Alcohol and low carb living – can it work?

Alcohol and low carb living – can it work?

Holidays and a social life bring another challenge to a low carb lifestyle – alcohol! I never drink at home usually I don’t enjoy it but on holiday I like to have a few drinks. Whilst I hate getting drunk and avoid this alcohol is not a friend to those of us who try to live a low carb lifestyle.

There are carbs pretty much everywhere you look, especially when you are in a bar or pub. Cutting out all the beer and wine is the first step as these contain the highest carb levels. If you are going to drink then it’s best to stick to spirits. Even though spirits or hard liquor is made from natural sugars, grains, potatoes, and fruits – during the fermentation and distillation process that sugar is converted into ethyl alcohol.

So how does alcohol affect your low carb or keto diets?

Drinking alcohol can deepen your level of ketosis, but will slow weight loss down. When you drink alcohol this effects liver metabolism, in which more ketones are produced as you drink more. When your liver is taking care of the alcohol you drink, it’s being converted to a triglyceride which can also positively affect the production of ketones.

Be aware that many people experience a heightened level of being drunk and at a quicker rate than usual. Imagine what is like when you have had a drink on an aeroplane or at high heights above sea level, in these cases alcohol will affect you faster and drinking alcohol on keto is the same!

The other thing to remember is that if you are following a low carb diet your hangovers might be worse than normal! Drinking lots of water is a must! You will also badly crave sugar and carbohydrates the following day so you need to know how you will deal with that.

For some helpful hints here are some carb figures for the alcoholic drinks we consume.


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