Another very common question asked by those new to a Zero Carb diet is: Can I Drink Alcohol on a Zero Carb Diet? There have been many posts about this subject in the Facebook group Zeroing in on Health. I have selected some of the best comments from these discussions and posted them here for easy reference. While occasional or even moderate consumption of dry, non-sweet alcohol might be okay for some people. Those who are new to a Zero Carb diet are strongly encouraged to abstain from it during their initial 30-Day trial. Once you have a clear baseline of how you feel on just meat and water, then you can easily test out other things like dairy or alcohol and get a much better idea of how your body is personally affected by them. … Dr. Paul Mabry: I’m a retired MD with years of low carb ketogenic blogging experience. I’m day 6 on this new and from all my research intuitively beautiful way of eating. There have been some questions about alcohol so I wanted to post this short answer on the basic science of alcohol in layman’s terms which apply equally to low carb and zero carb: Moderate alcohol can be accommodated on the diet. Alcohol is metabolized exclusively in the liver and does not stimulate the release of Insulin which is the big enemy of people like me who suffer from the metabolic syndrome. Things to know if you’re going to drink alcohol is that many forms contain carbs that can torpedo any weight loss. The worst offenders are beers, even lite ones, sweet wines though all wines contain carbs the dry ones contain the least and some drinks like hard cider and lemonade are as bad as drinking Coke. You will have to count carbs if you consume these. Drinks like Rum, Scotch, Whiskey and Vodka have zero carbs if you drink them with water. However, Scotch and Whi Continue reading >>
Sugar Alcohol Facts
Sugar alcohol sweeteners (also known as polyols) usually contain less calories than regular sugar, and have virtually no impact on blood sugar and dental health. Sounds great, except for some disclaimers: since they can't be digested in the human digestive system, these sweeteners can cause gut issues such as flatulence, bloating and diarrhea. In addition, most of these sweeteners are excreted in the urine, which increases the amount and frequency of urination. This increased urination will result in a higher loss of body minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium and possibly cause muscle cramping. At higher intake amounts, this effect is more pronounced, and in rat studies, has resulted in changes in kidney function and structure. (See this reference: Nutrient Requirements of Laboratory Animals,: Fourth Revised Edition, 1995, page 22). Some people with blood sugar issues may experience blood sugar spikes after eating these sweeteners, but this is an individual response. Since all of these types of sugar substitutes contain some calories and carbs, be sure to count them into your daily totals if you are on a low carb diet plan. Below is an overview of the most common sugar alcohol sweeteners: Erythritol Erythritol has about 3/4 the sweetening power as regular sugar, with only a tenth of the calories. One cup of erythritol contains about 10 grams of carbohydrate, and 40 calories. This sugar alcohol is best used in conjunction with other sugar substitutes such as stevia, sucralose and glycerin. Lauren over at the Healthy Indulgences Blog suggests using erythritol in desserts which are of a moist consistency for best results, since erythritol does not attract moisture as regular sugar and some other sweeteners do. Hence, it has a tendency to dry out the foods to wh Continue reading >>
Drinking Alcohol On The Ketogenic Diet
On a ketogenic diet, you train your body to begin using fats for energy rather than carbohydrates. This is also known as a state of ketosis which is indicated by the production of a by-product called ketones. What happens to ketone levels when you introduce alcohol into the mix? Interestingly enough, our bodies treat alcohol like any carbohydrate, in that it is sent to the front of the line to be used as energy. While your body burns calories from the alcohol you consumed, ketosis will be "paused." You won't get kicked out and have to reinitiate it, but ketone production will momentarily cease while your body burns the alcohol. Effects of Drinking and Caution One of the best features of ketogenic dieting is that you can easily drink alcohol in moderation without setting your diet goals back. There are a few things you should remember when drinking alcohol while in ketosis: Ketogenic dieters experience notoriously bad hangovers. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water in between drinks. While drinking liquor won't ruin your diet, all things in moderation. Excess carbohydrates and calories will still slow down your weight loss, so make sure you keep drinking to a minimum when possible. Don't forget to consider mixers when calculating your carb counts. Use diet sodas and artificially sweetened juices instead of their full-carbohydrate counterparts. Don't let alcohol affect your willpower! The intoxicating effects may tempt you to stray from your diet, but don't eat those french fries! Try to have some low carb snacks lined up that you can resort to when you get hungry. Below are a few of the most popular types of alcohol, along with their calorie and carbohydrate counts. Have fun and be safe! Calories and Carbohydrates in Liquor (1 oz.) Alcohol Name Calories (kcal) Carbo Continue reading >>
