T Nation

Alcohol and Very Low Carb Diets

Let’s say someone is on a very low carb diet, running on ketones, in order to lose fat. On a scale of 1 - 10, how detrimental is a little alcohol now and then. I’m talking about a moderate amount, say one glass of wine a couple days a week, and maybe 3 glasses on Saturday. I’m assuming that, even with the glass of wine, one is still under 30 grams of carbs. Does the alcohol ruin ketosis? How far will it set one back?

I’m not looking for anyone to tell me that drinking is healthy or optimal or anything like that. I know it would be better not to drink at all. But I am trying to find a diet that I can stick to for the long run, not a quick fix. I seem to do well on Low Carb diets (better mood, no carb carvings, etc…), but I also enjoy unwinding in the evening with a drink or two. It would be hard for me to give that up completely.

So, like a asked, on a scale of 1 -10, how detrimental is a couple drinks on a very low carb diet? (1 = not detrimental at all; 10 = so detrimental that it really makes the low carb diet ineffective.)

Alcohol on any diet is fairly detrimental I believe. I forget the exact scientific reasons, but basically when your body is processing/detoxifying alcohol, it’s not burning fat or building muscle/recovering. I would give it a 8 if you insist on a number.

Combine your drink with your occasional cheat meal and drink one, maybe two glasses. Don’t overdo it so that the next morning, your body is ready to get back on track. Count the drink as part of a cheat.

Several times a week is probably too much. Lose the weight, THEN have your occasional drinks. I don’t think anyone can justify cheating multiple times a week (and a saturday) and still call it a diet.

[quote]Evilmage wrote:
Alcohol on any diet is fairly detrimental I believe. I forget the exact scientific reasons, but basically when your body is processing/detoxifying alcohol, it’s not burning fat or building muscle/recovering. I would give it a 8 if you insist on a number.

Combine your drink with your occasional cheat meal and drink one, maybe two glasses. Don’t overdo it so that the next morning, your body is ready to get back on track. Count the drink as part of a cheat.

Several times a week is probably too much. Lose the weight, THEN have your occasional drinks. I don’t think anyone can justify cheating multiple times a week (and a saturday) and still call it a diet.[/quote]

I’m going to agree with this post wholeheartedly.

And if it’s really that hard enough for you to stop drinking on a low-carb diet that you need to make a thread about it, that’s probably not a good thing. Just sayin’.

Alcohol itself is ketogenic. :slight_smile:

…of course the ketone is from metabolism of the alcohol itself and not indicative of the breakdown of fats.

A little alcohol won’t hurt. As long as it’s wine or spirits, not Mike’s Hard Lemonade or other sugary drinks.

Interestingly white wine tends to be lower in carbs than reds, just so you know. And a nice bourbon on the rocks or gin and tonic is carb free.

This chart should help you.

http://www.consumerfed.org/pdfs/CFA_Alcohol_Facts_Poster_FINAL.pdf

I don’t think it’s a good idea to constantly be in a state of ketosis anyways. Ketoacidosis can lead to death, which I guess would burn a lot of fat, but still not cool.

DG

True that ketoacidosis can lead to death…like too much water can lead to death from hyponatremia. It is only in the extreme.

Ketosis in an otherwise healthy individual with normal glucose metabolism is not the same as a diabetic suffering from ketoacidosis.

ketoacidiosis only happens to diabetics. no healthy person has to worry about that.

also i did some web research on keto and alcohol before, and the only thing u need to watch out for is that you will get drunk a lot faster on a keto diet. heh, from your post u probably won’t have to worry about this.

for wine, i bet you can tell how much sugar is in it by how sweet it is. stick to the dry wines and you’ll be fine.

If you are running on ketones, alcohol would be dangerous.

If you are doing a more reasonable low carb diet, that much wine prob isn’t a big deal.

Dry wine or hard liquor has almost no carbs so it will not throw you out of ketosis.

A low carb diet is already pretty taxing on the liver so you probably do not want to add alcohol, especially if you happened to be pre-diabetic.

What lots of alcohol will do though, especially in the absence of carbs is lower your blood sugar and you can bet all you have that once your brain registers a dangerously low level of blood sugar YOU WILL EAT.

Somehow your brain believes that higher brain functions are more important than abs.