Weight Loss and Alcohol Abuse: Its Effects and Why It Happens

Alcohol abuse is a problem with consequences that go above and beyond alcohol’s effect on the brain. For example, weight loss and alcohol abuse often go hand-in-hand. People who tend to drink in excess frequently lose weight as a result.

Alcohol abuse is an ongoing problem here in the UK. Though data shows a slight improvement between 2011 and 2017, government estimates still suggest that 21% of the adult population misuses alcohol. That breaks down 28% of men and 14% of women.

Many of these adults do not recognise the link between the effects of alcohol and weight loss. However, the link is very real. Alcoholism is troubling in and of itself; combined with significant weight loss, it can be even worse.

Why does weight loss occur among alcohol abusers?

There are a number of mechanisms behind the link between excessive drinking and weight loss. The first relates directly to how alcohol affects the body. When you drink, alcohol tricks your brain into thinking you are full. Despite alcohol being very high in calories, the net effect of a night of drinking could be a lower caloric intake simply because you are not eating.

If casual drinking leads you to lose your appetite, imagine how the same principle affects someone who abuses alcohol. The alcohol abuser eats less because his or her appetite is less.

A second mechanism is liver inflammation. Over time, alcohol abuse can damage the liver enough that it stops working properly. Weight loss, jaundice, and malaise are often the end result of liver disease.

How does alcohol affect your weight? Why is it bad?

Believe it or not, casual alcohol consumption can actually lead to weight gain when it doesn’t interfere with a person’s appetite. Note that excessive weight gain is no better than excessive weight loss. Carrying around too much weight is not healthy.

Getting back to weight loss and alcohol abuse, the cumulative effect of both is bad because it can be very damaging to your overall health. Understand that your body converts food into energy. Your body needs that energy to promote healing when you are sick and rejuvenate your body after a full day of activity.

An alcohol abuser not getting enough food is forcing his or her body to look elsewhere for energy. His/her body ends up converting muscle and fat tissue into energy. As that tissue is consumed, the person’s health begins to decline.


What are the main effects of alcohol and weight loss?

The main effects of alcohol and weight loss combined are observed in a general loss of overall health. A person unable to maintain weight is more prone to everything from the common cold to heart disease. Just like infants who don’t get enough food, adult alcohol abusers whose weight loss is the result of not eating enough can actually fail to thrive.

How does giving up alcohol affect low body weight?

Knowing that weight loss and alcohol abuse are linked suggests that giving up alcohol could help reverse excessive weight loss. Indeed, it can. Just giving up alcohol for three months can do wonders for restoring lost weight. As that weight is restored, the alcohol abuser should also notice a general improvement in overall health.

Alcohol abuse frequently leads to excessive weight loss. As such, weight loss and alcohol are inexorably linked. If you are a heavy drinker and you have noticed you’ve lost a lot of weight in recent months, it’s time to consider getting professional help. The link between alcohol and lost weight indicates that you could already be in the danger zone.



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