HOW TO TRACK ALCOHOL PROPERLY IN YOUR MACROS
How to Track Alcohol
I know most people want to enjoy an adult beverage every now and then and this post will show you exactly how to track your favorite drink!
It’s important to note that I do NOT encourage drinking frequently for overall health. Alcohol is SO hard on our bodies and we all know that usually you don’t just have 1. Alcoholism runs in my family so I have very strong feelings about this particular topic, but we can save that for another day.
First you need to know that you cannot just search “Merlot” in your MyFitnessPal app and input it into your food diary. This is because the nutrition labels on alcohol/wine/beer is INCORRECT.
Ethanal/Alcohol is actually the 4th macronutrient (proteins, carbs and fats being the 3 you hear about), although it is in a league of it’s own. Ethanol is NOT considered essential for life (like proteins, carbs and fats are)- so the calories from it are not required to be put on the nutrition labels. This is misleading to people who don’t know any better when a beer says it’s only 90 calories, yet has only 4g carbs on the label. 4x4 (because carbohydrates have 4cals per gram)=16 calories, not 90. So where are those other calories coming from? It’s not protein, and it’s not fat- it’s the Ethanol. You have to account for the calories from the alcohol.
We know that protein and carbs have 4 calories per gram and fats have 9 calories per gram, well alcohol happens to fall right in the middle at 7 calories per gram. I know this all might sound confusing, but rest assured- it’s really not hard to figure out.
Since we know from research that alcohol is metabolized similarly to carbs and fats, you can choose which macronutrient you want to take it from. You only need to pay attention to the CALORIES (either by finding how many calories your beverage has via google/MyFitnessPal or looking at the label if it has one). Once you find the calories you simply divide by 4 if you want to take it from your carbs, or by 9 if you want to take it from your fats for the day.
Let’s break this down again…
HOW TO TRACK ALCOHOL:
1) Find the total calories for your drink.
2) Divide the calories by 4 if you want to subtract it from your carbs, or 9 if you want to take it from your fats.
For example: A 5 oz glass of Merlot has 118 calories. That would be 118/4=29.5g carbs OR 118/9=13g of fat. Just for one small glass!
So how do you input your drinks into MyFitnessPal?
You can input these as “quick adds” in MyFitnessPal like the pictures show below. This will allow you to input the carbs or fats for the drink (it automatically populates the calories).
OKAY NOW THE FUN PART! Since you know I love you guys, I figured I would calculate the macros for some of the most popular drinks so you don’t have to do the math :)
*These are just the macros for ONE 5oz glass. Keep that in mind. Most people don’t normally have just one.
1) 5oz Glass of Merlot: 118 calories- 29.5g Carbs OR 13g Fat (you only choose one!)
2) 5oz Glass of Moscato: 127 calories- 32g Carbs OR 14g Fat
3)5 oz Glass of Pinot Grigio: 122 calories: 31g Carbs OR 14g Fat
4) 5 oz Glass of Chardonnay: 123 calories: 31g Carbs OR 14g Fat
5) 5 oz Glass of Reisling: 29.5g: Carbs OR 13g Fat
1) 12 oz Bud Light: 110 calories- 27.5g Carbs OR 12.2g Fat
2) 12 oz Bud Light Lime:116 calories: 29g Carbs OR 13g Fat
3) 12 oz Michelob Ultra: 96 calories: 24g Carbs OR 11g Fat
4) 12 oz Blue Moon: 171 calories: 43g Carbs OR 19g Fat
5) 12 oz Corona: 148 calories: 37g Carbs OR 16g Fat
6) 12 oz Corona Light: 99 calories: 25g Carbs OR 11g Fat
7) 12 oz Sam Adams: 175 calories: 43g Carbs or 19g Fat
8) Bud Light Lime A Rita: 200 calories: 50g carbs or 22g fat
9) Mike’s hard lemonade 220 calories: 55g carbs or 24g fat
10) Angry Orchard: 12 oz: 190 calories: 48g carbs or 21g fat
1) Vodka shot (80 proof) 1.5 oz: 97 calories: 24g Carbs or 11g Fat
2) Tequila Shot 1.5oz: 64 calories: 16g Carbs or 7g Fat
3) Rum Shot 1.5oz: 97 calories: 24g Carbs or 11g Fat
4) Gin Shot (90 proof) 1.5oz: 110 calories: 28g Carbs or 12g Fat
5) Whiskey (86 proof) 1.5 oz: 105 calories: 26g Carbs or 12g Fat
6) Fireball 1.5oz: 108 calories: 27g Carbs or 12g Fat
** Keep in mind that for a lower calorie option, you’ll want to stick with wine, a light beer or a shot. The mixers (unless you use a diet soda or water) are what really rack up the calories!
*These are estimates. It depends on what exact ingredients/mixes are used as well as size of drink.
1) Sangria (with fruit juice): 8oz- 260 cals: 65g Carbs or 29g Fat
2) Bloody Mary (this is very dependent on what all you put in it): 180 calories: 45g Carbs or 20g Fat
3) Strawberry Daiquiri: 220 calories: 55g Carbs or 24g Fat
4) Pina Colada: 650 calories (if made with pineapple juice, cream of coconut and rum) 162g carbs or 72g Fat (OUCH!!!! LOL). If you use crushed pineapple, fat free cream, sugar free syrup and splenda it would be a LOT less calories.
5) Mojito: 242 calories: 60 carbs or 27g Fat
6) Margarita (this is REALLY dependent on how big the Margarita is and what additives are put in it, as well as a sugar/salt rim!): an 8oz super simple Margarita could contain 156 calories, where as a large one with all the fixin’s could be up to 850 calories! 8oz of a “skinnier” Margarita- 39g carbs or 17.3g fat.
A margarita with 850 calories would be 212g carbs and 94g fat!
SOME THINGS TO NOTE:
It is REALLY hard to get exact calories on the mixed drinks because of all the variables involved. If you are out and about and aren’t sure how to estimate it, just be smart about it. If you’re having a MASSIVE Margarita from Chili’s (where the glasses are HUGE) you know it’s unrealistic to think it would be 156 calories LOL. Most of them have the calorie count there anyway so you could just divide by 4 for carbs or by 9 to take it out of your fats.
Estimate when you have to, but but realistic! You can always google search 6 oz Margarita, or 1.5oz shot of Rum. Remember IGNORE what it says about the carbs! It’s not accurate. You are only wanting the calories and then do the rest of the math yourself :)
I hope this was helpful!! Remember everything in moderation. If you are in a phase where fat loss is the goal and you’re drinking several times per week, that is definitely affecting your progress. If you have one every now and then- you’re much better off :)