Intermittent Fasting and Alcohol – Everything You Should Know

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Intermittent Fasting and Alcohol

Table of Contents

Intermittent fasting (IF) is fast rising in popularity as a weight loss strategy. It refers to an intermittent diet where you intentionally space your eating and fasting.


Like any other form of fasting, some foods and drinks might not be advisable or consumed. As a result, intermittent fasting may dramatically affect one’s health and lifestyle choices, especially if you enjoy alcohol.


It’s no secret that fasting may be made more manageable with sufficient hydration. Hydration aids in the management of hunger pains and the detoxification of the body. It also helps to prevent the onset of adverse side effects, including headaches, dry mouth, poor sports performance, and problems concentrating


So, the question then is, can you substitute water with alcohol? Will drinking alcohol nullify your intermittent fasting? Keep reading to learn everything. 


Is Indulging in Alcoholic Beverages When on an Intermittent Fast Okay?

Generally, one of the unspoken fasting rules, especially from a religious perspective, is no alcohol. No wonder this might be a lingering question when considering intermittent fasting.


You can’t provide a proper response without first realizing that alcoholic beverages are high in calories. One gram of alcohol might contain seven calories. This makes it somewhat calorically denser than one gram of sugar and slightly less calorically dense than one gram of fat. Since this is the case, you should abstain from alcoholic beverages before, during, and after your fast because they lead to weight gain.


We know you have a limited time for meals, but could you squeeze in a few drinks too? In principle, yes. Moderate alcohol consumption is acceptable while intermittent fasting.


However, it is advised that you eat some solid food before consuming alcohol. Drinking on an empty stomach is always a bad idea. The rapid absorption of alcohol means speedier intoxication. Consuming alcohol before eating increases your chances of severe dehydration.


Hence, having your drink after or during your meal would be best. So, drinking too much alcohol to break a fast is not recommended. Secondly, drinking might increase your appetite. Alcohol has been shown to enhance hunger, leading to more food and calories consumed.


Intermittent fasting is a popular weight reduction strategy. Still, it might backfire if you don’t eat enough during the eating period to make up for the calories you didn’t consume while fasting. As we discussed earlier, alcoholic beverages are often rich in calories. If you aren’t keeping tabs on how much you drink, it’s easy to lose track of the calories you’ve consumed.


Use a comprehensive weight-loss app to record everything about your food, drink, and exercise to keep track of your caloric intake. Remember that the calories you consume from alcoholic beverages are entirely useless.


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Can Alcohol Break Your Fasting?

During your fast, you must abstain from consuming any foods or beverages that contain calories, including alcohol. Therefore, alcohol can break your fast.


This doesn’t imply you have to give up alcohol completely when following an IF plan, but rather that you should get the facts clear before making any rash choices. Find out how many calories are contained in your preferred drink and if your diet plan allows room for their consumption.


When to Drink Alcohol While Intermittent Fasting

While the sorts of liquids you may have while intermittent fasting varies, it is generally accepted that alcoholic beverages should be consumed during the eating window rather than the fasting window. Having food present moderates digestion and hence absorption.


Suppose you wish to drink while following IF, do it during your eating window rather than your fasting one.


If you plan on having excessive alcohol intake, you should have a balanced meal immediately before or after moderate drinking of alcohol. 


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Drinking During Intermittent Fasting: Possible Health Benefits and Dangers

The goal of intermittent fasting is, after all, to reduce insulin secretion. In addition, the effects of alcohol on insulin and, by extension, fasting are nuanced.


Most experts propose that drinking alcoholic beverages might help you lose weight because it reduces insulin levels. Alcohol has been shown to damage the liver and increase insulin resistance in other research. 


To sum up, assessing the benefits and drawbacks might be difficult. Scientific studies didn’t agree on whether or not alcohol hinders weight reduction attempts. It’s one of the foods that promote inflammation, which may lead to other illnesses, but it can reduce the risk of various chronic diseases when ingested in moderation.


There is no denying that excessive alcohol consumption results in high calories, which will be counted against you if you are following an intermittent fast. Experts note that almost all types of alcohol will include some proportion of sugar and hence will break fast.”


Above and beyond, alcohol may weaken inhibitions, making fasting more difficult. Women should limit themselves to no more than one drink per day, while men should limit themselves to no more than two, according to guidelines set out by the National Institutes of Health.


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How Can Alcohol Affect Your Ability to Lose Weight?

The primary factor that affects your ability to lose weight is your metabolism. Consuming alcoholic beverages causes your body to detoxify to remove the poison from your system. Your body converts the food you take into fats. When the body is trying to digest alcohol, it needs to shut down all other metabolic processes.


Simply put, it is possible to consume alcohol during fasting, but only if you do it in moderation and within the eating window.


Not to mention, alcohol adds unnecessary fattening calories to your meal. According to the NIH, one beer contains 153 calories, one glass of white wine has 125 calories, and one margarita has 168 calories. Selecting alcoholic beverages mindfully is an excellent method to reduce caloric intake. Instead of wine, sweet mixed drinks, or beer, go for spirits combined with zero- to low-calorie mixers.


As a result, many individuals who are intermittent fasting for weight reduction (or following any diet plan) prefer to abstain from alcohol entirely.


Consistency and restraint are essential. 


How Many Times a Week Can I Drink if I Follow the Intermittent Fasting Diet?

According to experts, you may have two or three drinks each week and still lose weight. However, they warn that you shouldn’t drink more than that. 


Why? Because alcoholic beverages hurt people’s resolve to fast and maintain a healthy weight. Excessive drinking to the point of drunkenness impairs one’s decision-making facilities. Maintaining dietary limits when you’re drinking and eating freely without regard to their nutritional value is more difficult.


Therefore, you might find yourself binge-eating, which will nullify all the work you’ve done with your intermittent fasting. 


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There is no hard and fast rule for consuming alcohol while fasting, but the general recommendation from nutritionists is to make sure you’ve eaten enough before you start drinking. Furthermore, understanding your diet type might help you figure out how much and when you can drink while performing IF since there are wide varieties of IF.


A bottle of wine or drinks after work shouldn’t throw off your 16:8 fast. Drinking alcohol and engaging in intermittent fasting increase fluid requirements. So, drink enough water throughout your fasting hours and between alcoholic drinks.


Alcohol is unlikely to interfere with intermittent fasting if used in proportion and only during meal times. However, it still has a lot of calories and may prevent you from losing weight. Furthermore, heavy alcohol consumption leads to chronic inflammation, liver damage, addiction and other health problems. 


Select dry wine or hard alcohol rather than mixed beverages to reduce the calories and the amount of sugar you consume. 


(oh, and do keep in touch and check in with us regularly for more fantastic content. For a complete list of our previous blog posts, please go here)

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