How to Track Alcohol


Betty White

First, read this article to see why drinking alcohol isn’t the best idea for fat loss.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way…

I understand that a big part of the reason people make the switch to flexible dieting is the sustainability factor.  The idea of being able to enjoy a favorite treat on occasion without it negatively impacting body composition is awesome and something that can be continued indefinitely.  NO one wants to eat chicken and broccoli at every meal.  On the flip side, flexible dieting isn’t about eating pizza and ice cream for every meal and making it fit your macros.  We want our insides to look just as good as our outsides.

Back when I was Miss Paleo USA, I lived by the 80/20 rule:  80% paleo, 20% potato chips tasty treats. The same holds true for flexible dieting; 80% of your food choices should come from quality whole food sources (vegetables, meat, seafood, poultry, fruit, healthy fat, etc) and the other 20% can be made up of whatever tasty treats tickle your fancy
(Look for a future blog post on why I’m a fan of tasty treats). For many, an occasional glass of wine is just what the doctor ordered after a hard day at the office.

You can count alcohol as either carb, fat, or 1/2 carb and 1/2 fat.  There’s some math involved so with no further ado:

Carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram
Fat contains 9 calories per gram

If you have a lot of room left in your carbohydrate macros (most likely on a training day), then you can count the alcohol as carbs.  Conversely, if you have a lot of room left over for fat macros then you can count the alcohol as fat.  If you have a bit of each left then go ahead and count it as half and half.

For example:
1 fl oz of Vodka or Tequila = 64 calories
Carb – 64/ 4 = 16
16 g of carbohydrate per 1 oz of vodka
Fat – 64/9 = 7.1
7 g of fat per 1 oz of vodka
Half & Half – 16/2 = 8 and 7/2 = 3.5
8 g of carbohydrate and 3.5 g of fat per 1 oz vodka

5 fl oz of White Wine = 120 calories
Carb – 120/4 = 30
30 g of carbohydrate in 1 glass of white wine
Fat – 120/9 = 13.3
13.3 g of fat in 1 glass of white wine
Half & Half – 30/2 and 13.3/2
15 g of carbohydrate and 6.7 g of fat in 1 glass of white wine

I’ll give you a couple of freebies:
5 fl oz of Red Wine = 125 calories
Carb = 31.3 g
Fat = 13.9 g
1/2 & 1/2 = 15.65 C & 6.95 F

1 fl oz of Whiskey = 70 calories
Carb = 17.5 g
Fat = 7.8 g
1/2 & 1/2 = 8.75 C & 3.9 F

1.5 fl oz of Cognac = 105 calories
Carb = 26.25 g
Fat = 11.67 g
1/2 & 1/2 = 13.13 C & 5.83 F

4 fl oz of Champagne = 90 calories
Carb = 22.5 g
Fat = 10 g
1/2 & 1/2 = 11.25 C & 5 g F

Here’s a calorie chart from Beer of Tomorrow for my craft beer loving friends:

As you can see, those macros add up quickly so be judicious when imbibing.  Cheers!!!

Was this helpful?  Post any questions in the comment section below, and I’ll be happy to help further 🙂