Losing weight is a difficult process. It may not seem so from a thin person’s perspective, but if you’ve ever tried shedding the pounds, you know just how hard it can be. It’s about dedication, focus, persistence, and saying no to some foods and beverages that you love. Make no mistake, alcoholic beverages aren’t diet-friendly. Not only are they high in calories, but they include a lot of carbs that will negatively impact on your low-carb diet.
So, what’s the best alcoholic beverage for a low-carb diet?
Let’s assume that you are on the ketogenic diet, or at least some version of it. Whichever the case, your diet is all about taking low carb levels with your food. The keto diet essentially consists of having your body metabolize fats instead of carbohydrates. So, how does alcohol fit in here? Well, to be frank, poorly.
The ketogenic diet is all about ketosis – your body’s metabolic state when it’s metabolizing fatty acids or ethanol at a very high rate, which is the general idea behind every keto diet. But how does alcohol affect this? Well, while ketosis is all about metabolizing ethanol, it’s not this alcohol ingredient that’s the real problem here. Most alcoholic beverages are packed with carbs, which are exactly what your body uses as fuel.
Unlike glycogen, though, once the carbs are burned off, your body will switch back to the process of ketosis immediately. Bear in mind, however, that this slows down the fat burning process, so you might want to abstain from alcohol for at least the first ten days of a keto diet. This is known as the “induction phase” and it’s essential that you don’t “fall off the wagon” here, but let your body adapt to the new diet.
Like any keto diet, paleo diets also rely on low-carb intake. A paleo diet is much looser and more relaxed, however. It begins with you ‘fasting’ for a few weeks, lightly grazing on fruits and nuts during the day and eating as much as you’d like and whatever you want for your evening meal. During this period, it is essential that you avoid consuming alcoholic beverages, not because they tend to contain high carb levels, but because they may reduce your willpower and encourage you break the ‘rules’.
After you’ve gotten used to your new paleo diet, you let your stomach guide you. Or, that’s the general idea behind it, at least. If you crave alcoholic beverages or simply want to have fun with your friends, there is no one stopping you. Keep in mind, though, alcohol will slow the weight-loss process down.
Any Other Diet
Whether you’re undertaking a low-carb diet, a smaller meal diet, or any other diet, for that matter, alcohol won’t help you in the process. However, giving up on alcoholic beverages completely may not be for you, so let’s see what’s the best form of low-carb alcohol. .
Beverages to Avoid
Well, first of all, if you want to avoid carbs, say goodbye to regular beer. Whilst the favorite beverage of many, it is widely-known that beer makes you fat, so it’s definitely a thing to avoid while on a diet. A 12-ounce can of regular beer contains as much as 12 grams of carbohydrates, which is a lot.
But if you thought that beer was bad, just take a look at Sangria. Yes, it is very sweet. Yes, it can get you tipsy quickly. But surely it doesn’t contain more carbs than beer, right? Wrong! Sangria contains as much as 27 grams of carbohydrates per cup (240ml). This is much more than found in a 12-ounce can of beer!
Cocktails, in general, especially the Cosmopolitan and Piña colada, are rich in carbs, so try avoiding them if you are trying to lower your carbohydrate intake. The same can be said of a Bloody Mary, Margarita, and Whiskey sour.
Avoid all of these beverages while you’re on your low-carb diet.
Once again, alcohol intake is advised against while you’re on a diet. However, certain beverages contain low-carb content, while others contain no carbohydrates whatsoever.
Let’s start off with beer. While the regular beer may not be ideal for your diet, light beer contains about 3-6 grams of carbohydrates per a 12-ounce can. This is a very low carb content that you wouldn’t expect from beer. In fact, light beer contains far fewer carbs than most red and white wines, which is definitely something to consider.
Speaking of wine, both red and white wine varieties contain a ballpark figure of around 3-4 grams of carbohydrates per 5-oz serving. This isn’t a lot, but if you are more of a beer person, go with light beer before any wine type, especially Sangria.
Now, as for the alcoholic beverages without carbohydrates, there are only a few. On the best alcohol low-carb list, we have five beverages that contain the same carbohydrate content: zero. These include whiskey, tequila, gin, vodka, and rum. Once again, the fact that these beverages don’t contain carbohydrates doesn’t mean that they won’t slow down the weight-loss process.
So, there you have it, alcoholic beverages with low-carb values.
Myths about Alcohol and Carbs
There are many myths associated with things surrounding diets. Here are some of the most common ones:
- 0% alcohol beers contain fewer carbs – This is absolutely false. As a matter of fact, non-alcohol beers contain even more carbs than regular beer. In some cases, twice the amount.
- The liver metabolizes alcohol into sugar – This is also untrue. In fact, people tend to experience lower blood sugar levels while consuming alcohol. The liver breaks down alcohol into acetate which is released as carbon dioxide and water.
- Wines are carb-free – No, wines definitely contain carbohydrates. In fact, some wines contain twice as many carbs as light beer.
- High GIs in alcoholic beverages – Again, no. GI, or glycemic index, of wine, beer, as well as distilled products is zero. This is important if you are on a diet (or practicing a lifestyle) that pertains to monitoring the GI of the food and beverages that you consume. Relax, you can still enjoy a drink or two.
Alcoholic Beverages and Diets
If you’re looking for a low-carb beverage, most spirits offer zero carbs. If you are a fan of beer, a light beer or two won’t hurt you. As for the wine lovers, you can enjoy a healthy glass, just try and avoid Sangria. However, this doesn’t mean that alcoholic beverages with zero carbs and low-carb levels compliment weight-loss. You are best off at least lowering your alcohol intake, if you’re wondering what’s best for your diet, low-carb or otherwise.