It’s that time of year again! You’re either drinking in celebration or you are drinking to get away from your crazy in-laws. Either way, alcohol is usually a part of the holidays, but we don’t want weight gain to be as well.
So when you are thinking about what your go-to beverage will be over the holidays, keep this information in mind. When you are taking in alcohol, it is technically not a protein, carbohydrate, or a fat. It is simply calories. So, how do we account for them then to not ruin our progress??
If you are trying to track your carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in myfitnesspal or another calorie-counter, you need to account for alcohol as a carbohydrate or a fat (it cannot be a protein) -
Carbohydrates = 4 calories/gram
Fats = 9 calories/gram
So for example, if you are consuming 120 calories of wine, that would either equate to:
120/4 = 30 grams of Carbohydrates
120/9 = 13.5 grams of Fats
If you want to enjoy that wine or beer, just know you may need to skip the buffet for the second go-around. Now that we know how to track our intake, how do we know what the best options are for alcohol? Here is a little run-down of some of the worst and best options. I also included a couple of recipes for “healthier” version of our favorite drinks.
I would suggest either drinking it on the rocks, or adding some low-calorie or no-calorie mixers to it for your “healthiest” option; however, you want to always consider your sobriety as well. A squeeze of lemon or lime or a zero-calorie soda or seltzer water is going to be your best bet.
Here are a couple of my favorite homemade drinks that are spins on the old-school favorites, but without all the sugar/calories:
Diet Moscow Mule –
1.5 oz. Tito’s Vodka + Diet Goslings Ginger Beer + ½ lime squeezed + La Croix Peach/Pear Flavored Soda Water + Ice (Only 150 calories!! A typical Moscow Mule can run you 250-350 calories).
“Paleo” Margarita -
1.5 oz. clear Tequila + 1 lime squeezed + La Croix Lime Flavored Soda Water + Ice (Only 150 calories!)
Disclaimer: If performance or physique are your goal, alcohol should not be a large part of your diet, if at all. Alcohol stunts muscle growth, has shown to slow the metabolism of fat, and tends to lead to poor food choices. Drink responsibly.