ONE Actionable Takeaway from Ketosource

Ideally, for fat loss goals, you would not drink alcohol. However, our experience with clients has shown that this is unrealistic in most cases. This is because its an important part of their lifestyle.

Over the years we have developed two rules that clients have successfully implemented to minimise the negative impact on fat loss. With them you can drink alcohol while not interfering too drastically with your ketogenic diet and fat loss goals.


Rule 1: Select Keto Friendly Alcohols

Most alcoholic drinks contain a lot of carbs. These carbs need to be avoided to maintain your ketogenic diet and its appetite reduction effects.

So you should stick to the select alcohols without or with very low carbs. By order of preference, you should restrict alcohol intake to these types:

  1. Clear Liquor or Spirits: Gin, Vodka, Tequila or Whiskey
    • Mix with zero-carb mixers like Soda Water with a slice of lemon or lime.
    • If you are choosing slimline tonic water, use Schweppes or Britvic. Avoid using Fentimans and Fever-Tree.
  2. Bone Dry & Dry Red Wines: While wines vary a general guideline is that it’s best to focus on “Old World” countries like Italy and France.
    • Some wines to try are Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti DOCG, Montepulciano, Primitivo, Shiraz and Grenache red wines. You can also try wines from the Rhone Valley such as Cote du Rhone
  3. Brut or Dry Champagne

Rule 2: Limit Alcohol to 2 Days Per Week

To support your fat loss goals, we have found through client experience that drinking alcohol no more than twice a week is important.

Specifically we find clients do best when they designate specific days, like Friday and Saturday, for moderate alcohol consumption. Having a planned routine like this helps them stick to it over time. It becomes part of their lifestyle, and as a result much easier to stick to.

Alcohol has properties that translate to it interfering with fat loss goals. So by restricting intake to two days per week, we keep that interference under control.

Specifically, there are two main ways that alcohol can interfere with your fat loss goals.

Alcohol Prevents Fat Burning Because It Gets Preferentially Burned

When you consume alcohol it is preferentially burned over fat and other calories.

So it effectively prevents fat loss while it is in your bloodstream. The two primary mechanisms for this are that:

  • The body prioritizes the processing of toxic substances over others. Alcohol is recognised by the body as a toxin, so it is prioritized.
  • There is no storage mechanism for alcohol in the body. So it can’t be stored for processing or use later like fats or carbohydrates (glycogen).

Drinking Alcohol Stimulates Food Intake

When drinking alcohol people tend to eat more. There are a variety of mechanisms being explored in research as to why this takes place.

These include amongst others:

  • Direct appetite stimulation via altering hormone levels and stimulating specific brain regions involved in appetite
  • Indirectly by causing blood sugar fluctuations which may lead to increased hunger

Actionable Takeaways

  • Be aware that drinking alcohol can stall your fat loss goals.
  • Consume alcoholic drinks no more than twice per week.
  • When drinking alcohol stick to keto-friendly alcoholic drinks such as clear liquor, dry red wines, whiskey, brut or dry champagne.

ONE Quote from a Credible Expert

This quote comes from Stephen Phinney, MD, PhD.  Stephen is Co-Founder and former Chief Medical Officer of Virta Health, a Professor at the University of California, Davis, and has 40 years of experience in obesity and ketogenic/ low carbohydrate diets divided between academic internal medicine and industry.

“In study after study, not just ours but others, a well-formulated ketogenic diet when compared to a standard calorie restricted low fat diet has a greater effect on weight loss and particularly loss of abdominal adipose tissue and it’s the adipose tissue or a fat mass within the abdomen that is the most dangerous fat that we carry in our body.”

The technical term for the most dangerous abdominal adipose tissue is Visceral Fat (Visceral Adipose Tissue – VAT). This fat is correlated with health risks.

It’s the accumulation of this fat inside your abdomen, in particular, that causes your Waist-to-Height Ratio (WHtR) to increase. We focus on WHtR at Ketosource because its easy for you to measure at home, and shows you your fat loss (and not just weight loss) and reduction of your health risk.

Source: Virta Health – Dr. Stephen Phinney on the Safety and Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet (Part 2) (timestamp 0:00:41) 

ONE of Your #1 Questions Answered

The Question:

The top question sent in from you this week was from Elena C. Thank you Elena!

 So I have 3 other people in my house 2 of which are my kids and 1 other adult which is my hubby and he is carb obsessed. Please help?”

The Answer: 

It’s much easier to stay on a keto diet if you get rid of the carbs in your household. However, that isn’t always an option.

Some of our clients struggle with staying keto when living with family or friends. So we’ve used these specific steps to help them navigate this obstacle and stay on the keto diet.

What Steps to Take When You Don’t Live in a Carb-Free Home.

Here are some simple tactics to stay keto when your family eats carbs. All you have to do is:

Step #1 Organise Your Kitchen
  • Identify all carbs or the most tempting carbs (for example, bread, biscuits, crisps or sweets) and put them in an ‘off limits’ part of your kitchen.
  • Create an area in your kitchen, like a cupboard or shelf, for your keto-friendly foods.
Step #2 ‘Ketofy’ Your Meals
  • Find keto-friendly replacements for your favourite foods and put them in your keto-designated area. For example, keto pasta or bread are good staples to have on hand.
  • Make meals that are easy to ‘ketofy’. You can have a weekly meal planner that includes keto-friendly options for common family dinners. For example, substituting creamed cauliflower with potatoes in shepherd’s pie.
Step #3 Meal Prep Keto Snacks
  • Prepare keto foods in advance when possible so you are not tempted on days you want something quick to eat or don’t want to cook.

We understand that resisting your favourite carbs can be tough emotionally, especially during family meals. But by following these steps, clients have been able to stick to their keto meals with their family and others without too much hassle.

Last Note: Make it Easier. Don’t Talk About It.

It may be the case that your friends or family are not as supportive of your diet as they should be. This shouldn’t stop you from meeting your goals.

In working with clients, we have found that the best way to resolve this issue is to just “not talk about it”. People generally don’t like change, which is why they react badly.

So if you happen to be the one to prepare meals for your household, keep it simple. Make a keto or ketofied meal. Serve it. But don’t tell them it’s Keto. You’ll find in most cases it goes unnoticed and you avoid any resistance.

Actionable Takeaways
  • Clear a cupboard or space for your keto foods and keep carbs out of reach.
  • Have keto-friendly replacements to substitute carbs when needed.
  • ‘Ketofy’ family meals by swapping out carbs with protein, fat or fibre.
  • Prepare food in advance to stay keto without needing to cook.
  • Reduce friction by not talking about your keto diet or telling people when food is ketofied.


Damien Blenkinsopp MBA.
Damien Blenkinsopp MBA.

Damien is the founder of Ketosource and the host of the popular health tech/data podcast, The Quantified Body. He has an MBA from London Business School and both French (ESC) and UK 1st Class Hon. undergraduate degrees. His career has had a data-driven and analytical focus, spanning strategy consulting, market analyst and health tech/data. Damien has a passion for health, longevity and predictable results. The Quantified Body and Ketosource projects are both focused on leveraging data and analytical tools to help people get the results they want with confidence. Damien speaks 5 languages and has lived in 11 countries across 5 continents.