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How much weight can you lose by quitting alcohol?

EastEnders star Adam Woodyatt said he lost three stone by sidestepping alcohol

drinking weight gain© Photo: iStock
Melanie Macleod
Wellness Editor
May 13, 2022
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EastEnders actor Adam Woodyatt wowed fans with his trim physique recently, sharing that his three-stone weight loss was down to cutting out alcohol and getting back on his bike.

MORE: 7 best sobriety books to help you give up drinking for good

Talking to The Mirror, the star said of his slimmed-down look: "Basically I gave up alcohol. That was the biggest change I made. With giving up alcohol, the weight drops off and because the weight dropped it was easier to cycle. So it was easier to stay fit."

adam woodyatt weight loss

Adam Woodyatt is looking remarkably slimmer

"That's all it was. I'm just not really focused on it. I've not really made a big fuss about it. I just stopped drinking," he shared.

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Adam continued that he might not stay off alcohol forever, but it's working for him right now. "The result is I've lost about three stone in weight," the actor revealed.

Why does alcohol make us gain weight?

wine weight gain© Photo: iStock

"As fun as it can be, hitting the booze to excess is detrimental to our health and it can be particularly troublesome for our waistlines," says registered nutritionist Hannah Alderson.

1. Alcohol is empty energy

"There is a lot of empty energy found in alcohol, which if not used up, will be stored as fat. Therefore, cutting it out can help with creating an energy deficit which would lead to weight loss," explains Hannah.

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2. Alcohol causes poor food choices

"When you’re drunk, your decision-making with food can be impaired – we’ve all made it through a family-sized packet of Kettle Chips at one point in our lives after a few glasses of wine," says Hannah.

Why do we crave less healthy treats when we're drinking? Registered nutritionist Jo Woodhurst explains.

"How balanced our blood sugar is has an impact on how well we manage weight and weight loss," Jo says.

"Alcohol makes your blood sugar spike then dip, which leads us to crave food we wouldn't necessarily go for normally."

Wine in bath© Photo: iStock

Drinking can lead to less health food choices

3. Alcohol causes bloating

'Booze bloat' can be a common association with hitting the bottle too much, Hannah says. Due to dehydration this can lead to water retention.

4. Alchocol raises cortisol

Alcohol raises cortisol levels, says Jo, which is associated with weight gain around our middle.

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Can cutting out alcohol help us lose weight?

"How alcohol impacts our weight depends on a lot of different things, from genetics, to age and gender, so it's about accepting how it affects you," say Jo.

wine on beach© Photo: iStock

How much you drinks impacts how much weight you'll lose by cutting back

"In clinic, I see a lot of difference in people's weight when they cut out or cut down on alcohol, but long term, when people are more moderate, such as having three or four alcohol-free days a week, they tend to stick to this a lot better than completely cutting out," Jo continues. With this in mind, cutting down alcohol is more likely to have a positive impact on your weight. 

Fellow nutritionist Emma Moross agrees that it differs from person to person. "If you are a regular drinker, cutting alcohol out could lead to a significant and sustained calorie reduction which would cause weight loss over time," Emma continues. "If you aren’t a regular drinker you likely wouldn’t see much of a change."

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