It's no big surprise that most of you will be drinking over the Fourth of July weekend... yes even with the changes in Supreme Court some of us... might not feel as free.... butttttt it's a three day weekend so #TREATYOSELF
That being said, how do you stay on track with alcohol?
By now, you should be familiar with Macros & Micros... but alcohol is technically the fourth macro.
HOW DOES ALCOHOL FIT IN THE PLAN?
I want to point out that every gram of alcohol has calories, just like protein, carbs, and fats. (7 calories per gram of alcohol to be exact.)
· Protein = 4 calories per gram · Carbohydrate = 4 calories per gram · Fat = 9 calories per gram · Alcohol = 7 calories per gram
For instance, let’s say you are following a set of calories and macros...
How do you fit the calories from your adult beverages into your plan? How do you track alcohol for carbs and fats?
Well, knowing that the most important factor in whether you're losing or gaining weight, is overall calories ... you'll need to make sure the calories from your drinks do not cause you to exceed your calorie goal.
In addition to calories, daily protein intake is extremely important when it comes to getting the results we want while looking and feeling our best. (if you don't know what your protein intake should be... double-check the app and if you haven't downloaded it already use this link here)
See, when we consume optimal amounts of protein on a consistent basis, we are helping with recovery and maintaining/building lean muscle.
This can lead to a better overall metabolism and long-term results.
So again, when thinking about tracking both calories and protein, we need to make sure alcohol does not cause us to exceed our calorie goal, while making sure we're still able to consume the right amount of protein every day.
To do this, we must add up the total calories in the drinks we consume, and subtract that from our total calories for the day.
Assuming you hit your protein goal, those alcohol calories have to come from the remaining available calories in your nutrition plan.
But where? Should they come from carbs? Fats? Or both?
Actually, in many ways, that can be up to you!
Based on your goals, your nutrition plan, and your lifestyle ... you'll be the best judge of what works best for you. That said, the simplest way to figure out how many of either of those calories will subtract, is by following the equation below.
Tracking Alcohol as Carbs:
Total Alcohol Calories ÷ 4 (since there are 4 calories per gram of carb)
Tracking Alcohol as Fats:
Total Alcohol Calories ÷ 9 (since there is 9 calories per gram of fat)
Tracking Alcohol as Both:
Take a designated percentage (ex: 50%) of Total Alcohol Calories ÷ 4, then remaining calories divided by 9.
PRO-TIP PRE-TRACK YOUR ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES THE NIGHT BEFORE SO YOU CAN FILL IN THE GAPS WHERE NEEDED...
ANOTHER PRO-TIP imagine it's like any other day, have your meals and snacks ready so you are properly fueling yourself through the day
DOWNFALLS OF DRINKING AND TRACKING
There are 2 common issues that I see when people are trying to incorporate drinks into their plan.
1. Drinking more than they planned. If you have room for 3 beers, you have to use discipline, and only drink 3 beers. If you don't manage it, you may consume more calories than you anticipated and slow down your overall progress.
2. Eating … because most of us aren't exactly craving carrot sticks when we're having more than 1 or 2 drinks with dinner.
So, if we're out with friends, at a social event, or celebrating a holiday ... the temptation of food can be overwhelming, especially when we've had a couple drinks.
But this is one reason why we need to plan ahead, and/or have the willpower to say no to fast food or junk food!
Always have fun, but always be safe... and hold yourself accountable. Stick to your plan the best you can...and if you fall off... well, get back to normal the following day... NO EXCUSES!
But I also want to note, you can STILL have fun without drinking! I promise you! It might be weird at first, but remember your goals. Remember your why, and remember I am here for YOU!
Oh yeah, and please remember to drink responsibly, and get a DD...
Have a great weekend & stay hydrated my friends.