We know that the words ‘alcohol’ and ‘diet’ are in the same sentence only if you’re told not to drink while dieting. But not all diets are the same. Take the keto diet for example -it actually allows for some alcohols that won’t affect your diet too much. Of course, you should drink within reason because alcohol will not help you lose weight, and besides, it can even slow down your body’s rate of burning fat. You should be mindful of this fact, especially if you’re trying to lose weight quickly.
What Is The Keto Diet?
A keto diet is a low carb diet, which works by restricting your intake – especially of those pesky carbohydrates – thus sending your body into ketosis. This is a process which takes place and produces the energy you need for your body from your fat stores.
The keto diet is a very strict and restrictive diet. In order to enable your body to burn up as much fat as possible, everything should be low-carb or high in fat. For example, the diet mostly consists of seafood, low-carb vegetables, cheese, avocados, meat and poultry, oil, nuts, berries, eggs, coconut oil, and dairy.
Is wine Keto approved
Drinking During Keto
The limited restriction on foods in a keto diet can make it hard when eating out with friends or trying to have a social life in general. The reason why it’s so hard is that carbs are in practically everything. When you’re not the person making the food you can’t be sure of what you’re eating. This means that more often than not, those on the keto diet have to give up some types of alcohol, in particular wine and beers because these are the most carb heavy. Experts would recommend that hard liquor becomes your favorite drink because the natural sugars used to make hard liquors are turned into ethyl alcohol during the fermentation process.
Drinking Is Great For Keto
Some experts even argue that drinking alcohol can make you ketosis even stronger, as the effect alcohol has on the liver means more ketones are produced. However, it is still really important to remember that alcohol will slow down your weight-loss.
Be Wary Of The Keto Hangover
Unsurprisingly, some people who have gotten drunk on a keto diet have reported that they end up having worse hangovers due to their low-carb diet. Moral of the story: always make sure you drink lots of water before and after enjoying alcohol.
Reasons Not To Drink Alcohol On A Keto Diet
There are of course some experts who argue that regardless of whether or not the alcohol is keto-friendly, you should abstain from alcohol if you want to lose weight properly. These are the reasons why:
1) Empty calories
This is the age-old reason for never drinking when dieting, as there is no nutritional value found within the calories you drink. This means that you’re eating through your calorie allowance for the day without even gaining any nutritional benefits for your body. And there’s also the empty calories that come from overeating when drunk.
2) Stopping the fat burn
The reason you get a hangover from alcohol is that it is toxic to our bodies and when it leaves our system it causes our bodies to react in strange ways. Our bodies go into shut down when we drink as it becomes too preoccupied with trying to get rid of the alcohol toxins. When this shut down occurs within our body, it stops our ability to burn fat.
3) Keto drinkers are lightweights
If you drink on a keto diet, you will get drunk extremely quickly as there is nothing in your body to soak up the alcohol. The alcohol is processed by our bodies a lot faster during ketosis than usual, which means you’ll be drunk thanks to a very few drinks. And you know what they say, whatever goes up must come down. This is true with drinking during a keto diet. Not only do you get drunk quicker you also get a worse hangover. Experts say this is due to the general risk of dehydration and electrolyte imbalance that occurs in ketosis regardless of drinking alcohol.
So, How To Drink On A Keto Diet?
Although the information above may seem like we’re telling you not to drink while on keto, we get that we’re all human and now and again will want to add some color to our diet and have a little drink. Or two.
We know how it is. You’ve been in the office 9-5 all week, your kids have redecorated the house with crayons, one of your friends just broke up with their fiancé, your cat looks cute, you’ve got laundry to do – there’s always a million reasons to drink.
So sit back and relax (maybe even with a whiskey, because yep it’s a keto friendly drink) while we tell you how you can enjoy alcohol safely and responsibly – while your body is going through ketosis.
Here are the 6 best tips from experts on drinking alcohol during a keto diet:
1) Before drinking you should always make sure you have a keto-friend meal.
