Atkins and Alcohol – Slainte*!

One of the first questions we are often asked is: “Can I drink alcohol while following this plan?”. The reason we are all so keen to know whether or not alcohol is allowed on the Atkins diet is a debate for another day!

So why is alcohol one of those things that we are told not to consume while following a diet and are you allowed to drink alcohol while following the Atkins nutritional lifestyle?

On Induction phase 1 alcohol is not allowed. But Induction is only for two weeks. The reason alcohol is restricted on a low carb diet, especially at the start is, when ingested into the body it is metabolized before the fat in your body, so in that case alcohol is treated (from the bodies perspective) like a macro-nutrient. This applies to almost all spirit alcohol and some wines.

Beers, ales, stouts, alco-pops, flavored spirits, desert wines and sherry all contain higher level of sugars than neat spirits like whiskeys, vodkas, gins, aged brandy and scotch. Drinking spirits neat or on the rocks (with ice) or water is better than drinking spirits with mixers, with soda water being the exception. Sugar free tonic water is also fine.

When you move onto OWL, alcohol in moderation is acceptable once you use the above guidelines you should be fine. To illustrate how many carbs are in a beer; a pint of draft beer (500ml) contains 8 grams of carbohydrates, considering that on OWL you should be eating between 20 and 40 grams of carbs daily then a glass of beer is far too high in carbs at this stage. The other down side of taking alcohol is that it may make some of your old cravings for high carb snacks, such as crisps and other high carb snacks that are associated with drinking alcohol return. Or it can have you heading straight to your favorite chipper or pizza place on the way back from the pub..

So, our advice is, take it easy when re introducing alcohol back into your diet and if you are finding it difficult avoiding sugary snacks when you do have a glass of beer or wine, then it may be better, for the time being to avoid alcohol for another while. Otherwise, to Atkins and alcohol, sláinte!

Recently I came across this blog alcohol on a low carb diet which also explains the effects of alcohol on our systems.

To help, here is a handy reference table of how many carbs are in various alcoholic beverages.

Beverage Serving Size Net Carbs(g)
Light Beer 500ml(approx.1 pint) 8.0
Dark Ale 500ml(approx.1 pint) 15.0
Pale Ale 500ml(approx.1 pint) 10.0
Stout 500ml(approx.1 pint) 21.0
Bourbon 30ml 0.0
Gin 30ml 0.0
Rum 30ml 0.0
Scotch/Whiskey 30ml 0.0
Vodka 30ml 0.0
Champagne 120ml 4.0
Wine, desert 100ml 4.0
Wine, red 175ml 2.0
Wine, white 175ml 1.0
Port 30ml 3.0
Sherry, Dry 50ml 2.0
Sweet Cider 500ml(approx.1 pint) 20.0
Baileys Irish Cream 50ml 7.4
Kahula 30ml 11.3
Tia Maria 30ml 10.0
Sugar Free Tonic Water 100ml 4.0
Ginger Ale 100ml 2.7

*Sláinte (SLAHN-chə) is a word literally translating as “health” and is commonly used as a drinking toast in Ireland.

3 thoughts on “Atkins and Alcohol – Slainte*!

  1. diet is the most important over workng out. you can run all you want but if you’re eating cookies, cake, it’s a waste of time. once you’ve mastered your goal you live your new lifestyle the rest of your life (hence the word)most ppl have a cheat meal once a week like pizza or we/I know I do. no such thing as drinking too much water water aids us in fitness by tightening up the loose skin.and makes sure we’re hydrated during workouts, and battles fatigue.

    • Create your own healthy eanitg plan by reading and understanding the labels on processed and package foods.Switch to sodium-free herb blends for seasoning food in cooking and at the tableWhen you have a choice at the supermarket, buy lower-sodium choices in soups, crackers, salad dressings, canned tomatoes, and other products.Find out what your daily caloric intake is and aim for the calories. Eat more by eanitg smaller meals daily, eanitg smaller meals will help you by not overeanitg at your next meal.It is great to know that are your age you have decided to make healthy choices.Good luck.visit website like WEBMD; Sparkspeople or other that give you healthy meal plansmany years of nutritional studies B.A. Biology Chemistryadvanced nutritional research

    • >i tried the atkins diet back in high scoohl for about a month and it was awful. i also was not nearly as environmentally/nutritionally conscious as i am today, so i still ate a copious amount of meat without a second thought. i also worked at skyline chili (well-known for their coney-dogs and chili.. very gross and terribly unhealthy), so guess what i ate at my lunch break? hot dogs in a bowl covered with chili and cheese. and i thought i was eating healthier by cutting the carbs! i lost maybe 5lbs, and immediately gained it back as soon as i ate a piece of bread. my boyfriend(at the time)’s mom was HUGE on the atkin’s diet and she actually lost a shit-ton of weight. she also became clinically anorexic and a member of AA . but she lost the weight! it almost ruined her marriage too.i’m just glad i’m a little smarter now and know the difference between some fad-diet and a real, consciously working diet that changes your behavior and not just the numbers on the scale.

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