taking a bit of a departure this week to do a classic issue rather than a recent paper. I had a book published in January called The Diet Fix and one of the most discussed parts of the book was the bit on alcohol.

Alcohol is an important issue for adults trying to lose weight, as it is widely enjoyed, and it is one of the things that people would most like to be able to accommodate in their diet. Sharing a drink with friends is sociable and relaxing and may well have positive health benefits (stress management, human connection, for example). The impact of alcohol on weight is not straightforward, so let’s take a look…

It's not about calories

Pure alcohol contains approximately seven calories per gram. Calorie theorists might think that alcohol will make you fat from the calories it contains. However, the body cannot store alcohol. There is no mechanism by which alcohol per se is turned to body fat. So how can the calo­ries in alcohol make us fat if they can’t be turned into fat?

There are four issues with alcohol and weight:


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