With summer right around the corner, many of us are starting to get dialed into our diets to ensure that we look our very best. If anyone has told you that they followed a diet and never gave in to some form of temptation, they are probably lying. While staying away from the junk food can be a challenge for most of us, I believe we all struggle with participating in social events that may or may not influence us to drink our calories as opposed to eating them. Compared to the other macronutrients such as protein, carbohydrates & fat, alcohol is tracked at 7 calories per gram. You’re probably wondering who actually tracks their alcohol intake? Not many to be completely honest due to losing track of how many drinks you can consume. While it may be tough to keep tracks of all of your drinks, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible and can’t be done. If you have a structured plan in place, a night out having drinks with your friends won’t sabattage your progress as much as most think.
Similar to my previous article on “How To Enjoy A Cheat Meal Without Risking A Progress Setback?“, same rules apply when it comes to alcohol. While the determining factor of weight loss in calories in versus calories out, you don’t want to get completely hammered. If you want to consume alcoholic beverages with the goal of being drunk, you probably will have the negative effects of alcohol as far as body composition goes. Being that alcohol is extremely calorie dense, the only way to ensure your progress isn’t affected too much you want to consumed the majority of your calories for the day from protein, carbohydrates & fat. That way you still giving your body the nutrition it needs and reserving some calories for the night time. So how does one go about planning a night out of drinks with their friends? To keep things simple you want to stay away from drinks that are almost impossible to track such as fruity mix cocktails that contain juice, soda and several different amount of liquors. This will just complicate things and will influence you to give in and just drink the night away. This is what you want to avoid! Instead look into options that are easy & simple to track such as a beer, glass of wine or even a shot of your favorite choice of liquor.
If anyone is familiar with the popular app “MyFitnessPal”, you know that you can find anything & everything by using the search field. If it exist, 9 out of 10 times you should be able to track it using this app. The simplest way to track your alcohol is by tracking them as carbohydrates, fat or even both because you already should be following macros if you’re following a diet. Even though alcohol is considered its own macronutrient, MyFitnessPal won’t break down how many grams of alcohol you’ve consumed so instead we will use our carb and fat intake to track. 1 gram of carbohydrate equals 4 calories and 1 gram of fat equals 9 calories. This will make more sense in the calculation examples below. Let’s say you are planning a night out and you have decided that you will have one Michelob Ultra at 95 calories per 12 oz bottle.
If we were to track this as a carbohydrate we would do that as such:
95 calories / 4 Calories = 23.75g of Carbs
If we wanted to track this beer as fat we would do this:
95 calories / 9 Calories = 10.5g of Fat
If we wanted to track using both carbohydrates and fat we would do this:
47 calories / 4 Calories = 11.75g of Carbs
48 calories / 9 Calories = 5.3g of Fat
Even though this is a great strategy to stay on track while enjoying the social scene, it’s always best to limit your alcohol consumption as much as you can while dieting. I’ve always stressed the importance of eating your calories versus drinking them and utilizing this method will allow you to plan ahead to prevent ruining the progress you’ve made thus far. Simply follow the steps below to create a food, enter in your calories/carbs/fat and add to your daily diary to ensure the correct amount of calories and carbs/fat are deducted from your total caloric intake.