Drinking Alcohol & Hitting Your Macros
Keen for a few beers? Read this before you get lit & have a macro-tracking shocker, or if you're simply looking for a way to fit a few drinks into your daily calorie/ macro targets.
Everyone loves a beer or a glass of wine from time to time. That's entirely cool – there's no reason to feel guilty or for you to have to potentially sabotage your progress, however it's important to align your expectations accordingly.
Reality check - calories that come from alcohol aren't really going to assist your body in anyway, and by tracking them, you're more than likely going to realise just how calorie-dense most alcoholic drinks are...
That doesn't mean it shouldn't be a part of your life if you want it to be every so often.
It does mean though that you'd do well to understand the consequences of your decisions.
If you're going to track your alcohol intake then you are essentially taking away from calories that could be assisting you with satisfying your hunger, training & your weight loss efforts (if that's your thing), whereas choosing to have a big night out on the sauce (and not tracking at all) is likely going to mean you'll be consuming far too many calories for that day which will come with somewhat obvious consequences
Either way it's cool – so long as you align your expectations (it's your progress at the end of the day).
Unfortunately, simply entering a beer from MyFitnessPal straight into your diary won't account for any calories that come directly from the alcohol itself. It might track any carbs or fats in the drink you're consuming, but as alcohol isn't really a macronutrient tracked too frequently, there's a better way to go about things.
Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram, however if you wish to account for the calories you're drinking & fit a beer or glass of wine into your macros, simply apply either of the following:
- Use your fat macros – divide the total calories of the drink you're consuming (total calories, not just the calories from any carbs or fats in the drink) by 9 & simply use as grams of fat.
- Use your carb macros – divide the total calories of the drink you're consuming (total calories, not just the calories from any carbs or fats in the drink) by 4 & simply use as grams of carbs.
As an example, a 144 calorie beer could be calculated as either 36g of carbs (144/ 4) or 16g of fat (144 / 9).
As a general rule of thumb, or if you genuinely care about building/ maintaining muscle mass, protein should not be subbed for booze in these instances, however would be done so in a similar fashion to carbs as there are also 4 calories per gram of protein.
A lot of people tend to believe that flexible dieting is an excuse to eat junk food, or fit alcohol into your daily calorie/ macro allowance, whereas the reality is that it allows you to better understand the caloric consequences of the food choices you're making. To this day, I still don't write meal plans or restrict my clients from eating or drinking anything in particular, instead, opting to educate them on how to make better decisions and choices.
Knowledge is power - don't blindly follow a meal plan for the rest of your life only to fail a week later. Invest in yourself and build sustainable habits that support long-term physique building success.
If you're ready to step up your game and take ownership of what you're putting in your mouth, shoot me an enquiry. Exceptional coaching results or double your money back - it's a no brainer.
Feel free to share this with an alcoholic mate & enjoy.