To drink or not to drink…well that may depend on your personal goals!

Choosing to include alcohol in your food plan is a choice, one you should weigh alongside the goals you have in mind. Using a healthy mindset and understanding the science behind how alcohol acts in your body will give you the information you need to make an informed choice. 

Alcohol has no nutritional value. But does contain a lot of calories. Not to mention what can come along with a few adult beverages …nachos, you know —can sound pretty good after a cocktail. Your body will choose to burn alcohol before it will burn the fat stored on your body. So, if you have a fat loss goal, you might consider limiting alcohol until you reach your body composition goals. 

But if you are comfortable with your progress or are in a maintenance phase, then you have a little more wiggle room in your macros to incorporate alcoholic beverages if you wish. It’s all about finding a balance you are comfortable with! 

It’s important to know how to track the macros for alcohol. We’ll need to do a little math

1 gram of carbohydrate = 4 calories

1 gram of protein = 4 calories

1 gram of fat = 9 calories

1 gram of pure alcohol = 7 calories

You’ll want to calculate alcohol as a FAT or a CARB, or both. 

Track as carb: Total calories and divide by 4.

Track as fat: Total calories and divide by 9.

Or split between the two.

PRO TIP: Search for macros for alcohol in My Fitness Pal. Example: Fat Macros for Vodka. Or Carb Macros for White Wine. Just be sure to calculate the correct amount you consume. 

If you feel you have enough macros in your “budget” and 

you are ok with your progress towards your goals. You’ll want to be smart how you use your macro budget. 

1. Be clear about your budget. Pre-log your meals and drinks. Deciding ahead of time what you’ll do is a gift you can give to yourself. Plus, after one glass of wine, tipsy you may think differently! Deciding ahead of time gives you a plan you can stick to and feel good about.

2. Skip high-calorie mixers. The macros in alcohol alone can add up quickly! Adding in sugary mixers can really blow your macro budget in a hurry. Plus, all the added sugar can leave you feeling pretty bad the following day. Choose club soda with a squeeze of lime or lemon as a mixer with vodka. Clean flavored sparkling waters like LaCroix and San Pellegrino are also a good choice.

3. Hydrate! Don’t forget to drink water. Alcohol is a diuretic, so if you don’t drink enough water when you consume alcohol, you can become dehydrated quickly. That headache you may get the following day might be alleviated if you consume enough water.

4. Keep your workout commitment! Moving your body and keeping your promises to yourself will allow you to feel strong and confident in your choices. You’ll be less likely to overdo it with alcohol if you are planning on getting up early the next morning to crush your workout! 

Adult beverages that won’t break the “Macro Bank.”

•    Vodka with soda and a squeeze of lemon or lime (natural fruit)

•    Tequila over ice with a squeeze of lime and a splash of lime LaCroix.

•    White wine spritzer, white wine with your favorite LaCroix flavor.

•    Champagne

It’s essential to keep your goals in mind as you find balance around alcohol in your food log. Knowing what you want and how to get there will keep you from feeling frustrated or deprived. If you need help figuring out how to reach your health goals, I’d love to help. It’s my passion to help women learn how to incorporate simple changes that will have them feeling their absolute best.



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