We know it may seem weird to eat a meal without any carbs before having a glass of alcohol. But you’re going to stop yourself going through ketosis and stop your body’s metabolism if you do. Make sure you reach for a heavy protein meal and some fat before drinking, as this will help keep your body burning fat for energy.
2) Don’t pour big measurements!
We know we sound like the worst party host ever telling you to watch how big your glass is, but we only say this so you can stay on track with your weight-goals.
3) Even if the alcohol is keto free and therefore low carb, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have calories! Always count your calories.
Fortunately, there are many alcohols out there which aren’t too laden with calories. You’ve just got to make sure you’re not drinking the calorie-heavy drinks.
4) Set yourself a limit of 1-3 drink rule – and stick to it.
We recommend no more than 3 drinks because you will find your keto effects minimized, if not stopped altogether if you proceed to drink more. Very often people complain about doing the keto diet and not reaching their weight goal. This is because they’re drinking too much and sabotaging all their hard work during the day.
5) Avoid mixers – they’re very often full of empty calories.
This basically means you should also avoid cocktails, because you can practically never know how much alcohol a glass contains. And even if you do – it’s probably laced with sugary, carb-heavy soda. If you’re going to have a mixer to chase with a hard liquor such as whiskey or vodka, make sure it’s low carb and low calorie.
6) Choose the right alcohol.
We’ll get on to this more in the rest of the article, but you should avoid beers and wine as they tend to hide a lot of cards. Instead, you should opt for lower calorie and low carb drinks like whiskey and vodka.
What Can You Drink On A Keto Diet?
As we’ve been mentioning throughout this article due to the low-carb, high-fat requirements, make hard liquor your go-to drink. This includes drinks like whiskey, gin, tequila, rum and vodka as these are all alcohols which are free of carbs. You should be careful if you put it with a mixer as they can often hide lots of sugar and carbs. If you’re going to drink wine or beer, you’re better off picking a wine as this is often much lower in carbs than a beer can be.
Confused? No worries, we’ve made a comprehensive list below with everything you need to know.
Top 5 Best Keto Drinks
We’ve pulled together what we think are the best 5 go-to alcoholic drinks for those on a keto diet. These drinks have little to no carbs or sugar, and they will provide the perfect drink to accompany any keto diet warrior on whatever special occasion they’re going to. Whether it’s a Friday night bar drinks, a baby shower or a date – we’ve got the drinks to get you through.
This is a great go-to celebration drink, and with barely 2 gr of carbs, you’ll be able to enjoy your evening without worrying too much about spoiling your diet.
Especially lifesaving if you’re at an event where the drink options are limited, and you can’t get a hard liquor. We recommend taking a glass of dry red/white wine as they also only contain 2 gr of carbs. Although you still shouldn’t drink this all the time, the occasional glass won’t harm your dietary keto requirements.
‘Skinny Bitch’ Wine
All you need to do is look on the internet to see this wine referenced everywhere when it comes to drinking on a keto diet. Inspired by a character in the TV show ‘Real Housewives,’ this wine is perfect for drinking as it has 0 gs of carbs – yes you heard us right – 0 grams!
This delightfully sophisticated liquor has 0 gr of fat and will have you looking as hot and smooth as Don Draper as you sip away at the bar. Whiskey is a great go-to for those on a keto diet. Whichever type of whiskey you choose, from Rye to Scotch, all of it is zero carb and gluten-free.
This is for those who can’t resist a good cocktail! The classic dry martini is great as it also has 0 gr of carb, meaning you can definitely knock back 1 of these and you’ll still be able to maintain a keto diet.
Wine & Beer
Wine and beer are usually the standard choices depending on what event you’re at, and unfortunately, while on the keto diet, you should avoid these beverages like the plague.
When it comes to drinking wine or beer, your keto diet would not be happy with you. If you were to drink beer, one glass contains at least 13 gr of carbs. Think about it – it’s not a coincidence that people with large bellies who drink beer all the time are usually mentioned in a sentence containing the description ‘beer bellies.’ Overall, beers are just a nightmare for weight control and should definitely be avoided as much as possible on a keto diet. But if you must have a beer, we suggest Bud Select or Miller 64 as these have the least amount of carbohydrates.
