Some folks on the ketogenic diet choose to avoid alcohol entirely due to the presence of carbs in many types of alcoholic beverages. This is especially true of wine, beer and a number of drinks containing high-carb or sugary mixers. With all of that said, however, it is absolutely possible to have a couple of drinks every now and then while staying on track with keto.
What matters most is what you drink.
If you had a love of beer or wine prior to going keto, you’re going to be unhappy to hear this: Say goodbye to your favorite alcohol. These drinks are exceptionally high in carbohydrates and will stall fat burning. Hard liquor, on the other hand, does not contain these carbohydrates and can be enjoyed in small amounts – and not often.
Yes, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that your body is going to catapult you out of ketosis. What it does mean is that your body will be working to burn away the alcohol rather than burning away fat. This is more of a speed bump than a road block, so you don’t need to be exceptionally concerned if you only have a drink every now and then. You can just get back on track tomorrow!
It stands to reason that the more often you drink and the larger amounts of alcohol you drink, the longer your body will be focusing on burning away the alcohol than burning away unwanted fat. If you are trying to maintain your current weight rather than lose additional weight, you can give yourself a bit more leeway in this area, like by having one or two glasses of a dry white wine instead of having spirits served neat.
The ketogenic diet is notorious for drastically reducing an individual’s alcohol tolerance, meaning that dieters will often feel the effects of alcohol faster and more strongly than they did before keto. Here are some tips to help you figure out what changes have been made to your tolerance – without feeling the awful effects of a hangover in the morning.
- Make sure to drink extra water when you are consuming alcohol of any kind.
- Drink your drinks slowly to avoid accidental over-consumption.
- Over-consumption can lead to high-carb foods becoming incredibly tempting. If you’re worried about waning willpower while drinking, try having some keto-friendly snacks on-hand.
- Try different types of alcohol in small amounts to see how each one affects you.
Beer is, without a doubt, the most high-carb alcohol option with as many as 12 grams of carbohydrates per serving. Lite beer is the second-highest, with the average amount of carbs per serving being around 7 grams. Because beer is so high in carbohydrates, it is often advised that you avoid it entirely while on the ketogenic diet.
A dry, white wine will contain significantly fewer carbohydrates than beer, with each serving offering between three and five grams of carbs. Red wine is even lower in carb count at three to four grams per serving.
Liquor, with zero grams of carbohydrates, is the ideal drink choice for ketogenic dieters. However, you should be aware of any mixers that you feel inclined to use. Many contain sugary additives that will do your ketosis no favors. Consider using water infused with lime or soda water instead of other mixers that could interfere with your diet.
In short, you absolutely can consume alcohol when on the ketogenic diet. But it is important that you practice a lot of moderation and don’t drink on a daily basis. While certain types of alcohols will not impact your state of ketosis much, all alcohol will make your body burn less fat while it is burning away the alcohol you’ve consumed.