Quit Drinking Alcohol For Dry January? Here’s Why You’re Still Not Losing Weight

Quit Drinking Alcohol For Dry January? Here’s Why You’re Still Not Losing Weight

It’s the perfect resolution: you resolve to give up alcohol for a month and lose a few pounds.

Trouble is, it doesn’t work. In fact, giving up alcohol for dry January can have the opposite effect.

So can giving up booze be such bad news for weight loss? Many people who decide to stop drinking alcohol are also hoping to lose weight. But the two things aren’t necessarily related, and you can still gain weight if you’re not careful.

Here are eight reasons why:

1. You can replace booze with food. If you’re trying to lose weight, you need to be mindful of what you’re eating. If you’re swapping booze for food, you might be piling on the calories without realizing it. Alcohol contains around 200 calories an average-sized glass – without the calories, it’s easy to top up on snacks instead and forget how much you’ve eaten.

2. You’re eating more food – Alcohol suppresses appetite. When you drink, your body’s metabolism increases and you burn off fat more quickly. When you give up alcohol, you don’t have this thermic effect to help you burn fat. For one thing, there’s nothing in alcohol that replaces the calories that you would normally eat. So when you’re drinking, your body is burning off extra calories. When you stop drinking, you’ll also tend to eat more and your metabolism slows down as a result of that so it will be harder for you to lose weight.

3. Stepping away from drinking allows your stomach to recuperate from alcohol-related damage and absorb more nutrients. Since your body is now being supplied again, this might result in weight gain.

4. Our normal gut response is to feel increased hunger if we modify our habits. Then there is the boredom issue as well as the incentive component to consider. And eating is a very simple and approachable incentive.


Anna is an avid blogger with an educational background in medicine and mental health. She is a generalist with many other interests including nutrition, women's health, astronomy and photography. In her free time from work and writing, Anna enjoys nature walks, reading, and listening to jazz and classical music.

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