Alcohol on Keto


Thanks for all the comments and links to the Keto Dudes. I’ve done a bit of research and as others have commented booze seems to take over the liver and take you out of fat burning mode until the liver is done with the booze. For now it’s not worth it to take myself out of fat burning mode unless it’s a special occasion, next one coming up for me is Christmas Eve. I had plenty evenings enjoying more than my share of scotch, whiskey (rye), gin, reds etc. A few more months isn’t going to kill me. At this point the weight-loss is more important than a glass or two so scotch. Once I’m at goal I’ll ease my way back in.

Thanks again!


Thanks everyone for your advice. Ive just started not drinking this week after reading all of this, So in the afternoons I drink tea instead. This first week is hard as I am used to having a couple drinks everyday but I figure I will not lose weight until I stop doing that and I feel as though I am wasting my time doing the full Keto diet but still drinking and not losing. I am looking forward to the next couple of weeks and losing some weight. I do wonder now though, how long does it take for me to get into Ketosis? As I have been on the diet for just over 2 weeks but have only just stopped drinking 3 days ago. Any advice there please?

(Marie Dantoni) #23

I watched a youtube lecture by robert lustig today. It was. about fatty liver disease. Apparently alcohol works pretty much the same way as fructose except that it gets you high. My guess is that we can get much better results by drinking only occasionally.

(CharleyD) #24

You got it. They call it energy substrate competition, and it boils down to how much of something burnable can you store? Alcohol you have an almost zero ability to store, carbs, very little, and fat nigh limitless. So when the liver detects alcohol, it stops what it’s doing to turn it into something you can use.

(Doug) #25

:smile: Can testify to that.


Quick question, so I researched and from what I have read it takes the body about 1 hr to process 1 oz of alcohol. So, if one has a couple double (1.5 oz ea.) whiskeys on the rocks you’re taking your body out of fat burning mode for about 3 hours. Does that sound right?

(Doug) #27

Sounds correct to me.

(Ethan) #28

I’m not sure of that. What does the body turn the alcohol into? Does it process that instead right after?

(Doug) #29

There’s at least 3 things that happen, Ethan. Alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) in the stomach is a catalyst that gets the oxidation of some of the alcohol going right away - making ketones and aldehydes out of it. I think this is why it’s said that the body treats alcohol as a fat, rather than a carbohydrate or sugar.

Some alcohol goes through the stomach lining and gets into the bloodstream right away. Some of it goes to the lungs, where it gets partially exhaled. The rest goes around in the circulatory system for a while longer. The lungs say, “Catch you next time…”

Most of the alcohol goes into the small intestine. I think some of it goes into the bloodstream from there. A lot of it goes to the liver via the hepatic portal vein. In the liver is an enzyme that is either the same or similar to the alcohol dehydrogenase in the stomach (I’m not sure). Alcohol gets turned into acetaldehyde, and the next step is another enzyme - aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) - makes acetate from the acetaldehyde. I don’t know all the chemistry, but from there it ends up as carbon dioxide and water.

Hey, your name is the first 5 letters of one of my favorite things. :smile:

(Ethan) #30

Very interesting, but does that mean ketosis restarts once the alcohol is processed? Or is there a further delay?

(Doug) #31

Not sure, Ethan - don’t know if the body goes right back into fat burning; don’t see why not, assuming energy is then needed.

(Marie Dantoni) #32

Robert Lustig goes into detail about how alcohol is metabolized and compares it to sugar. He states that it acts more like carb than fat, because it is in effect fermented sugar.
Way too technical for me get it all, but if you’re interest it’s "Sugar, the Bitter Truth "
I always wondered why drinking made me hungry, now I think I know why…

(It's all about the bacon, baby!) #33

Several versions of “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” are available on YouTube, since Dr. Lustig has given that lecture a lot. The real point of the lecture is fructose and how too much of it in the diet is as bad for the body as too much ethanol. Fructose and ethanol are both metabolized primarily in the liver and the metabolic pathway is the same for both substances. They therefore cause the same diseases in the liver and other organs, because they behave so similarly in the body, and when you talk about the effects of one, you’re pretty much talking about the effects of the other as well. The main difference is that ethanol is a short-acting poison, and fructose takes longer to have its effect.

(Marie Dantoni) #34

Spot on.


It seems like once I get kicked out of ketosis due to drinking wine it takes days to get back in.

(Marie Dantoni) #36

I am post menopausal, 5’3". I started IFing & LCing and occasionally EFing a year ago. Lost 35 lbs.
Last summer I started getting sloppy. At first it was very occasional, but soon a pattern…the old pattern of "off a diet/on a diet " started to play out. I would go for a week or so counting macros “being good” and avoiding alcohol…then slip ups…half a keto cheesecake anyone ??? There was always a cocktail or 2 involved.
Lately I have realized (duhhh) that It takes a lot more effort to get back on track than just to stay there. For me alcohol has been part of the problem. The only question is how big a part.

KCKO - Keep Calm Keto On
(Doug) #37

Well said, Marie. For me it’s both a source of carbohydrates (beer, wine, sweet liquor drinks) and a disincentive to stay on the program of keto food, a real double-whammy.

(VLC.MD) #38

Boom ! :boom:

(Marie Dantoni) #39

Yea, a really big boom !

(Andi McNamara) #40

Me, too! When I drink I want to eat everything. Even small amounts of alcohol give me terrible headaches, and sugar is the only thing to make it go away. Then several days to get back into ketosis…
But, drinking is so fun! I really miss it!