Hey guys! So today I wanted to talk about alcohol and how it plays a role in my diet. I get a lot of questions around this and I’ve never fully addressed it in a blog so I thought it was important to dive into it!
In general you guys know me–everything in balance and moderation. That being said, I don’t eliminate alcohol from my diet but it is something that I am conscious of for a few reasons.
The biggest reason I am conscious of how much I consume is because of how it makes me feel. Honestly, I don’t like the feeling of being drunk. It’s not fun for me. In general I have never been someone who can drink a lot. Meaning, I can’t hold my liquor even if I wanted to drink that much. I’ve never been the friend who can have like 7 drinks and feel fine the next day. For me, I’d be throwing up the entire night and feel like death the next day. This is more so referring to me when I was in college and I would drink more often but the same goes for now. For example, last night I had 3 glasses of wine (over a period of 5-6 hours) and I woke up feeling not great today. Definitely not hungover, but I had a headache and definitely didn’t have the same amount of energy as I usually do. I really hate feeling this way waking up. It doesn’t start my day off on the right foot–I sleep later but still feel sluggish, and I feel like my whole day is thrown off. This may sound kind of dramatic, but I don’t like waking up and not feeling energized and productive. Drinking several drinks in one night doesn’t happen super frequently and this is one of the reasons why–even though it may not seem like a lot of alcohol my body just doesn’t handle it well.
That is the main reason that I watch my alcohol consumption but the other reason is from a training perspective. While I workout and follow macros/eat right to make me feel better and for my overall health, I also do it because of the physical benefits (there is nothing wrong with wanting to look good and have physical goals!) That being said, drinking alcohol will slow down your physical progress (keep reading to see how to include it in your macros to help combat this). This isn’t me saying that you need to cut out alcohol to see progress, this is me saying that it is something that will slow your progress to a certain extent DEPENDING on how much you’re drinking. You also have to decide on what your physical goals are–if you have a specific goal that you’re trying to reach within a specific time then cutting out alcohol or drinking it sparingly is something you may want to consider. However, if you’re aiming to live more of an overall healthy and balanced lifestyle, then being more lenient with your alcohol consumption is okay. For example, I’ve found that if I limit to my consumption to ~3 drinks a week, I don’t feel like my physical results are being impacted too much yet I’m still able to enjoy a glass of wine a few times though the week. There have been times that I am really regimented with this, and other times where I’m not (ahem, last night lol). It really just depends on my current goals at the time.
The other important thing to remember is that your goals and lifestyle can change and that’s okay. Like I said, sometimes I am more strict with myself and other times I am more lenient. It just depends on what my goals are and what is going on in my life at the time. Overall though, I believe that you should strive for balance–however that looks for you. If you don’t like drinking or don’t drink for whatever reason(s) that is FINE. That is kind of a pet peeve of mine in general–so many social occasions revolve around drinking and even though I do drink, I usually am not drinking as much as people around me. If you choose not to drink or drink less than others, DO NOT feel bad about that or pressured into doing it. YOU DO YOU!
Okay, so let’s talk about incorporating alcohol into macros. I personally do not usually include my alcohol into my macros. I would rather get my calories from actual nutrition and I haven’t had any specific goals recently where I feel the need to calculate my alcohol into my macros. But let’s talk about how to do it because I understand that there is a time and place for it. So alcohol is one of the four macronutrients–protein, carbs and fats being the other three. In general, there are 4 calories per gram with carbs and protein, and 9 calories per gram with fat. With alcohol, there are 7 calories per gram. Since alcohol is usually not calculated into your allotted macros (protein, carbs and fats), if you want to include alcohol in your macros you will take it out of your allotted carbs or fats. In order to do this the math is pretty simple. If you want to take alcohol out of your allotted carbs, you divide the number of calories in your drink(s) by 4 to get the grams of carbs. If you want to take alcohol out of your allotted fat, you divide the number of calories by 9. For example, if you have a glass of wine that is 120 calories, that would count for 30 grams of carbs (120 divided by 4), OR ~13 grams of fat (120 divided by 9).
So lastly, what do I usually drink? While I like craft beer, I rarely drink it. I may have one beer if we’re somewhere that has really good beer, but I typically opt for wine–it’s a much lighter option than beer. If I order a cocktail, I look for ones that don’t have added sugar or sweeteners. I also never drink mixed drinks–meaning liquor mixed with soda or redbull. For me, I genuinely like the taste of a craft beer, a glass of wine, or a nice cocktail. It’s not enjoyable for me to drink to get drunk so I never order anything just for the sake of that–it’s because I genuinely like the taste of whatever I’m drinking.
Hopefully this post helps answer any questions on this topic! Any other questions leave them below and I’m happy to answer! xxC