Alcohol on the Atkins Diet

Jenna from Virginia asked, “I was wondering if I can still drink alcohol while on the Atkins Diet. Are there certain types of alcohol that I can and cannot have? Thanks in advance.”


Most of us do itâ??especially at firstâ?¦you know, try to rationalize it in our heads how our alcohol consumption should not be affected by a new dietâ??any diet!  After all, diets are about food intake so leave the fluids alone, right?  But for those hoping to be successful on the Atkins diet, there is encouraging news:  while some types of alcohol will add to the â??beer bellyâ?, other types are perfectly acceptable.  To get a clear idea of how this is possible, a closer look at the Atkins diet is necessary.

For one thing, the Atkins diet is all about limiting your carb intake.  The idea is that carbs provide the body with a ready source of energy.  When carb intake is properly regulated, the body will be forced to seek energy from fat stores.  Ketosis is the state achieved by those who successfully force their bodies to seek their energy from fat stores.  Processed carbohydrates like sugar and flour are little more than â??instant energyâ? products for your body.  There is no need for the body to transform fats stores into energy when there are pleny of processed carbohydrates available.  The more carbs we consume, the less fat we burn and the larger that beer belly grows.  And yes, beer is definitely a type of alcohol that needs to be avoided if you want to succeed on the Atkins Diet.

Alcohol is not loaded with carbs but beer and wine are making them both ready sources of energy that can be used instead of fat stores.  Plus, unlike many foods or drinks with carbs, we tend to drink beer and wine in large quantities.  Each beer has dozens, if not hundreds, of empty calories that need converted or stored away with the others in your growing â??little buddyâ? otherwise known as your beer gut.  Sadly, wine is not much better.  A bottle or six-pack may knock your weight-loss goals back a week while a bachelor(ette) party could set things back a month or more!

However, some claim to be able to kick back a beer (or glass of wine) or two every now and then while still managing to keep the pounds off while on the Atkins diet.  This may well be true but there is no doubt that doing so will slow weight loss.  Factors such as metabolism and an active lifestyle may account for the lost pounds.

Fortunately, not all alcohol products have carbs and are therefore fine to drink on the Atkins diet.  Basically, any alcohol products other than beer, wine, or wine coolers are ok.  Vodka, whiskey, rum, and tequila products are all carb-free so feel justified when drinking those mixed drinks without guilt.  However, be careful of daiquiris and margaritas.  The alcohol in such drinks are no threat to your weight loss goals but the daiquiri or margarita mix is probably loaded with sugarâ??and thus, carbs!

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