Intermittent Fasting and Alcohol

intermittent fasting and alcohol

Many people who think about fasting as an approach to losing weight have questions about intermittent fasting and alcohol. Because of its numerous health benefits, intermittent fasting is a popular trend in health. This diet involves eating and fasting in alternating cycles. Contrary to traditional diets, there are no restrictions on food during this period.

You may still wonder if alcohol reduces the benefits of intermittent fasting. This article discusses the effects of alcohol on intermittent fasting. It also reviews which drinks are more beneficial so you know which bottle to pick up the next time you’re at the liquor shop.

Alcohol can impede fat burning

Intermittent fasting can increase fat burning and decrease your BMI. However, it has been proven that alcohol can block fat metabolism. One study found that 19 adults had higher levels of fat after they had eaten alcohol-rich meals.

Excessive alcohol intake is linked to higher levels of fat in their bodies in observational studies. This relationship is not evident in moderate to light drinkers. To understand the effects of alcohol on body weight, more evidence is required.

Alcohol’s effects on weight gain

Lots of people do intermittent fasting to lose weight. Alcohol is very calorie-dense. Even a single drink could add 100 calories or more to your daily intake. However, there is limited research on the correlation or causation between drinking alcohol and gaining weight.

Numerous observational studies found that moderate amounts of drinking can reduce the risk of weight gain. Heavy drinking – which is a threshold that’s defined as having 4+ drinks every week for males and 3+ for females per week, is associated with a  higher risk for obesity and weight gain in general.

Intakes of excessive alcohol may cause inflammation

The body can be reduced by intermittent fasting. However, alcohol might cancel out the benefits of this diet and increase inflammation. Chronic inflammation can lead to various diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and various types of cancer.

Research has shown that excessive drinking can cause inflammation and lead to leaky stomach syndrome, bacterial growth, and unbalanced gut bacteria. These effects could eventually cause organ damage.

Alcohol can break your fast

You are required to fast for a certain period of time and avoid any food or beverages. Intermittent fasting, in particular, is designed to encourage chemical and hormonal changes that can be beneficial to your health

Alcohol is high in calories so any alcohol consumed during fasting will cause your fast to be broken. It’s okay if you drink moderate amounts of alcohol during meals as long as you don’t go overboard with your consumption.

Alcohol can hinder cellular repair

Fasting allows your body to initiate key cellular processes that repair your cells such as autophagy. This involves the removal of damaged, old proteins in cells so they can create newer, more healthy cells. This may help with anti-aging and reduce your odds of developing cancer in the process.

Animal trials have shown that long-term alcohol consumption may cause autophagy to be impaired in the fat and liver tissue. Remember that clinical trials with human subjects are still needed.

Better alcohol choices

Alcohol can break your fasting period if it’s consumed at any point in your fast window. It is recommended that you only consume alcohol during the designated eating periods. Your alcohol intake should be controlled. Moderate levels of alcohol consumption mean that women should not consume more than one drink per day and men should consume no more than two.

Intermittent fasting does not have any strict rules regarding food or beverage intake. However, some alcohol options are healthier compared to hard liquors and thus not nearly as likely to ruin your diet altogether. Dry wine or hard spirits are healthier options as they have fewer calories. These can be sipped ala carte, or with soda water. Avoid sweeter wines and mixed drinks to limit the amount of sugar you consume.


Alcohol can be consumed in moderate amounts but only during your mealtimes. That alone isn’t likely to disrupt your intermittent fasting. It is calorie-dense and can slow down fat burning. Drinking excessively can lead to chronic inflammation and other health problems. Dry wine and hard spirits can help you cut down on calories and sugar in comparison to mixed drinks.

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