TARA FRAZIER FITNESS
GREAT QUESTION! Alcohol is one of the sneakiest ways to have your progress hindered. While alcohol is a fantastic treat, it does contain CALORIES, that have no filling volume, or useful nutrition (the term most recognized as "empty calories"). Alcohol is actually the 4th Macronutrient, but it is not tracked the same way as actual nutritional food sources. Since alcohol does indeed have calories, those calories do need to be tracked, or budgeted correctly into one's daily allocation, especially if the goal is fat loss and the calories are designed to be in a deficit.
In order to convert the calories of alcohol as either a carbohydrate or a fat macro, it will require a little math, AND a little planning to budget into your daily allotment correctly. To track alcohol as a carbohydrate, take the total calorie count in the alcoholic beverage of and divide by 4 (there are 4 calories in 1 gram of carbohydrate). This number will to give you the amount of carbohydrates to track, or DEDUCT from your daily intake. Example: one can Truly/White Claw has 100 calories. 100/4= 25. So that ONE drink, that harmless little drink that is advertised as having only 2g carbs (that is 2g carbs coming from residual sugars by the way) really tracks as 25 grams of carbohydrates. What else looks like 25g carbohydrates? Try 3 rice cakes, 2 pieces bread, a bowl of oatmeal, a large apple, the list goes on. To track the alcohol calories as fat, divide the total calories in the alcoholic beverage and divide by 9 (9 calories in one gram of fat). Example: 100 calorie Truly/White Claw beverage contains 100 calories. 100/9=11. 1 TRULY Beverage tracks as 11g FAT. You can also track the alcohol as a combination of BOTH, therefore this can would be tracked as 14g Carbs and 5g Fat. Of course, there is a time and place not to track. And of course, there is a time and place not to drink. I always suggest to use your best judgment, make sure you are prioritizing your health, wellness and nutrition first, then work in the fun cocktails on occasion!
You can download the WAG app to see an even easier way to calculate your cocktails and translate them accordingly.