When we think of health, vitality, and living a long life, it’s important to think about what we put into our bodies.
Nutrients help break down food to give organisms energy. It’s important to make good healthy choices that are calorie efficient, so you don’t sabotage your hard work and results.
Like all things, it’s a balancing act. You can still enjoy your favourite alcoholic beverage without severely affecting your results.
Keep reading to find out more about macros, drinking smarter, and how to save additional macros for the weekend.Alcohol and Calories
Different alcoholic beverages contain different amounts of calories and vary in sugar levels. It’s important to note that calories from alcohol are ‘empty calories, meaning they have no nutritional value. So, let’s look at individual macro breakdowns:
- Protein - 1g protein contains 4 calories
- Carbohydrates - 1g carbohydrates contains 4 calories
- Fats - 1g fat contains 9 calories
- Alcohol - 1g alcohol contains 7 calories
Below we’ve included some examples of popular alcoholic drinks to show the difference in calories:
Source: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/health-fitness/advice/a34763/calories-in-every-kind-of-alcohol/Drinking Smarter
As you can see from the above infographics, there can be a huge difference in total calories between a drink like vodka to a cocktail like a margarita. When you’re going out for dinner or drinks with friends and you’re wanting to watch your calorie intake, it’s important to be informed of the number of calories in each drink to make better choices.
For example, if you consumed 2 Vodka Soda’s = 192 calories
2 Cosmopolitan Cocktails = 422 calories
Calorie difference: 230 additional calories
Another way to save calories when drinking is to switch to sugar-free drinks.
For example, a regular Coke and Vodka = 167 calories
Diet Coke and Vodka = 62 calories
Calorie difference: 105 calories
Saving Additional Macros For the Weekend
If you’re someone who enjoys an alcoholic beverage regularly on weekends, plan your week in advance. It can be easy to go overboard on a night out. To stay on track, calculate how many drinks you would like to consume and track through my fitness pal. When you’re sticking to a nutrition plan, every calorie counts, and those extra alcohol calories can add up quickly.
When we talk about saving additional macros for the weekend, here’s an example. If your daily calorie intake was 1800 calories per day. That equals 12,600 calories per week. Instead of consuming 1800 calories every day, you could try this:
- Monday to Friday - 1400 calories per day
- Saturday - 3000 calories
- Sunday - 2600 calories
When you allow yourself two higher calorie days per week to enjoy some alcoholic beverages and extra food, you’re more likely to stay on track in the long term.
Reducing The Hangover
We all want to avoid the dreaded hangover. We recommend spacing out your drinks throughout the night and consuming a glass of water between drinks to stay hydrated. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it causes your body to remove fluids from your blood when you urine. This can cause you to become dehydrated if you don’t drink enough water to replace this lost fluid.
Whenever you know you are going out for drinks, it is also important to have a well-balanced meal before you go out. A meal balanced with protein, carbs and fats is optimal. Sometimes it’s easy to snack on party foods or go through the drive-thru after a night out. Fatty and greasy foods can upset your gut further, which in return also makes your hangover worse.
After a night out, the best thing you can do for your body is to get outside moving in the sunshine and fresh air. It might be the last thing you feel like doing, but your body will sweat out toxins and you’ll thank yourself for it later.
A healthy lifestyle is all about balance. If you enjoy alcohol on the weekend, it’s always important to drink responsibly and be mindful of the options your choose. The key takeaway is you can enjoy a drink (or two) without hindering your health and fitness progress!