First of all, it is necessary for anyone concerned about the connection between alcohol and extra body weight to accept the fact that alcohol intake can contribute to making us fat. It’s a fact of life that can only be eliminated by taking alcohol from our lives altogether.
It’s possible to control the weight gain and the additional body fat with exercise and a healthy diet. But drinking alcoholic beverages will make the “battle of the bulge” more difficult. Why, you may ask?
The primary reason is that the alcoholic drinks we consume have a lot of sugar in them. This increases our overall calorie intake. In addition, sugar turns to fat more quickly than some other edible items. This quick-forming fat stays with us in the belly area, as well as on the hips and this. Some people have found that the extra fat appears on the underside of the arms as well.
Each person reacts differently to this sugar/fat connection, so the extra weight won’t always appear on the belly. It’s certainly common enough for people to believe that drinking beer and liquor give us a “beer belly.” This isn’t always true, but it happens often enough to make it an issue. One of the reasons is that the male of the human species naturally tends to add body fat in the belly area. Men who consume alcohol regularly are almost ensuring that the amount of fat on their bellies will increase. Women however gather their extra fat in and around the hips and upper thighs. So, women who consume alcohol may see extra weight in those areas.
One of the scientific facts (frustrating for drinkers) is that the sugar and calorie factor in alcohol is there even though drinking such beverages doesn’t stop us from being hungry. Therefore, any drinking we do adds sugar and calories in addition to what we get from eating. We may feel “full” for awhile after drinking but our bodies will still signal us that it is time to eat.
The key to solving this alcohol/fat problem is to drink less alcohol. Keeping the intake of alcoholic beverages to a minimum will help control that extra body fat. A general guideline states that enjoying one or two drinks during the day probably won’t create a fat problem. Drinking too much alcohol certainly will add extra fat weight to the body.
People who need to be on a restricted-calorie diet should definitely pay attention to the amount of alcohol they drink. What happens with alcohol does not happen with food that is eaten. The calories in alcohol go directly to the rest of the body because alcohol passes on to the body without being digested as food is. Since it goes immediately to the body it needs to be used up or burned by activity immediately. Otherwise it will settle into the parts of the body that are natural fat storehouses for each individual. Alcohol is an immediate energy source for the body but in a short time it becomes a source of extra fat.