I can’t believe tomorrow is December. Where did the time fly? That mean the seasonal parties are just around the corner. After Thanksgiving, the party season picks up steam as we head into the New Year. Funny how those seasonal festivities always coincide with the us packing on pounds. Hmmmmm…
So starts the time of sugary desserts and carb-heavy comfort foods. But the one thing we tend to over look when it comes to the holiday madness is booze. Hooch. Liquid bread. Sauce. Hard stuff. Oats soda. Liquid courage.
Yep, I’m talking about alcohol.
The good news is you can still enjoy adult beverages in moderation while living a low carb lifestyle. You just need to know what to drink.
Below are my top 5 alcohol choices when hitting the party circuit this season.
What “Moderation” Means For Weight Loss
Of course, “moderation” is the key word when reading this section. I know readers of this blog are too smart to get dumb-a** drunk. But moderation also means understanding that your body treats alcohol like a toxin (which it really is). So you stop burning fat once you start drinking. Your body will burn the alcohol first to get rid of it. A drink or two at a party isn’t bad. But drinking 5 glasses (a bottle) of wine is basically consuming roughly 30g-60g of carbs (depending on how sweet the wine). You’re not only tipsy (to say the least) but packing on pounds. And you’re more likely to eat even more.
So yes, moderation is key.
Dot’s Top 5 LCHF Friendly Drinks
Number 5: Beer
Yes, there is hope for you beer lovers. However it is a very narrow hope. Most beers are liquid bread. Beer is loaded with fast digesting carbs. For a long time, the only “low carb” beer on the market was Amstel Light, coming in at 5g a bottle. Well I’m proud that the American beer makers are aggressively going into this under served market. But caution, while these beers have significantly fewer carbs than most beers, it is easy to rack up the carbs if you don’t limit consumption.
LCHF Friendly Beers
- Bud Select 55 – 1.9g
- Miller64 – 2.4 g
- Michelob Ultra – 2.6g
- (Tie) Bud Select and Miller Lite (3.2g)
Don’t see your favorite on the list above? Check out this beer list.
Number 4: White Wine
Not all wines are equal. While reds and whites range from sweet to dry, whites tend to be sweeter and not have as many of the health benefits as their red counter parts. If you love white wines it is important to enjoy in moderation as a glass can run from 3-5g of carbs (depending on the wine’s dryness — aka sugar content) for 5 ounces.
Number 3: Red Wine
Red wines have more bang for the buck when compared to whites. From polyphenol to the cancer and aging fighting antioxidants, red wine is healthy. A serving size of 5 ounces falls between 2-5g, depending on the wine’s dryness. But a note of caution: read wines don’t mean blushes or roses. With “pink” colored wines, you’re looking at 6g of carbs a glass. Ouch!
Number 2: Champagne
Perfect for New Year’s Eve celebrations. Many champagnes have less sugar (less than 3g per liter) than reds or whites. The best ones to look for are Brut Nature and Extra Brut. A glass of these bubblies go for 1g of carbs. Champagnes labeled as a “Brut” has a little more wiggle room when it comes to sugars. But champagnes labeled as “extra dry,” “dry” or “Demi Sec” are actually very sweet, so the more carbs.
As for Prosecco, I’d skip it. Prosecco falls in the Brute (sweet) to Demi Sec (“I’d like a little sparkling wine with my sugar.”) range.
Number 1: Spirits
All you whisky, bourbon, scotch, gin, rum, vodka, tequila lovers, you’re in luck. Spirits are great on LCHF diets when it comes to carbs. It’s what you mix with them that kills you. Your best bet is to drink spirits straight, on the rocks or with a splash of water. It’s the sugar-loaded mixers that will screw you up.
For example, a shot of tequila has 0g of carbs. But when you add that single shot to a margarita on the rocks, you’re now looking at 8g of carbs. Love rum and coke? That comes up to 39g of carbs. Vodka and OJ? 28g.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you can have 3, 4, 5 shots. Moderation is key here as well. All alcohol is a toxin so your body burns that first. Indulge too much and it kicks your sorry butt out of ketosis (fat burning mode). Plus getting sloppy drunk just isn’t cool and can be dangerous.
If you are trying to burn fat I’d suggest you skip alcohol all together. Why interrupt your weight loss? As for myself, I’m going without in December. My menopause symptoms seem to worsen when I drink wine. So I’m doing a science experiment over the holidays — no alcohol.
And yes, I’ll still have fun.