How to Calculate Macros for Alcohol
First of all, remember when your body senses alcohol it stops burning fat and focuses all its attention on getting rid of that alcohol. But if you are going to indulge, here’s how to track alcohol in your macros.
If you don’t know what a macro is, macro is short for Macronutrients. Macronutrients are your proteins, fats, and carbs that you consume from the food you eat. When you count your macros, you have a set amount of proteins, carbs, and fats you are trying to reach every day. I teach clients this in my FASTer Way program and it helps women lose weight, increase their hormones, and get that transformation they really want to see.
But you’re here to read about how to track your macros when you drink that glass of wine or take a shot of tequila. So here you go!
Alcohol is tracked as a carb, a fat or a combination of both. To calculate those macronutrients for alcohol, we need to know how many calories it contains. So, look at the label or search on google and find out how many calories that drink has. Then you’re going to have to do some math.
Wait…what? Why can’t you just look at the label for the macros like you do with all your other food macro tracking?
Because alcohol is regulated by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and not the FDA. The FDA is the federal agency that requires nutritional labeling. But, the TTB does not require nutrition facts on alcoholic beverages. It’s left completely up to the company, which is why usually it’s only light beers or light calorie alcoholic drinks that want to brag about their nutritional facts. This is why you have to do the math.
Here’s the math formula to calculate alcohol macros.
To count your alcohol as a carbohydrate:
Take the total number of calories in a drink and divide it by 4
Example: 5 ounces of Pinot Noir = 120 calories 120 calories/4 = 30g Carbs
To count your alcohol as a fat:
Take the total number of calories in a drink and divide it by 9
Example: 5 ounces of Pinot Noir = 120 calories 120 calories/9 = 13g Fat
Or you can count your alcohol as BOTH a carbohydrate and a fat by using a combination:
Maybe you want to split things up to make room for other macros you’re consuming. So, figure out both the carbs and the fats, using the formula above and then just take a portion of each and plug those into your macros. An example (using the above Pinot Noir calculations) would be:
Example: 5 ounces of Pinot Noir = 15g carbs and about 7g fat
So, do you have to use the formula?
If you want to accurately track alcohol in your macros and account for all of the calories in the alcohol, then the answer is yes.
Also, remember, if you are drinking a mixed cocktail with additional ingredients like juices or sodas, you’re going to need to track those too!
Don’t want to figure out the math?
I got you covered. Here’s a handy alcohol macro chart. Save the image and keep it on your phone for reference.
Cheers and happy macro counting!