Pour yourself a glass of wine; it won’t screw up your weight loss.
But, doesn’t wine have sugar in it? Won’t alcohol through you out of ketosis?
Can you really drink alcohol on a low-carb diet?
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There’s so much confusing information out there that it’s enough to short-circuit your brain like a computer with too many tabs open.
But the secret to losing weight—and keeping it off for good—is zero deprivation. That means allowing yourself a glass of wine with dinner or a sugar-free cocktail at a party.
As that classic song goes, there is a “time to every purpose.” There is a time to refrain from alcohol and a time to indulge a little.
Let’s dig even deeper into when to drink and not drink on a low-carb diet and finally get the real answer, for good. To make it easier to imagine, we’ll use traffic lights as the imagery: red light (stop), yellow (caution) and green (go!).
When To Avoid Alcohol
When your body is becoming Thin Adapted during Phase 1 of the Thin Adapted System, you should take a break from alcohol.
This is because when you’re doing the 28 Day Metabolism Reset or kick-starting your body into becoming Thin Adapted for the first time, you’re retraining it to burn fat for energy instead of carbs. Any sugar that you drink from alcohol could slow down all this effort.
The first phase of your weight loss journey is really the only time you should avoid alcohol. After your body is completely Thin Adapted, you can begin to reintroduce alcohol in moderate, controlled amounts.
Red Light: When To Avoid Alcohol
Let’s get this part out of the way first. The most important time to avoid alcohol is when you’re trying to become Thin Adapted for the first time.
Drinking alcohol during Phase 1 of the Thin Adapted System, or during the 28 Day Metabolism Reset, could slow down your progress and make it take longer.
This is because when you drink alcohol, your body focuses on metabolizing it. This metabolism takes priority over ketosis (the process of burning fat for energy).
So, whether you’re just starting out with Thinlicious, or restarting a low-carb lifestyle with new intention, pause the nightly glass of wine. Give your body time to go into that fat-burning mode. It will make the weight loss so much easier later!
Yellow Light: Things To Watch Out For
Ok, so let’s skip ahead. Your body is completely Thin Adapted. You have that energy everyone talks about. The weight is starting to fall off.
Can you enjoy wine with dinner?
Yes! You can! There are just a few very important things to remember first. Don’t worry, they are pretty straightforward and you probably already know them – it’s just good to be reminded.
Dry Wines are Better Than Sweet
As you browse the wine aisle, dry wines will be your safest bet. There are some words on the labels that might give you a clue that it is higher in sugar. Dessert wine, for example, will be extra-sweet. And it’s not always true, but a lot of California reds have more sugar in them than European varieties.
These are the wines with the least amount of sugar:
- Pinot Grigio
- Sauvignon Blanc
- Dry Riesling
Hard Liquor Is Low Carb
Sipping hard liquor slowly isn’t nearly as enjoyable, but it has the least carbs.
Clear liquors, like vodka or gin, contain about 40 percent alcohol and 0 grams of carbs. You can add a splash of unsweetened cranberry juice to sweeten it without adding very many carbs. Always track your drinks and the carbs in them before you indulge. Need more ideas? These popular low-carb drinks are a good place to start.
Sugar Is Always A Hard Pass
Just say “no” to anything that is made with sugar. This might include margaritas, daiquiris, pina coladas, Mai Tais and Mudslides. This is probably one of the most obvious points in this article, but it’s worth remembering.
The numbers are pretty shocking when you look at them. There are almost 11 grams of carbs in one margarita. It’s just not worth it.
Artificial Sweeteners Are A No-Go
Think a calorie-free and sugar-free gin and Coke Zero will be ok? Nope! Think again. Artificial sweeteners can spike your glucose. Avoid any of these:
Research has shown there are correlations between these sweeteners and weight gain, glucose and insulin spikes and even disruption of the gut biome.
Since the Thinlicious lifestyle is centered around insulin regulation, it is important to avoid these sweeteners and drinks containing them.
Green Light: When & How To Enjoy Alcohol On A Low-Carb Diet
Now we’re at the good part! Yes, you can have a glass of wine at night and still lose weight. Which kind of alcohol and how much you drink just depends on which stage of your weight loss journey you’re at.
When you’re in the middle of your weight loss journey (we call this the IGNITE phase), it can be rewarding and relaxing to enjoy a daily glass of wine. Mixed drinks might still slow down your weight loss efforts (and possibly even cause a weight loss plateau). But wine? One glass is totally fine.
After you reach your goals and go into maintenance mode, you can start to re-introduce mixed drinks. Just remember to avoid sugar and unhealthy artificial sweeteners. In fact, this sugar substitute guide explains which ones to use and which to walk away from.
Always remember the most important word of all: moderation.
You won’t feel deprived if you enjoy alcohol responsibly. Sip your wine slowly and enjoy the aromas and complex notes. It’s a relaxing way to unwind without losing control.
Best Low-Carb Drinks
If you’re looking for even more recommendations about which types of wine or mixed drinks are Thinlicious-friendly, remember to ask the Thinlicious Facebook community.
Here are three of our favorite low-carb drinks that you can mix up and sip guilt-free.
Vodka Soda With Lemon
Both vodka and club soda are basically carb-free drinks. A vodka soda with lemon might not taste sweet, but the bubbles and tart lemon flavors are fun to sip.
Just mix together a shot of vodka, some club soda and the juice from a lemon. Add a lemon wedge as a fun garnish.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice contains about 1/2 a gram of carbs, so this is a delightful little drink.
If you can find pure, unsweetened cranberry juice that doesn’t have any sweeteners, grab it! It’s perfect for this recipe. This tastes deliciously sweet and tart at the same time.
2 oz. Vodka
½ oz. unsweetened cranberry juice
5 oz. Club soda
1 lemon wedge (or 1 tsp. of lemon juice)
2 drops of Liquid Monkfruit sweetener
Calories: 139, Fat: 0g, Total Carbs: 1.4g, Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 0.6g, Protein 0g
Syltbar Premium Prosecco has the lowest-carb prosecco because of its fermentation process, and it tastes pretty great too, with no headache.
Honestly, any type of brut prosecco or champagne is ok on a low-carb diet in moderation.
By following these tips, you can enjoy alcohol while still staying on track with your low-carb diet. Just remember that moderation is key!
Are you ready to give yourself the energy and life that you deserve?
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