Posted in: alcohol, diabetes, digestion, Weight Management

Alcohol vs. Food: Why Your Drink Could be Making You Fat

The alcohol that we binge on without any second thoughts, can get you bedridden faster than you’d ever imagine.

Showing up to weekend events has become the order of the day, and what’s fun if there isn’t any alcohol? You ask.

No one ever thinks about the consequences of anything until it’s too late, you know. And not everyone loves to be told the truth either.

However, In my experience as a clinical nutritionist, I can say this with a lot of confidence, and I hope that eventually we might pick one or two things and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

Health is wealth

How else can you even enjoy the goodness of life when your health is compromised? 

Research has shown so many effects of alcohol on our health, talk;

  1. Increasing your risk of heart disease.
  2. Raising your blood pressure.
  3. Stroke.
  4. Obesity.
  5. Esophageal cancer.
  6. Colon Cancer.
  7. Liver cirrhosis.

Just to mention a few. When you get into the doctor’s office, one of the very first questions is,

 Do you smoke or take alcohol? 

Whether your answer to this question is honest or not, this question already shows that your diagnosis could highly be linked to alcohol.

While it’s something that is discouraged, behaviour change towards moderation and limiting the intake of alcohol is worth looking forward to.

Alcohol and weight gain.

We think of all the reasons why we keep adding weight despite every effort we make to maintain a healthy weight. We tend to overlook
the power of alcohol intake in causing weight gain very fast.

Regardless of what type of alcohol you take, whether wine, beer, vodka, or liquors, researchers still find a great connection between
alcohol and weight gain.

What you drink, how much you drink, how often you drink, or
even what kind of foods you eat alongside alcohol are just a few of the most important things to keep in mind.

There may be no safe level of alcohol intake.

How does alcohol cause weight gain?

There are several ways that alcohol can lead to weight gain, it;

  • Has too many calories.
  • Can lead to uncontrollable cravings.
  • Can lead to poor judgment.
  • Disrupts the process of burning fat.

How is Alcohol digested?

Its digestion takes place differently as compared to carbohydrates, proteins and fats. When you take alcohol, your body prioritizes the breakdown of alcohol over other foods. 

This means that the burning of fats gets compromised hence leading to more and more fat storage, hence weight gain.

Worst is that alcohol metabolism leads to the rise of a toxic chemical acetaldehyde which is harmful to the cells and tissues of the body. And can even cause DNA damage leading to certain cancers and even liver disease.

Effects of weight gain as a result of alcohol intake.

Weight gain can quickly lead to obesity, which increases your risk to so many cardiovascular diseases like heart disease, and high blood pressure.

What happens is that too much of it leads to a build-up of too much fat, especially belly fat. “Kitambi”

Remember the digestion of alcohol happens fast before the breakdown of fats, carbs, or proteins. That means that the excess fat gets nowhere to go but to be stored, often around the belly.

Some of this fat finds a home inside the blood vessels, forming plaques that block the flow of blood, hence heart attacks, when blood can not get to your heart. Or a stroke when blood cannot get to your brain.

Alcohol and diabetes.

Weight gain also increases your risk of developing diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes. Being overweight or obese reduces the production of insulin, a hormone responsible for the moderation of blood glucose levels. 

When the body can not produce enough insulin, you will probably develop diabetes.

In addition, alcohol intake for diabetics is highly discouraged as often it may lead to uncontrolled blood glucose levels.

lt does interfere with the action of insulin and that is why taking alcohol while on diabetic medication is never recommended.

Sugary alcoholic drinks can also cause blood glucose spikes, which can actually be life-threatening.


  • It’s not fun when you can no longer enjoy good health, just because you took way more bottles than you needed.
  • It doesn’t help how much exercise you do, or how many diet plans you get on when you still take way more bottles than you need.
  • The hangover you feel right after the weekend out is a sign that this is something that you should actually rethink.
  • You will not find answers to your problems in a bottle of alcohol, the only thing you’ll add is health problems.
  • You can be better off with more glasses of water every day to keep your kidneys active and your body healthy.

NB: This is not to crucify you for your social choices, but to remind us that we can still make the best out of staying away from too many bottles of alcohol.

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