Ketosis And Alcohol
When it comes to the ketogenic lifestyle, there are lots of confusing and conflicting opinions floating around, and they can lead to all kinds of mistakes. One of those confusing areas is how alcohol fits into a ketogenic lifestyle. Hopefully, after you read this, you’ll have a pretty good understanding and some tools to use to make informed decisions along the way. First off, not all alcoholic beverages are the same. Alcohol is the same across the board; it’s a macronutrient with seven calories per gram, so that’s the starting point. It’s a byproduct of fermentation. Essentially, a sugar compound is acted upon by yeast and the yeast produces alcohol and carbon dioxide. Depending on the type of sugar compound, you get different kinds of alcoholic beverages. Hard liquor, or spirits, takes the process a little further and adds distillation. That is, essentially, the process of “boiling off” the alcohol and then re-condensing (as it cools) it into more a more concentrated form. When you something marketed as “Distilled 9 times”, that just means they went through the boiling and condensing process nine times. Okay, so that’s where alcohol comes from, but that’s not all there is to it. Like said, the type of sugar compound determines the type of alcohol. For example, beer is made with, basically four ingredients. Barley, hops, water, and yeast. Barley is the primary ingredient, it’s where the sugar (maltose) comes from for the yeast. It’s also very similar to wheat. It’s a very bad carb. And it’s the reason that some people call beer “liquid bread”. It is far too rich in carbohydrates, not just the sugars, but the other “glutenous carbs”. So it’s a definite no for Ketovangelists. Beer does not fit into a ketogenic lifestyle. (Sidenote: A Continue reading >>
Quick Tips For Low Carb Drinks
Many people believe that adherence to a ketogenic diet means avoiding alcohol altogether. Ketogenic.com does not condone the consumption of alcohol and while it may be true that strict ketogenic dieting may entail refraining from alcohol, the everyday ketogenic connoisseur not following the diet for therapeutic reasons may choose to occasionally enjoy low carb drinks. It is interesting to point out that alcohol itself can actually be ketogenic! In short, ethanol (alcohol) is broken down in the liver to acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl-coA), free acetate, or broken down through various condensation reactions. As we know, acetyl-CoA can either be utilized in the Krebs Cycle, used for ketogenesis, or to produce ketone bodies, acetoacetate (AcAc), or in peripheral blood increases about 20 times the normal level when ethanol is present; n (1)! Along with the rise of acetate, we also see a considerable increase in AcAc and BHB (2). While it is true that alcohol consumption could result in ketogenesis, Ketogenic.com certainly does not condone this method of inducing ketosis for obvious reasons. I know what you’re thinking… you didn’t click on this article to read about the biochemistry of alcohol metabolism – and if you did – check back soon for a much more detailed article on this topic and the science behind alcohol! Odds are you came here to learn how to have low carb drinks while remaining in ketosis. The main thing to remember when drinking is alcohol does contain calories – approximately 7 calories per gram. More importantly to the ketogenic dieter, most alcohols contain a significant amount of carbohydrates, which can not only blunt fat metabolism but also prevent ketogenesis from occurring (3,4,5). It goes without saying that it is critical to always drink respons Continue reading >>
The Ketogenic Diet And Alcohol
Having a social life on a ketogenic diet is something that many find hard to do. There are carbs pretty much everywhere you look, and that’s especially the case when you’re in a bar. Cutting out all the beer and wine is a great start, but sticking with hard liquor is usually the best choice. Even though hard liquor is made from natural sugars, grains, potatoes, and fruits – during the fermentation and distillation process that sugar is converted into ethyl alcohol. Drinking liquor can in fact deepen your level of ketosis, but will slow weight loss down. Ingestion of alcohol has effects on liver metabolism, in which more ketones are produced as you drink more. When your liver is taking care of the alcohol you drink, it’s being converted to a triglyceride which can also positively affect the production of ketones. Be aware that many people experience a heightened level of being drunk and at a quicker rate than usual. While that may be a great thing for some, you need to be careful – especially if you’re driving. Do not drink and drive. Be very careful when on a ketogenic diet and consuming alcohol. There are plenty of people that also experience worse hangover while on a ketogenic diet, so make sure you stay hydrated. The typical advice is to drink 1 glass of water per 1 shot (or glass) of alcohol you drink. Below you’ll find short and quick versions of everything you can drink. Scroll down the page to read a more in-depth explanation on each low-carb alcohol and what you should commonly avoid. Here’s a short list on what you can drink when you want to consume low-carb alcohol. Try not to stray away too much from the suggested list, but if you want more options scroll down and you’ll see a much more comprehensive list (including brands and carb counts)! Continue reading >>
Can You Get Into Ketosis While Drinking Alcohol?
