||03-29-2012 09:26 PM
The recommendation is to avoid alcohol for at least the first 30 days. I think it's very important to be strict with yourself at first so that your body and mind get adjusted. It is possible to drink low-carb drinks and lose, but the alcohol can lower your inihibitions and make you more likely to eat off-plan. Week 1 is the time to be most strict -- not a good time for a drink!
As far as ketosis -- many people show ketones by day 4, but it's not unusual to not. And some people never do and lose just fine. It's reassuring to see, but if you're on-plan then you'll probably be in ketosis regardless of what the ketostix say. There are other signs of ketosis you can watch for (decreased appetite, sweat odor, urine odor).