Alcohol: Is it a Macro and How To Count It?

We know that making healthy choices includes making sacrifices for our nutrition, but it is ABSOLUTELY okay to indulge every once in a while. So many social interactions center around food and alcohol, and as social beings it’s just part of human nature to want to partake. Not to mention, deprivation is the key to driving your self crazy and ending up with a crazy binge on everything you haven’t let yourself have.

Macro Nutrients and Alcohol:

Technically alcohol is one of four macro nutrients. However, since we don’t give an allowed amount of macro nutrients for it, when we drink we have to track it as one of the other macros. We should choose to track alcohol as either carbohydrates or fat when we are logging in My Fitness Pal. You can track as either carbohydrates, fat, or both, depending on the amount of each macro nutrient you have remaining for the day.

1 gram Protein = 4 calories

1 gram Carbohydrates = 4 calories

1 gram Fat = 9 calories

1 gram pure Alcohol = 7 calories

Making the Alcohol Conversion

So, the calculation to make when determining macros for alcohol is: Total calories in alcoholic beverage / 4 (for carbohydrates) OR Total calories in alcoholic beverage / 9 (for fat).

Working Against Gravity has an awesome calculator that allows you to input what you’re drinking based on ABV and percentage alcohol OR by calorie total in the drink, and they will calculate both the fats and carbohydrates to input into your MFP log! Find it HERE.

So I Want To Drink, But What Should I Drink?

When choosing what alcoholic beverage to drink, there are definitely better and worse choices that you can make. Looking for a mixed drink? Avoid sugary, high carb add-ins like fruit mixes and sodas, and opt for soda water with a “splash” of a fruit juice or a lemon or lime on the side. The best option is to drink hard liquor neat or on the rocks  (if you can palate it!).

Still have questions? Ask your F5 Coach!

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