As I decided to change my evil ways and give up bread and pasta, as well as all the other carbs that suck me in like a tractor beam, I knew my inner imp would not allow me to perform this feat which I haven’t been able to do for some time without *some* rascality along the way. Because of this I decided to go through carb withdrawal while drinking copious amounts of red wine – 1 to 2 bottles a night. I didn’t track calories but would usually go through the day without much more than the fat from my coffee and cream in the morning and the use of Atkins shakes as a creamer in my coffee at work. There was a can or two of sardines in there as well. At home, I would accompany the wine with something small. Maybe a piece of salmon the size of my hand with 2 tablespoons of butter. A chopped veggie salad with oil and vinegar. 10 breakfast sausages with ketchup. I did not count calories but aside from the alcohol (which is not a carb but does have 7 calories per gram, making it calorically dense) the amounts eaten were small and even the rare carby stuff like the ketchup and 2 mouthfuls of mac and cheese I had would not have put me out of a carb total for any given day well below 50 grams. This worked extremely well in carb withdrawal. I seemed to lose my craving for carbs by the 2nd day in. I had 2 people at work discussing their prodigious eating over the weekend after I told them I started a diet and I said: “Thank you for telling me all this right after I told you I started a diet.” “You’re welcome.” One said without missing a beat, and they continued. I work with a tough crowd and certainly there was no maliciousness intended – busting chops is a sport where I work – a way of blowing off steam by busting one another. It is not for the faint of heart nor Continue reading >>
Alcohol And Ketosis
ALCOHOL AND KETOSIS I once had a client who told me he HAD to have a few glasses of wine in the evening so he would blow ketones in the morning and if he didn’t drink, ketones were not present. UM, WHAT? Yep, he was right. A breath ketone tester is a lot like the breathalyzer that police use. Which made me think if someone in ketosis gets pulled over and asked to blow in a breathalyzer would they be in trouble just for being in ketosis?… So what about ‘Alcohol and Ketosis’? But the truth is alcohol does not help you get into ketosis if anything alcohol is holding you back from your best self. Not only physically but mentally. ALCOHOL FACTS When people go on a diet, they often choose the “light” version of their favorite alcoholic beverages in order to save a few calories. However, that is only a small piece of the puzzle. Fat metabolism is reduced by as much as 73% after only two alcoholic beverages. This scary fact shows that the primary effect of alcohol on the body is not so much how many calories we consume, but how it stops the body’s ability to use your fat stores for energy. Muscle Tip: Drinking alcohol is the most efficient way to slash your testosterone levels; women…we don’t want this to happen either. Just a single event of serious drinking raises levels of the muscle-wasting stress hormone called cortisol and decreases the levels of testosterone for up to 24 hours. If you are working out to build strong fat-burning muscles yet consuming alcohol, this actually breaks down muscle further and you end up with a slower metabolism. This is because you break down muscle as you lift weights and you repair them as you rest if you have proper hormone levels…if not, you never repair your muscles properly! Alcohol in the body is converted into a subs Continue reading >>
How Does Alcohol Affect Ketosis?
