Does alcohol stop ketosis?


Does alcohol stop ketosis? What happens if you eat more fat than your body needs? And will a slightly higher carb intake kick you out of ketosis?

Get the answers in this week’s Q&A with Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt:

Alcohol stopping ketosis?

We are trying to get into ketosis and measuring blood ketones which seem to be sitting around 1.0 mmol/L. We have adjusted and readjusted our protein and carb amounts to be within the limits you suggest. Last night I had three vodkas – being no-carb alcohol, can this still affect ketosis levels or would we be doing something else wrong?

Thank you,

Alcohol should not have any major effect on ketosis, as long as it’s no-carb alcohol like vodka (without sweet ingredients in a drink of course). If anything, pure alcohol tends to somewhat increase ketosis.

For best results choose low-carb alcoholic drinks like wine or other low-carb drinks, see the guide below.

Also note that many people get more sensitive to alcohol on a ketogenic diet. Be careful and never drink and drive, this is especially true on keto.

Andreas Eenfeldt


If I eat more fat than my body needs for fuel, what happens to the excess?

I understand that if one eats more carbs (glucose) and/or protein than one’s body can immediately use, the excess can be stored as fat. What happens to dietary fat if one eats more of it than can be used? Is it, too, stored, or does the body excrete it?


It’s mostly stored, though there may be a slight increase in calories burned on low carb.

Don’t eat when you’re not hungry, and this should not really be an issue on a low-carb diet, as fat is very satiating.

Andreas Eenfeldt

Will going moderate low carb >50 carbs turn brain back to using carbs for fuel instead of ketones?

I think I need to up carbs for energy. I enjoy how being in ketosis makes me feel most of the time, but when I try to do long runs it just about wipes me out. I’ve been good about keeping up my salt/potassium/magnesium as well. If I up the carbs, that will probably take me out of ketosis right? Then do I just need to make sure I have enough carbs for the brain? Sorry, I’m just a bit confused on that part.


Carbs at >50 may still result in some ketosis, but far less. So some people feel less awesome doing that. Worth testing some extra carbs a few hours before long runs though, that might work well for you.

Andreas Eenfeldt


Low Carb for Beginners

More Questions and Answers

Many more questions and answers:

Low-Carb Q&A

Read all earlier questions and answers – and ask your own! – here:

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More with low-carb doctors


  1. Jayme Drumm
    Is fish oil helpful when on a keto diet?
    Reply: #2
  2. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Jayme!

    Fish oil is almost always a good idea. :)

    Is fish oil helpful when on a keto diet?

  3. Gwendolyn
    What is ketoasis?
  4. Robert Mauro

    Alcohol definitely absolutely stops ketosis. I could get into the metabolic pathways, but in simple terms, our livers consider alcohol a toxin and must deal with it before resuming ketogenic activity. Liver priorities are alcohol>sugar>ketosis.

    Or, you can call it "paused" or whatever, but it definitely does stop ketosis. For someone who's not fat adapted, it may prevent fat adaptation.

  5. Justin Moss
    Interesting that your answer seems to contradic that of @Andreas Eenfeldt, unless his proviso that it be low-carb is the condition. That said, you clearly identify any alcohol as a toxin which 'distracts' the liver. It would be nice to have some clarity in this because white rum and him are some of my remaining pleasures whilst on my part to fat-adapted.
  6. Michel
    I just did one brief experiment. My ketone urinalysis strips indicated around halfway between 0.5 and 1.5 mmol/L at 16:30. At 18:00, after two drinks, I got a reading of decidedly over 1.5. This proves very little, except that it would be worth doing the experiment rather than trying to answer the question empirically rather than based on decidedly sketchy theory. If there is any controlled experimental work out there I would love to read it.
  7. Tekoshar
    At first I want to thanks
    Please someone tell me when is the best time to test keto? I use keto-mojo TD4279
    Reply: #8
  8. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Please someone tell me when is the best time to test keto? I use keto-mojo TD4279

    Ketone levels can vary throughout the day. First thing in the morning or after fasting is generally a recommended testing time.

  9. Tharon
    For whatever reason I find even moderate white wine consumption definitely slows down or postpones weight loss even when confirming to 20 grams of carbs per day. Dr. Atkins discussed this extensively, saying alcohol doesn’t stop weight loss but rather postpones it in some people and he would advise discontinuing alcohol at least temporarily for patients stuck at a plateau.

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