Wine is probably more keto friendly, but you should still be careful as some wines can still contain up to 5 gr of carbs. If you must pick a wine, go with an unsweetened or dry wine as these will be the lowest carb and most keto friendly. Dry wines are also pretty good for the low sugar percentage too – sitting at only 0.5 gr – compared to 4 you will find in some of the fruitier wines.
Spirits / Hard Liquor
When it comes to choosing a drink on the keto diet, we would always recommend a good spirit. The majority of spirits are 0 carbs and completely fine on a keto diet. From a straight whiskey to brandy, or vodka to tequila, it’s all perfectly safe for your dietary needs. You’ll be able to have a shot or two and not affect your weight loss regime too much.
Vodka is a classic go-to alcohol for those wanting to lose weight on any diet. Vodka may seem the least diet-friendly as it is based on potatoes or wheat and has a high percentage of alcohol (up to 60%.) But believe it or not, vodka has 0 carbs – as long as you get a vodka that is plain and not flavored. So, you’ll be able to drink Smirnoff, Absolut or Skyy and not worry about pilling on the pounds too much.
As we’ve already mentioned, whiskey is also suitable for those on the keto diet. Despite whiskey’s dark color, this drink also doesn’t contain any carbs. Being made from fermented grain, the aging process of a whiskey in a barrel means that the sugar turns completely to alcohol. You’ll be able to drink a Johnnie Walker in peace with 0 carbs and only 105 calories.
Tequila is another great hard liquor to drink when you’re on the keto diet. There aren’t too many flavored variations of this drink on the market so most of the time you’ll know you’re getting a good 0 carb drink. Our favorite – for those watching their weight – is the Don Juli at 0 carbs and 96 calories. You’ve got no excuse not to have a drink.
As you can see, if you pick the right spirit you’re pretty much guaranteed to still be able to drink without worrying about your keto diet – it’s the sugar-sweetened mixers in your drink you need to avoid. So we’ve made a handy guide for which mixers you can drink.
We know most people want a mixer or a chase with their drink as a lot of people don’t like the pure taste of alcohol, or perhaps you want a longer drink than a shot. But unfortunately, this is where many people end up losing the diet fight.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Unless you can choose slimline / diet tonic, your Gin and Tonic will actually contain 14 gr of sugar which is more than a plain vodka and soda water. But only 2 gr off a White Russian! Yikes.
If you have to choose a mixer you should go with one of the following:
- Water enhancer: Lookout for water enhancers, you can often buy them online, these mix well with sparkling or still water to give a great extra flavor to your drink.
- Sparkling water: This has to be our favorite mixer if we’re drinking vodka. You can easily order this mixer in a busy or noisy bar, and you know you won’t be getting any nasty surprises.
- Diet flavored sparkling water: Sparkling water sounds like a good option but lacks a little flavor for your taste buds. You should find out what type of sparkling water your nearest Walmart sells.
- Diet soda: One of the most popular mixers for most is a diet cola which is great for your rums and whiskeys.
- Sugar-free energy drinks: If you need a little pick me up to go alongside your alcohol you’ll be able to find it with a classic Red Bull or Monster to complement your vodka. Just make sure the energy drink is sugar-free – otherwise, you’ll be in for a massive shock.
Fun fact: Believe it or not alcohol is actually healthy sometimes, and some experts suggest alcohol (in moderation) can help prevent cancer and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The Low Down
You can still drink on a keto diet, and alcohol will still affect your body and your diet. But now that you’ve read this article you’ll have a better understanding of what and how much you can drink while you’re on a keto diet.
Make sure you have a good keto-friendly meal beforehand, drink lots of water and make sure you replenish all your electrolytes the day after.
However, if you’re drinking and on a keto diet but still feel like you’re not losing weight, you could try giving up alcohol for a bit. This will give your body time to go through deeper ketosis and burn more fat.
Of course, when you do drink there are plenty of options from dry wine to whiskey, or just vodka and soda. They are all great and either carb free, or very low in carbs. Just remember to drink in moderation!