“Hey Recovering Carbie… do you drink?”
I laugh when asked this question. I’m a working mother, attorney, crazy chaos coordinator… how could I survive without alcohol in my life??
Actually all joking aside it’s a great question – can you drink alcohol on a low carb diet? You get a mixed bag of responses from the experts. Some teach that all alcohol no matter what form will stall weight loss, others take a more realistic approach and tell you to go ahead in moderation and with smarter choices.
That’s the camp I’m in. Alcohol is not something that’s going away in my life so I need to make it work.
Now with that said I admittedly have never been a huge drinker. I’m a social drinker and love drinking with my friends. But if I’m by myself I don’t often have a drink. I hate beer and have never been able to tolerate it. I absolutely love wine but unforunately only the sweet kind. So navigating the world of low carb drinking has been difficult.
This is especially true because alcohol companies do not put, nor do they have to put, nutritional information on their labels. This of course makes this label reader very nervous. But google is still a great resource if you have questions.
So how can us Recovering Carbie’s get our drink on?? Here are my tips:
The easiest way to drink on low carb is to go with hard liquor. Vodka, gin, rum, scotch, whiskey, tequila. All of these have zero carbs so Game on!!
But remember it’s the mixers you have to watch out for. Put away the orange juice, lemonade, or Coke. Instead opt for low carb mixers. Here are a few to try:
Monster No Sugar No Carb drink in grape or orange.
Cherry cola Zevia.
Rockstar No Sugar energy drink.
I make sure since I’m now primarily a hard alcohol drinker that I alternate drinking a glass of water with the hard alcohol. This ensures I’m not dead to the world the next day.
Whining about wine:
Oh I miss wine, but alas I don’t drink wine like I used to. This is not because you can’t have wine, as there are many low carb wine options, but I am a sweet wine drinker and of course anything sweet has more carbs.
If you are a dry wine drinker then alas you are all set. But you need to watch your servings with wine. For a 5 oz serving (that’s less than a full glass) here are your best options
Pinot Noir. 3.8
Pinot Grigio 3.2
Good rule of thumb with wine is to stay away from sweet wines and develop a taste for dry.
Beer is here:
I am not a beer drinker but I know plenty of you are. Beer is tough as it is high in carbs. A good rule of thumb with beer is lighter is less carb than darker beer. So here are your best low carb options for beer.
This picture comes from Diet Doctor, one of my favorite places for listing the best and the worst food/drinks. The carb count is for 1 bottle. Definitely read the whole article… great tips!
Drinks to avoid:
Obviously anything sweet and mixed is not ok on a low carb diet. Your highest carb drinks will be your hard ciders and malt beverages…
Yeah drinking this Zima to get a blast from my past set me back 30 carbs for one bottle!! Not my finest hour, but the classic never dies so I had to try it again. Sometimes you all need to do as I say… not as I do!
Here’s another great website with a good overall listing of what you can and can’t have.
Beware of the amount of alcohol:
I’ve noticed that since I’ve gone low carb I tend to get intoxicated much faster and easier than before. Definitely keep that in mind when you are out and about.
So have fun, drink up, and be responsible! Cheers!