Alcohol and weight gain

By cutting down on alcohol you can cut down on calories.

Regularly drinking more than the low-risk guidelines gives your body more energy than it needs. It can also affect your general health.

Being overweight and obesity are linked to conditions like:

  • diabetes
  • heart problems
  • circulation problems
  • stroke
  • cancer
  • depression

Why alcohol causes weight gain

Alcohol has almost the same calories per gram as fat. But alcohol calories are empty calories. This means they provide the same energy but none of the nutrition that food provides.

As well as the calories in alcohol, drinking also makes us more likely to eat too much. Most of us have experienced this. The visit to the chip shop after a night out or the nibbles to go with our glass of wine or beer. Alcohol triggers the part of the brain that makes us feel hungry.

Alcohol reduces your inhibitions. You’re less likely to worry about picking the unhealthy options when you’ve been drinking.

Amount of calories in alcohol drinks

  • 1 pint of 4% strength beer = 182 calories
  • 1 large gin and tonic = 390 calories
  • 1 large glass of wine = 185 calories
  • Half a bottle of prosecco = 350 calories
  • 1 Long Island iced tea = 275 calories

Page last reviewed: 30 August 2022
Next review due: 30 August 2025