Drinking Alcohol Reduces Weight Gain (Discover More!)

Alcohol reduces weight gain among women. (Sorry, guys.) Women who have one or two alcoholic drinks daily gain less weight during mid-life. That’s compared to alcohol abstainers.

Medical researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston published their findings in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The Study

alcohol reduces weight Researcher studied if alcohol reduces weight gain among women. Doctors have widely reported that it does. To do so, they studied over 19,000 women aged 38 years or older.

The womens’ weight was initially in the normal range. The study recorded facts about the diets and lifestyles of the women for nearly13 years.

The doctors adjusted for age, baseline weight, smoking, non-alcohol energy intake, and physical activity. They also adjusted for other dietary and lifestyle factors.

Women who had one or two drinks daily were at least 30% less likely to gain weight. That is, over the period of the study.

These findings held among subgroups of women based on age, smoking, physical activity, and initial weight.

There was an inverse relationship between amount of alcohol consumed and weight. That is, the more alcohol women drank, the lower was their weight.

Alcohol Reduces Weight Gain

Findings are Consistent

These research findings are consistent with those of other studies.

The authors note that women had a substantial increase in energy expenditure after drinking. This suggests that women might experience a net loss of calories after drinking.

This may account for the fact that drinkers were much less likely to gain weight. But researchers don’t know for sure why drinking alcohol reduces weight gain among women.

Alcohol Promotes Health

Moderate drinking is also linked with better health and longer life. That’s compared with either abstaining from alcohol or abusing it. This applies equally to wine, spirits (liquor), and beer.

Standard Drinks

alcohol reduces weight
Standard Drinks

Standard drinks have the same amount of pure alcohol. It’s 0.06 of an ounce. A drink is a drink. Having two beers is the same as having two shots of whiskey.

And they have the same benefits for good health. And for long life. Beer, dinner wine, and distilled spirits (liquor) are good for both.

Content of Beverages

The following list shows the calories, carbs and fat found in standard servings of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

BeverageCaloriesCarbs (grams)Fat (grams)
Beer (regular)14613.130.000
Beer (lite)994.600.000
All Distilled Spirits (rum, vodka, whiskey, gin, tequila, bourbon, etc.)970.000.000
Wine (red)1253.50.000
Wine (white)1203.50.000
Apple juice (unsweetened)11728.960.273
Apricot juice14036.110.226
Carbonated cola15539.770.000
Grape juice (unsweetened)15537.840.202
Grapefruit juice (unsweetened)9422.130.247
Milk (2% fat)12211.414.807
Orange juice (unsweetened)11226.840.149
Prune juice18244.670.077
Tangerine juice (unsweetened)12529.880.098
Tomato juice4110.300.122
Source: U.S. Dept Ag.


Clearly, most alcohol beverages contain fewer calories than most non-alcohol ones. Also, alcohol contains no fat and is very low in carbohydrates. And it appears that the “effective” calories in alcohol are much lower than the numbers listed.

The bottom line is simple. Women who have one or two drinks of alcohol gain much less weight than do non-drinkers.


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    • This site gives no advice. That includes on drinking alcohol reduces weight gain. Please see your doctor with questions.