Yes! Following a fat loss (or muscle gaining) programme does not mean you have to say goodbye to your social life. Far from it! By using flexible dieting you can include alcohol within your diet and still keep to your set macro plan.
If you want to know more about flexible dieting you can read another article I wrote which explains what I mean by this term. In a nutshell, flexible dieting helps you to enjoy the foods (and drinks) you love whilst also staying on track with your calories. I follow the 80/20 rule – 80% of the time I eat/drink nutritionally high value foods and 20% of the time I have what I might call treats (and also alcohol).
If you fit the things you love into your life you will stay motivated and on track.
So how do I track alcohol?
Alcohol is actually the 4th macro (protein, carbohydrates and protein being the other three). There are 7 calories per 1 gram of alcohol.
Alcohol has energy but no nutritional value. It is why it is often called consuming empty calories!
How do I fit alcohol into my macro count?
You can count the glass of alcohol as either fat, carbs or both. Let me explain.
If you want to take your alcohol calories from carbohydrates you divide the calorie count by 4. If you want to take your alcohol calories from fat you divide the calorie count by 9.
E.g. A 175ml glass of red wine has 125 calories. If I choose to fit this into my carb count I will divide 125/4. This equals 31g carbs. I then simply use the ‘quick add’ function on MyFitnessPal app to include that into my macro count for the day.
If I wanted to take it from my fat count, I would divide 125/9 and this would equal 13.8 (14)g.
Following this method will keep you on the right energy balance. You will miss out on the nutrients but this is fine if you stick to the 80/20 rule mentioned above.
If you enjoy a drink you can fit it in. Plan ahead and you don’t need to sacrifice your social life.