Whether you are anticipating the holidays or you are on Atkins Induction and breaking the rules with a drink now and then, you might be wondering how alcohol affects ketosis. Many people cannot make it completely through Phase 1 of the Atkins Nutritional Approach without having a drink with dinner, after dinner, or while socializing. Alcohol plays a huge role in many of our lives. We have a drink when we come home from a hard day. We have a drink when we go out to dinner or want to celebrate a special occasion. We even have a drink when we just want to relax and kick back with a few of our friends. Alcohol is just as interwoven within traditional American society as food is, but if you’re attempting to follow a low carb diet, what does that mean? How does alcohol affect ketosis? Dr. Atkins’ Views on Alcohol When Dr. Atkins’ wrote his first low carb diet book back in the early 70s, he believed that alcohol was the number one problem with weight control. Although alcohol isn’t actually a carbohydrate, he handled it as if it were: “But this is one diet where alcohol acts just like a carbohydrate. It makes your body discharge insulin and stops you from putting out FMH.” FMH stands for fat-mobilizing hormone. Due to the upswing in metabolic rate while handling dietary proteins and oxidizing amino acids, Dr. Atkins believed there was a fat mobilizing hormone that made body fat more accessible when carbohydrates were restricted. However, FMH hasn’t turned out to be true. There is no fat-mobilizing hormone. However, alcohol does interfere with what a low-carb diet is attempting to do because of its toxic effects on the body. In the 70s, low-carb dieters were counseled to count each ounce of 100-percent alcohol as 20 total grams of carbohydrates. This was true for Continue reading >>
7 Things You Need To Know About Alcohol And The Keto Diet
Clay Rattenbury started the keto diet in 2014 because he wanted to lose weight. And it worked. He took 70 lbs (32 kg) off his 6’1′ (185 cm) frame in six months. During that time he drank alcohol every day — straight vodka, or vodka mixed with diet coke, often until he blacked out. Still, the weight came off. He actually liked the fact that the ketogenic diet lowered his alcohol tolerance: he’d get drunk faster. About six months into his keto journey, however, Rattenbury knew alcohol was causing too much havoc in his life, harming his health and hurting people he loved. He had to stop drinking. “I realized the way I ate and the way I consumed alcohol were very similar. Once I started I couldn’t stop. It was hard for me to do anything in moderation,” says Rattenbury, 28, who is in the US Navy. He has been sober now for 2.5 years and on the keto diet for three years (except for 8 weeks in Navy boot camp). He feels wonderful, both because of his diet and his sobriety. He is a lean, muscular 185 lbs (84 kg) and feels fit, strong and clear-headed. He enjoys working out regularly. The cravings for both his trigger foods and for alcohol are gone. He sees the two as being very closely related. And he will not risk, ever, bringing up those cravings again. “A few potato chips from time-to-time might not kick me out of ketosis, but it could very well awaken the cravings in me… so that saves me from taking the first bite. And I stay away from alcohol entirely. It is not worth taking a single sip, knowing where my mind goes when I drink.” Alcohol consumption and the keto diet is a hot topic. Many people who want to shed pounds come to ketogenic eating and are delighted that, unlike almost all diets, alcohol is not strictly forbidden when going low carb/high fat. W Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet (kd) In Alcoholism
Background: A ketogenic diet (KD) is high in fat and low in carbohydrates. Research has shown that a KD can lessen tremor in animals withdrawing from alcohol. KD can also help people who have difficulties with thinking, sleep, and mood. Researchers want to see if KD can lessen symptoms of alcohol withdrawal in people with alcohol use disorder. Objective:
Alcohol & Ketogenic Diet: Does It Affect Ketosis?
Alcohol & Ketogenic Diet: Does It Affect Ketosis? It is hard to have a social life in Ketogenic diet lacking alcohol. You’ll find carbs in bar and astonish if you should go for them or avoid. Great start is to cut all the wine and bear on Keto diet but you can stick to hard liquor. It is made up of grains, natural sugars, fruits and potatoes, and in the fermentation process sugar turned into ethyl alcohol. Alcohol & Ketosis: Some say, alcohol is zero in calories, is it wise to adopt it or not, some are confused and need a guide, yet it is better to give up on it. The Ketogenic diet is low-carb, medium-protein and high-fat content but the fourth macronutrient is alcohol. If you love drinking and want to enjoy it on Keto, but unaware of its guidelines, let us tell you the best. When you consume alcohol, body cells accelerate and detect it as a toxic element. Liver process it and takes resources from other procedures and one of this method is ketone production, i.e. oxidation of fat. The fact is alcohol drinking slows down ketonic production, hence weight loss. Liver metabolism accelerates and ketonic production increases with the increase of alcohol consumption. If you are following a proper diet, it is not wise to take too much liquor because it affects ketosis. Some legitimate concerns that many ketoers have when it comes to consuming wine or alcohol are described here so that you may find the necessary things before approaching your next drink. Is Alcohol a Low-Carb Drink? The main molecule of alcohol (ethanol) is same for all types of drinks. Yeast works with sugar to convert it into alcohol and carbon dioxide, but sugar element and the mixture of drink determine your body consumption level of alcohol. You need a low-carb drink, to get that follow this suggested lis Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet And Alcohol
When it involves ketogenic dieting and consuming alcohol, there are lots of confusing and different opinions around, and it can drive you to make all sorts of mistakes. One of those difficult areas is how alcohol can fit in with a keto lifestyle. Hopefully, after you read this, you’ll have better knowledge after reading and then able to make sensible decisions on your ketogenic diet journey. Since just because you don’t consume carbs does not mean the end of a social life. You may be asking yourself can I drink alcohol on keto? The quick answer is of course. One way of thinking about it is to think of it as a once in a while treat the same as you would as eating a cheat meal. As long as you have no medical requirements that would otherwise forbid it, then it’s absolutely okay to consume alcohol in moderation while on a low-carb or keto diet. However, you must be conscious of all the carbohydrates you are drinking which is essentially empty calories. Alcohol slows Ketosis Consuming alcohol won’t kick you out of ketosis initially, but it will severely hamper any potential results. If unsure whether you are in ketosis see our post on how to tell if you’re in ketosis. Your body has no way of storing the energy in alcohol, so before your body can use other energy sources, you burn the calories in alcohol first. Alcohol is not stored as glycogen, so you are quickly back into lipolysis after the alcohol is processed. So, while you consume alcohol, everything in your body is on pause, and it’s not processing fats for energy. Weight loss is merely delayed not stopped. Most people when beginning a ketogenic diet will have to track their macronutrients to be sure to maintain ketosis. The main macros to track that provide us energy during the day are protein 4 calories Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet And Alcohol Effects On Ketosis Is It Keto Friendly?
