Alcohol & Atkins

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by D_Roderick Beresford Stiffington IV, Apr 20, 2007.

  1. D_Roderick Beresford Stiffington IV

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    From August till December last year I was on the Atkins diet and lost close to 60 pounds. I have about 20-30 I'd like to lose so I decided to start it up again. During my last diet I didn't consume any alcohol, but now my friends and myself like to enjoy the wonders of alcohol every now and then. I did a little bit of research and found out that Rum, Gin, Whiskey and Vodka all contain no carbohydrates.

    Obviously "no carbs" doesn't make it healthy, I'm not going to replace water with Jack Daniels, but what does these kinds of alcohol do to the Atkins diet? I was told by my brother, a doctor, but still full of it and wrong a lot, that alcohol is processed by your body before carbs and fat. I think I remember this from a health class. So again, what can I expect if I want to occasionally consume liquor like this?
     
  2. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

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    Get drunk really quick....
     
  3. madame_zora

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    To be sure, I would first be aware that the changes in your diet could alter your reaction to alcohol, so just watch what happens slowly or you could get drunk a lot faster than you normally would.

    As far as dietary issues go, I'm going to give you good diet advice that's really not very healthy. Although alcohol may not have carbs, it still has calories. I'd eat less, drink in moderation, and go on with life. Oh, and take a decent multi vitamin whenever you're dieting. Keep some acceptable snacks around for when you get the munchies too, or you'll blow your whole diet.
     
  4. snoozan

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    I’m going to offer my advice to you on this subject that I’m drawing from my own research and experience, so take this as you want. I’m in no way a health professional or diet expert. In fact, you probably know a lot of what I will type.

    The first thing I would suggest you do is take a look at your Atkins reference—I’m sure he has something to say on the subject of alcohol intake, and if you’re following Atkins, that’s probably the best place to look.

    No matter what program you follow, dieting comes down to calories taken in versus calories expended. This means that the best idea for eating is to take in foods that are filling, satisfying, and nutrient dense (protein, vitamins, minerals, complex carbs, etc.) for comparatively few calories. I’ve found that salads, especially if you put some chicken and/or beans in them, are really wonderful, especially since you can make them very flavorful with various vegetables, herbs, seasonings, and flavorful, low calorie condiments. Alcohol, on the other hand, is one of those foods that are considered “empty calories”—that is, they offer little or no nutritive value for a high amount of calories. 12 ounces of beer is 100-200 calories and contains somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 grams of carbs. Depending on the stage of Atkins you’re in, you theoretically can blow an entire week’s worth of carbs in one night.

    I don’t think the when of metabolism matters because no matter what, you’re still taking in calories and carbs. Alcohol may metabolize faster than more complex nutrients because the molecules are simpler, but this doesn’t really matter because you still have to burn off the calories you’ve taken in from the alcohol. With that said, working in a few drinks in moderation into your diet and health plan doesn’t seem unreasonable.

    One thing I did notice in your post is that you lost so much weight so fast. This is what Atkins is famous for. Most doctors will tell you that 1-2 pounds per week is the healthiest rate of weight loss. If you lose weight too fast, your body does burn fat, but it also burns muscle. The faster you lose weight, the more muscle you burn, and therefore you have to build more in a shorter time period to keep your muscle mass. Keeping muscle mass is important because it is the amount of muscle you have that determines a lot of you basal metabolic rate. The more muscle you have, the higher your basal metabolic rate is, which means you burn more calories even at rest. This is why it is very important to exercise while you’re losing weight, especially those stubborn last 15-20 pounds or so. As your body mass decreases, you need less energy to maintain it. Building muscle compensates for that. In general, you want to build muscle and lose fat.

    One problem with Atkins as I understand it is that it throws your body into a state called ketosis because you don’t have carbohydrates to burn for the normal metabolic process. This process turns muscle into the energy your body needs, which for the reasons above, you want to keep. A reasonable amount of carbohydrates is necessary as fuel to build muscle and give you energy. Consuming too many carbs, especially those in the form of refined, simple sugars, poses the same problem as alcohol does—empty calories.

    Also, you’ve got to be able to have a food plan that you’ll be able to stick to in a modified form for the rest of your life. The jury is still out on whether Atkins’ allowance of high-fat, high-cholesterol foods is, in the long term, dangerous for your heart and blood pressure.

    The best thing you can do for yourself is eat well, eat healthy, drink in moderation, and exercise. The more you exercise, the more you can eat and drink. Those last pounds you have to shed are always the hardest, but don’t give up. You will at some point start losing more slowly or even gain, but that happens. If you’re exercising well, that gain, hopefully, represents a gain in muscle mass which is better for you in the long run.

    Well, I’m done my rant/ramble. Take it as you will, and there are a lot of people here on LPSG who will be able to give you more and better advice than I did.

    Take care!
     
  5. Industrialsize

    Staff Member Moderator Gold Member

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    they may have no carbs but they do have Empty CALORIES, which are totally useless to the body.......and eventually end up as FAT
     
  6. snoozan

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    Alcohol has carbs, unless you're specifically only referring to hard liquor.

    Carbs in Alcohol

    At any rate, you're still right.
     
  7. nucleartestboy

    nucleartestboy New Member

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    I'm on the Atkin's too at the moment, and find if I want a drink then Vodka is fine. The next morning I've lost more weight (probably due to dehydration lol) I find if I drink it with Diet soda's that contain no carbs, (I usually drink vodka with diet coke) but are high in artificial sweeteners like aspartame then the rate of weight loss is slowed a little, as I've heard that in some cases, sweeteners can be mistaken for carbs by the body. If you are sticking to the diet strictly and can stomach drinking Vodka with Soda water (not tonic) then I'm sure you should be fine.
     
  8. Industrialsize

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    I prefer my Vodka str8 out of the Bottle!
     
  9. LambHair McNeil

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    I applaud you for wanting to lose more weight and congratulate you on your achievements thus far.

    Meet with a dr if money allows and get a complete blood panel done. You lost a great deal of weight - just check things out to see where you stand. A lot can change even within 30 days of an altered food program, just ask the guy who did Supersize Me.

    If $$$ is tight, meet with a dietician. Don't let them dictate to you but use them as a resource for answering your questions. The net is a good place to find data, but I don't know if I'd call all of it information.

    With the amt of weight you've lost taken into consideration, think about the gym. A good routine can add back muscle mass and up your metabolic rate (allowing you to burn more calories simply by being you).

    Also, do not delude yourself about alcohol. Consume too much of it and you will blow a diet. Both from the alcohol itself and what you typically are led to eat when out drinking (fried this or that).

    Choose wisely, congratulations on your achievements thus far, and post back with your progress. Good luck.
     
  10. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

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    So when do we get to meet up for drinks oops I ment bottles ;) I also drink straight up from the bottle... wont buy it unless I can finish the whole thing.
     
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