Does Alcohol affect Weight Loss on Low-carb Diets?
Several alcoholic drinks are allowed on a low-carb ketogenic diet. You should avoid all drinks high in sugar like sweet wine, beer and most cocktails. So, which drinks are low-carb? Clear spirits such as vodka, whiskey, tequila, etc. are zero-carb, while dry wine is still low-carb if you drink no more than a glass. If there is no medical constraint (such as liver or kidney condition) and you drink in moderation, there is no reason to give up alcohol completely.
Keep in mind that alcohol will slow down your weight loss progress. Even if there is no sugar, your body can’t store alcohol as fat – it has to metabolise it. This means that it will utilise alcohol instead of body fat. You also shouldn’t have a large dinner and drink alcohol at the same time.
To quote Atkins on the effects of alcohol:
“The body burns alcohol for fuel when alcohol is available. So, when it is burning alcohol, your body will not burn fat. This does not stop weight loss; it simply postpones it. Since alcohol does not get stored as glycogen, you immediately get back into lipolysis after the alcohol is used up. But keep in mind that alcohol consumption may increase yeast-related symptoms in some people and interfere with weight loss. If it does not slow your weight loss, and occasional glass of wine is acceptable once you are out of Induction so long as you count the carbohydrates in your daily tally.”
Another point to make is that ketosis lowers your alcohol tolerance and you have to be aware of it. Because alcohol dehydrates your body, always drink a glass of water while having a glass of an alcoholic drink. This will make you drink less alcohol and stay hydrated.
I’m personally careful with alcohol because it makes me hungry and I tend to eat more. So, if you prefer to avoid alcohol, you can always try Virgin Margarita with no tequila 🙂