Intermittent Fasting and Alcohol: Can You Combine Them?

Intermittent Fasting and Alcohol: Can You Combine Them?

Intermittent fasting is one of the most popular health trends thanks to its many proposed health benefits, including weight loss, fat burning, and reduced inflammation (1Trusted Source).

This dietary pattern involves alternating cycles of fasting and eating. Unlike traditional diets, no foods are banned during the eating periods.

Still, you may wonder whether alcohol diminishes any benefits of intermittent fasting.

This article examines how alcohol affects intermittent fasting and reviews whether certain drinks are better than others.

Alcohol can impede fat burning
Intermittent fasting may boost fat burning, thus decreasing your body fat percentage (2Trusted Source).

Yet, alcohol intake has been shown to block fat breakdown.

In one study in 19 adults, ingesting an alcohol-rich meal resulted in significantly reduced levels of fat breakdown 5 hours after eating, compared with a meal rich in protein, fat, and carbs (3Trusted Source).

Alcohol may also stimulate overeating, which can lead to weight gain over time (4Trusted Source).

In observational studies, excessive alcohol consumption is associated with increased levels of body fat. However, this relationship does not appear in light to moderate drinkers (5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).

More evidence is needed to understand how alcohol affects body weight.

Alcohol intake may slow fat burning. While excessive drinking may increase your body fat percentage, light to moderate drinking does not show the same effects.
Alcohol’s effect on weight gain
Many people undertake intermittent fasting to lose weight.

Alcohol is calorie-dense, with just 1 gram proving 7 calories. Only 1 drink can contribute 100 or more calories to your daily intake (7Trusted Source).

That said, research is mixed on whether alcohol intake promotes weight gain (5Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).

In fact, several observational studies show that moderate drinking could reduce your risk of weight gain (5Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source).

However, heavy drinking — defined as 4 or more drinks per day for men and 3 or more per day for women — is linked to an increased risk of weight gain and obesity (5Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).

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