Can You Get Into Ketosis While Drinking Alcohol?

As I decided to change my evil ways and give up bread and pasta, as well as all the other carbs that suck me in like a tractor beam, I knew my inner imp would not allow me to perform this feat which I haven’t been able to do for some time without *some* rascality along the way.

Because of this I decided to go through carb withdrawal while drinking copious amounts of red wine – 1 to 2 bottles a night. I didn’t track calories but would usually go through the day without much more than the fat from my coffee and cream in the morning and the use of Atkins shakes as a creamer in my coffee at work. There was a can or two of sardines in there as well.

At home, I would accompany the wine with something small. Maybe a piece of salmon the size of my hand with 2 tablespoons of butter. A chopped veggie salad with oil and vinegar. 10 breakfast sausages with ketchup. I did not count calories but aside from the alcohol (which is not a carb but does have 7 calories per gram, making it calorically dense) the amounts eaten were small and even the rare carby stuff like the ketchup and 2 mouthfuls of mac and cheese I had would not have put me out of a carb total for any given day well below 50 grams.

This worked extremely well in carb withdrawal. I seemed to lose my craving for carbs by the 2nd day in. I had 2 people at work discussing their prodigious eating over the weekend after I told them I started a diet and I said: “Thank you for telling me all this right after I told you I started a diet.”

“You’re welcome.” One said without missing a beat, and they continued.

I work with a tough crowd and certainly there was no maliciousness intended – busting chops is a sport where I work – a way of blowing off steam by busting one another. It is not for the faint of heart nor those ‘special snowflakes’ out there prone to being offended by ‘microaggression’.

We specialize in interpersonal microaggression as well as macroaggression, and striaght-ahead aggression.

It’s a game played with the unspoken rule that only people who have shown there are tough enough are allowed in the club. We’re not *trying* to make people cry – it’s to blow off steam and the easily offended are treated with the respect they desire.

The initiates do all they can to embarrass and annoy their fellow players. I’ve heard this behavior called ‘ranking’ or ‘the dozens’.

But the thing is: despite them talking about the great food they ate, and talking about ice cream runs while talking longingly of ice cream, it was as if these foods were an abstraction for me. None of this talk made me hungry or crave anything.

But I had my wine. I figured that ketosis nor weight loss would ever happen while drinking – I was just focusing on the carbs withdrawal first, which was going well.

Two surprises:

Surprise one – I got into ketosis by day 4 of this routine.

Surprise two – I lost 2 pounds by this time – and the weight keeps coming off.

Yesterday as I write I mixed things up a bit. I had cream cheese wrapped in chicken breast for breakfast, then American cheese and lettuce for dinner. I skipped the alcohol and had water with that MiO ‘water enhancer’ crap – I like the lemonade flavor.

This morning I was 270.8 – 6.6 pounds down in 6 days.

There’s much left to be desired in my eating patterns according to orthodoxy: I’m eating like a deranged person. The rules are still sketchy as I make them up as I go along, but at least encouraging patterns are emerging and evolving hopefully into something at least *somewhat* healthy (whatever that means) – though I can attest to the fact that I feel better – more energetic, clearer head, need less sleep – than when I was eating carbs like a normal person. Frankly, looking back, while my favorite carbs taste great going down, I felt poisoned afterwards.

As an aside, I have also passed the ‘pizza test’ – pizza got ordered last night and it didn’t register at all on my interest scale.

So in conclusion: can I get into ketosis AND lose weight while drinking too much?

Apparently so.

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8 thoughts on “Can You Get Into Ketosis While Drinking Alcohol?

  1. I remember reading that drinking wine especially at night works as taking metformine -your liver stays busy with alcohol, and doesn’t synthesize glucose.

  2. With each 5oz serving of dry red wine (I’m assuming) having 3-5 carbs and approximately 140 calories I’m surprised by your results and also a bit jealous. I’ve had to nix the wine and alcohol in general to lose weight.

  3. I just keep thinking why there are so many associations being reported between drinking wine and low diabetes risk. I am not 100% sure about alcohol being a part of healthy lifestyle, the definition of what is healthy is not set in stone, and it depends on a dose and own state of health. My own tendency to have all sorts of allergies is not compatible with drinking and smoking. What is clear for me, if you want to be thinner, it is better to drink and even smoke than eat sugary and starchy foods. It is obvious for me that some people just crave some sort of fixes, it even looks for me like is a natural human desire. It used to be socially acceptable 40 years ago to drink and smoke more than now, with the successful removal of drinking and smoking from everyday live, other fixes took the place of old vices, and sugar and carb cravings became more wide spread. I saw people who stopped smoking keeping hard candies in their mouth all the time. It is easier to substitute a habit than to drop it altogether, and when a perfection can’t be achieved, people should look for a compromise. I suspect that drinking wine is much safer than having a bariatric surgery, which is the gold standard nowadays for a successful treatment of obesity.

    • While it is true they do not have carbs per se, alcohol does convert itself into a form of sugar in your bloodstream. That is why so many heavy drinkers have big bellies, it’s a sugar connection. Do some research (-;

      • Mmm..no, it does not. The alcohol is converted to acetyl-CoA, as are the ketones produced by the liver in low carb diets. At no point is the alcohol metabolized into “sugar” and consequently doesn’t interfere with ketone production by the liver. The cells use acetyl-CoA to produce energy via the Krebbs Cycle no matter what the source of the acetyl-CoA – whether from alcohol or from ketones.

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