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Alcohol misuse and weight problems

There are many reasons for weight issues, but a common cause of being overweight is excessive drinking. Understanding the correlation between alcohol consumption, weight gain, and mental and physical problems is vital for the addiction recovery process to be successful and sustainable. The process can be a vicious cycle and the link with alcohol and weight gain often incorporate other factors like low self-esteem.

Read what Philip* has to say about his experience of battling weight caused by alcohol:

“To lose weight, I made huge changes to my lifestyle. I ate very little and quit the booze overnight. I lost a huge amount of weight, of course, but it was all very short-lived. Within three months of starting that diet, I was back to my original weight, drinking more than ever and feeling like a complete failure.”

Adopting a phased approach is best

By suddenly stopping drinking, Philip took a huge risk with his health. Not many drinkers are able to just suddenly quit alcohol, as he did, but stopping straightaway can be too much of a jolt to the system. The best approach to abstinence is to seek advice from someone qualified to educate you on the physical and mental risks you put yourself at when you drink excessively.

Psychological problems caused by alcohol

Feelings of inadequacy, failure and low self-worth are extremely common amongst alcohol addicts as drink is a depressant. Many people may seek to reduce these feelings by drinking even more alcohol. If you are already vulnerable and self-conscious about your weight, turning to alcohol to give you confidence is only going to make things worse, mentally and physically. Alcohol is extremely fattening, and for some it even replaces food, leaving them open to serious health risks as well as the omnipresence of the cyclical feelings of worthlessness caused by being overweight.

“When I researched alcohol intake and weight gain, I read that giving up drinking practically overnight could actually be unsafe, and that I would probably have been much more successful in gradually losing body fat and maintaining a healthy weight if I reduced my drinking from heavy to moderate.”

Breaking free of alcohol’s grip

Alcohol abuse can lead to weight gain, but so can moderate drinking. Just enjoying a glass of wine with dinner each evening, and perhaps a few pints over a weekend, can result in an increase in body fat. The answer to avoiding all the aforementioned problems is simple: don’t drink at all. But don’t make the mistake thousands of other people across the UK make every year when trying to beat the bottle: trying to work out how to break free of alcohol’s grip all on their own.

With the help of professional clinicians, counsellors, therapists and other sympathetic and highly trained staff at a private rehab clinic, alcoholism can be tackled most effectively.

*All names have been changed.

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