Effects of alcohol while eating Paleo?

Answered on July 25, 2014
Created July 24, 2014 at 4:27 PM

So I've been living a "paleo" lifestyle since early June. So I'm still a beginner... I started eating this way to lose weight and so far it's been great. At about 7-weeks now I am down 20 lbs, so I'm very happy with my progress. (haven't even started working out yet) I haven't eaten much of anything that is not paleo, but I still enjoy having some wine, beers or liquor every now and then.

My question is what effect do you think the occasional drink will have on my weight-loss. I'm thinking a few glasses of wine on a Friday night (or a couple beers or drinks of bourbon)

Anything I should just stay clear of, I'm thinking beer is probably bad. Thanks for the help guys - would love to also hear how some of you may incorporate a few drinks into their Paleo diets.

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4 Answers

Medium avatar

on July 25, 2014
at 04:31 PM

BobK - read the depressing alcohol article...really eye opening. never really thought about all the science behind it. That's going to make me really think about even having a drink now. Way to ruin the party!! ;) thanks though - good to know info

Alcohol & Body Fat...



on July 25, 2014
at 04:11 PM

@blackbirdw68 BTDT... nearly two years ago. IME alcohol and fat loss are somewhat incompatible. :(

I'll give you the short answer, alcohol will slow or stall your fat loss depending on the dose and what you eat along with it. One glass (5oz) of red wine won't be terrible, a whole bottle is another story. As are drinks with sugary mixers or lots of fruit juice. Beer is a no-no too. If you want to drink during your fat loss period, accept the fact that drinking is slowing your fat loss...the more you drink the worse the effect.

Least bad drinks: red wine, booze w/ no mixer or w/ soda water (not tonic<< has sugar), champagne, white wine.

Good news? Now that I'm down 30 lbs & eating 99% clean I dont worry about it BUT alcohol still isn't great for you in large doses. My guideline is zero, one or two per day and never more than 5 (very occasionally, less than once a month).

Alcohol is truly toxic to the human body so it gets preferential attention.

Here's interesting & thorough blog post about the effects on fat loss, depressing.. :(


and "efficient drinking"


I found his posting after a night of drinking (a bottle of red wine for me) caused my blood sugar meter to error. I'm not diabetic but early on, while starting my n=1 eating experiment, I actually took blood sugar readings to see the effects of foods & meals. I was going through 25 strips a day. After the meter error I did a ton of reading on alcohol & metabolism. Graeme Thomas' posts were some of the best I found. In fact all of his post are pretty solid.

SInce you're trying to lose fat, here's one on the perils of chronic cardio


Enjoy but realize...there's no free lunch.

Medium avatar


on July 25, 2014
at 12:45 PM

I'd recommend searching the site. General discussion here before has been about why it's easy to get drunk in ketosis:


In my experience alcohol is like a super carb. Higher in calories than carbs, no nutritional benefits, and harder to control on a low carb diet. So not a good choice for Paleo weight loss unless you strictly control it. Instead of "a few glasses", you have to know how many and stick to it.



on July 25, 2014
at 05:49 AM

I'd go by your n=1 on it, similar to other potential trigger foods. If you feel great having a few glasses of wine on Friday night with an awesome energetic morning the next day, it's probably not an issue. Genetics come to mind, where if your APOE status is E4/E4 and you have the ALDH2*2 genes, then it's probably not the healthiest choice you could make (and you would likely be able to feel that's the case.)

I tend to avoid the stuff, as I don't feel that great when I drink even small amounts. I feel fine cooking with wines and with a small glass of <1% fermented drinks, so that's about all I do. ymmv.

At ~200 calories, that could have some impact on your weight loss plan. That's about an hour's worth of walking, where a healthy weight loss plan might aim for just 200 calories below maintenance.

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