Alcohol and Keto: What’s the Deal?

Can you drink while on the keto diet?

Sometimes there is really nothing better than coming home after a long, hard day of work and enjoying a glass of wine with dinner. Sometimes when life gets hectic, grabbing a drink with friends can be just what you need! You don’t necessarily have to give these things up when you go keto, but here are a few things you need to know!

Unlike most diets, the keto diet doesn’t strictly say that you cannot drink alcohol. Since we’re going low carb, most clear, hard alcohols can work on this diet. Does that mean you should be reaching for the vodka right after work? Not necessarily. The truth is, you can still do keto and drink alcohol, but it’s got to be in moderation.

The Secret: Moderation

A drink with your friends is not going to ruin all of your progress… as long as it’s in moderation. When you do drink limit yourself to only one if you’re a female and only two if you’re a male. This also cannot be an everyday occurrence.

It is important to be aware that alcohol can hinder your weight loss efforts because it decreases your body’s ability to use fat for energy. If you have have noticed a stall in your weight loss, it may be a good idea to cut the alcohol out completely to see how your body reacts.

The Best and Worse Drinks to Choose

what can you drink on the keto diet?

Pure spirits such as vodka, gin, tequila, brandy, and whiskey are all zero carb! It’s the mixers that get you. Stay away from any juice or soda mixer. Instead mix with a flavored soda water if anything.

For those that don’t like hard liquor or are looking for something less intense, wine is not off of the table! Choose a dry wine. Anything too sweet, like a dessert wine, should be steered clear of. Sticking with a dry sauvignon blanc or a dry pinot noir are your best options.

For the most part you should stay away from beer as they are practically liquid bread. Some brands are ok, like Michelob Ultra which has about 2.6g of carbs per bottle, but be sure to do your research. IPAs are a definite no. Wine coolers are also a definite no.

A Few Easy Tips

When you’ll be having a drink, there are a few tips to keep in mind.

  • Eat before drinking. A filling, keto-friendly meal will prepare your body and slow the effects of the alcohol.
  • Be Precise. Five ounces is five ounces. Measure it out when you’re drinking and home. Know what it looks like before you order a drink at a restaurant.
  • One Drink Max. Be strict with yourself in this regard. Tell yourself you’re only going to drink one at dinner and stick to it!

Why You May Want to Skip It

You’ve started on this track of eating healthy! Why stop there? It’s no secret that drinking alcohol can have a negative impact on your health. Alcohol can hurt your heart, your liver, your pancreas, and it can increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer. It can even cause reproductive issues and it can increase your risk of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis!

However, those are the serious long-term effects of alcohol consumption. In the here and now, it can sabotage your weight loss goals plain and simple. When you’re on the keto diet, alcohol hits your system faster and harder. Your tolerance is very low when you’re in ketosis. Without the extra carbs to act as a cushion for metabolizing alcohol, you will definitely feel the effects much faster. In addition to potentially having a worse hangover because of it, your inhibitions are lowered! Suddenly ice cream and bread are looking pretty tasty. It’s a fast track ticket out of ketosis.

You just have to ask yourself, “Is it worth it?” and also, “Will I be able to handle any additional cravings if I get them?” You know what’s best for you and your body!

The Conclusion: Live Your Life!

A diet is not all that fun if you can never enjoy yourself! Don’t be miserable because you can’t partake in a drink at a friend’s birthday dinner. As long as you stick to the rules you set for yourself such as a low-carb option and a one drink max, you can still drink on keto.

It is important to note that if your early on in your keto journey, it’s best not to drink. But for all you keto veterans: you know yourself, your body, and your weaknesses. As long as you’re mindful, enjoy that occasional drink!

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