You Don't Necessarily Need to Give Up Alcohol to Lose Weight

No, I'm not about to validate those viral claims that circulated a few years back that said drinking wine was actually better for you than going to the gym. Wine workouts are not a real thing (sorry!). However, there is good news for you libation lovers.

For those of you who want to shed a few pounds, it turns out that you don't have to give up your evening glass of wine. While alcohol won't cause you to lose weight, it also isn't something that necessarily contributes to your weight gain.

Conclusive Evidence for A Drink with Dinner

The question of whether or not alcohol contributed to weight gain was eating away at of the New York Times. Therefore, she combed through a cross section of studies to determine once and for all whether or not alcohol contributes to one's increase in size- a contingent subject spanning decades.

While it was to be expected that many conclusions were contradictory, the Times unearthed a thorough scientific review from 2015 that was intended to help people determine whether drinking might be compatible with effective weight management.

It turns out that "frequent light to moderate alcohol intake" -- at most two drinks a day for men, one for women -- "does not seem to be associated with obesity risk."

Binge Drinking is a Different Story

However, when consumption increases to binge drinking levels  (consuming five or more drinks on an occasion) or heavy drinking (more than four drinks in a day for men, or more than three for women), weight gain does become a consequence.

While there is a link between heavy drinkers and their likelihood to experience obesity and an expanding waistline, those who just like to enjoy a drink with dinner shouldn't be too concerned. The researchers concluded that "light to moderate alcohol intake is not associated with weight gain or changes in waist circumference."

Don't Forget to Exercise

New addition to the family. Keeping this baby safe while finishing up my trip to Costco. #redwine #wineweightloss #mine #babies

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Alcohol alone isn't the culprit behind weight fluctuations, but what you mix it with can be. Sugary mixers and juices can cause even low-calorie liquors to become highly caloric and contribute to your weight gain. In addition, certain alcoholic beverages are just more caloric than others.

While wine has steady numbers across the board, other inebriation choices, like 12 oz. of beer, can range from  55 to 320 calories.

To see how many calories your favorite libation contains, take a look at this report released by Nutrition Action, a subsidiary of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Furthermore, when drinking, there is another easily overlooked element at play: food consumption. While you can both imbibe and maintain a healthy died, studies have found that people tend to eat 30 percent more food when they consume alcohol.

This means two things:

1.While alcohol itself doesn't impact your diet, it does impact your inhibitions, which includes your ability to restrict your food intake.

2. You're going to need to exercise more to compensate for the extra calories consumed.

Dr. Chaput, who conducted the study, observed that even minimal weight gain can add up to a lot of extra pounds in five years unless there is a compensating reduction in food intake or increase in physical activity. While this may be stating the obvious, it is nevertheless important to remember.

Moderation is Key

In general, drinking while trying to lose weight is perfectly acceptable. Just make sure you're not overindulging. But, of course, it varies from person to person. This is not because of gender. Today, women drink just as much as men. Variations simply have to do with your body's makeup.

To that end, The New York Times emphasizes that every body is different, and therefore how they will respond to alcohol will vary. 

Read More: Is Your Favorite Wine Involved in a Health Lawsuit Over High Arsenic Levels?

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