Alcohol on Low Carb?

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Sep 16

“Can I drink alcohol on low carb?” is very common question on our Low Carb Facebook page. The short answer: it depends. If you’re not inAtkins induction and you’ve decided the occasion warrants, you can drink in moderation without negatively impacting your low carb lifestyle. Yay!

What should you consider when deciding to drink alcohol on low carb?

Alcohol provides a readily available fuel source for your body. While you’re drinking, your body postpones fat burning and uses up that alcohol exclusively. If you’re not using carb-laden mixers, you go right back to Ketosis once the alcohol has been burned up, but regular drinking will undeniably slow or stall weight loss efforts.

Alcohol is very calorie-dense. While most low-carbers don’t have to count calories, it doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

Alcohol also tends to loosen inhibitions, which means you may make choices about other eating (or God knows what else!) that you wouldn’t otherwise. Don’t let a few drinks propel you into a junk-food-frenzy!

Alcohol on low carb is well-known for a dramatically lower tolerance level. Please be prepared for this and proceed with caution. You are officially a cheap date!

What are the best choices for drinking alcohol on low carb?

Distilled spirits straight or with sugar free mixers, dry wine (not the sweet stuff) or light beer are your best bets. Note that “tonic water” comes in at 32 carbs for a 12-oz. can, so don’t let the name make you think it’s a good mixer choice.

Here are some recipes for Low Carb mixed drinks. Some use ingredients like Liquid Splenda, Flavored Sugar Free Syrup, or even extracts o add the flavoring. Like everything else about this lifestyle, you’ll have to determine for yourself what sweeteners, mixers or choices work for your individual situation. But whatever you choose, stay safe out there!

Do you drink on your low carb plan?

  • Suzy says:

    I love my glass (or 2) of wine in the evening! That said a light beer will drop my ketones down to 0.4 for a day or 2. So sad! I love beer, but it turns out drinking beer at age 52 just doesn’t work for me.

  • John says:

    Don’t forget, there is Diet Tonic water for 0 cals.

  • Toni says:

    Great video Bob!! You have a gift for teaching in a way easy to understand# Do you have more videos? I.could listen to you all day! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and life experience with us!!!

  • kelly says:

    What about Michelob Ultra? Can I just count it into my daily carb allowance?

    • Dix says:

      Sorry, kelly, just saw this. Anything like that, I’d keep it occasional but if I’m going to drink a beer, that’s generally the one I pick.

  • Marcy says:

    What about flavor vodka over ice?

    • Dix says:

      The information I’m seeing in searching on it indicates the process of flavoring doesn’t add carbs to the vodka. So the same cautions as in the article apply, but not extra ones. Be safe out there!

  • Luke says:

    I noticed that my sense of smell has gotten a lot more sensitive and a little alcohol goes a long way. One glass of medium priced wine….Shiraz is my favorite….is all I need for the evening. Also there are health benefits. It’s been well documented that moderate amounts of alcohol can raise your good cholesterol (HDL-cholesterol) and thin your blood. This is thought to be one of the primary cardiovascular benefits from wine.

  • Bart says:

    I do fairly strict low carb low calorie days and drink liquor in the evenings. Cuts the weight loss down to only 1-2 lbs/week. Provided I don’t eat anything after drinking. But I’d rather have a nice evening buzz and lose gradually than not have any fun and lose weight rapidly.

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