Ok, first thing is first, before we get into the Ketogenic diet and alcohol’s effect on ketosis; that is most western cultures drink far too much. Now I know most people (those on a keto diet included) don’t want to hear that, and I’m not trying to be a party-pooper, but I’m here to tell you the truth as I know it, not to tell you what you want to hear. Anyway, there’s a little room for debate depending on how you read the evidence on whether there’s room in a Ketogenic Diet for alcohol and whether alcohol will throw you out of ketosis, it may or may not, but there are certainly side effects to be aware of, some very dangerous. Ketogenic Diet and Alcohol Effects on Ketosis I’ve read quite a few articles and forums about keto and alcohol and almost all of them dance around it looking for some loophole in the figures to squeeze in some amount of alcohol. Many try to satisfy the vast majority who think giving away alcohol on a keto diet will be a deal breaker. They all try hard I have to say. Let’s be real, if you’re dying to fit alcohol into your ketogenic diet and it’s a must have for you, I doubt the small amount that could possibly fit in will satisfy you. Here are a few things to consider if you’re to drink alcohol while trying to maintain a keto diet: You will undoubtedly get drunk much quicker on a ketogenic diet than if you weren’t. Hangovers will be worse, as you know a keto diet flushes your body of water retention and the chances that you’ll be staying hydrated while drinking is slim, alcohol is notorious for dehydrating you. Even if alcohol itself doesn’t kick you out of ketosis, when tipsy self-control goes out the window, you’re likely to eat whatever is in front of you. If you are determined to include alcohol in your ketogenic Continue reading >>
Getting Drunk While On The Ketogenic Diet: Is It Safe?
I get it. You want to adopt a healthy lifestyle but you don’t know if drinking alcohol on the ketogenic diet is a smart idea. Obviously alcohol is bad for you. We all know this. And it’s obviously one of the most abused yet socially acceptable substances out there. No one wants to be the guy/gal who doesn’t go out on a friday night just because you’re on a diet. With that being said, it’s important to take necessary precautions especially on a low carb high fat ketogenic diet. It’s completely possible to stay in ketosis and still enjoy a couple drinks here and there. Can I Still Drink Alcohol On The Ketogenic Diet? Yes but you have to be careful. If you want to successfully stay in ketosis, you have to choose your drinks wisely. Drinking low carb or zero carb drinks will ensure that after your body utilizes the alcohol as a source of fuel, that you are back into ketosis immediately after. When we consume alcohol, our body starts working to metabolize it in order to use it as energy. When we start to feel “drunk” this is due to our body’s metabolizing the alcohol. Drinking alcohol disrupts our fat burning processes because it prioritizes the processing of alcohol before anything else since it is toxic to our body’s. This is why some people experience the stalling of weight-loss when they drink alcohol. What Will Happen To My Alcohol Tolerance On The Ketogenic Diet? Since you are restricting any form of glycogen (through carbs) on the ketogenic diet, your liver glycogen storages are already depleted which means you are running off of fats instead of glucose, thus, burning fat more effectively. Someone on a high carb diet has plenty of glycogen stored in their body. This gives your body a buffer before metabolizing alcohol. So what does this all mean ex Continue reading >>