Will I lose weight if I give up alcohol?

On average, we Germans drink about ten liters of pure alcohol per year, mainly beer and wine. That’s a good liter more than the European average. And at the same time, around half of the population is overweight. The figures are not necessarily directly causally related, but they cannot really be separated from one another either.

Anyone who is actually overweight or feels overweight usually begins to follow a diet, avoid certain foods and count calories. It has long been known in medicine that this is of no use, especially in the long term, which is why a fundamental change in diet is recommended.

But what many people don’t consider is that alcohol also has calories, and not even a few of them. “A gram of alcohol has almost as many calories as a gram of fat, namely seven kilocalories, fat nine. A gram of sugar only has four kilocalories,” says internist and nutritionist Dr. Matthew Riedl. “Based on a glass of wine, which usually contains 12 grams of alcohol, that corresponds to a good 21 grams of sugar.” For comparison: in a 250 gram cup of cream yoghurt there is an average of around 13 to 15 grams of sugar, which is around eleven to twelve equivalent to lumps of sugar.

Does Alcohol Destroy Diet Success?

To put it another way: With every glass of wine (about 150 milliliters) we eat, thumbs up, 20 sugar cubes. “And of course that destroys any diet success,” says Dr. Matthew Riedl. “More than that: fat, for example, fills you up, closes the stomach and is essential for various metabolic processes. Sugar also serves, at least in moderation, as a fuel and source of energy. But there is nothing in alcohol calories, no nutrition, just literally pointless calories.”

We Germans buy an incredible amount of alcohol: “According to the manufacturer, in 2018 it was 102 liters of beer, 23.9 liters of wine and 5.4 liters of spirits per person. That’s a good 300 small bottles of beer and 190 small glasses of wine per person per year,” says the website kenn-dein-limit.de. So each and every one of us drinks a small beer almost every weekday or a wine every other day or so.

Alcohol drains the body

Studies have shown that alcohol is toxic from the first drop, says Dr. Matthias Riedl: “It already damages the mucous membrane in the mouth, so that viruses can enter more easily and inflammations are promoted. But the very sensitive mucous membranes of the rest of the digestive tract are also affected.” In addition, calories that the body does not need are stored in fat cells in the liver. So we gain weight, potentially developing fatty liver, which increases the risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even liver cancer.

The problem with alcohol is not only that it provides empty calories, but also that the body has to expend a lot of energy to break it down. This energy is then missing elsewhere. Our liver, for example, is responsible for detoxification. She does this mainly at night because she needs quiet for her work.

Nature arranged it like this: At night, when we are not eating and the digestive organs are not busy processing the food, the detoxification and repair work can begin, our internal garbage disposal runs at full speed, very quietly, so that we do not get sick.

However, when the liver is busy metabolizing the after-work beer, it cannot concentrate on its actual task, which is why metabolites that need to be disposed of remain in the body. The liver prefers alcohol, so to speak, because it is pure poison – and the organism wants to get rid of it as quickly as possible. “A hangover, which is often played down in society, is poisoning and anything but harmless or funny,” says Dr. Matthew Riedl.


If you want to lose weight, be slim and healthy, you should avoid alcohol in any form – completely. Alcohol makes you fat. Even someone who is thin can have internal fat deposits, which promote inflammatory reactions, among other things.

#lose #weight #give #alcohol

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