Consuming Alcohol While on a Diet
Drinking on a Diet... Do You?
People ask whether or not I drink while on my bikini competition prep diet. And to be perfectly candid, the answer is no. But it’s not wrong to drink on a diet and people do.
Whether you’re competing or just dieting down it is absolutely fine to have a couple drinks. I know some ladies who have built some rockin’, healthy bodies and they have a few on a weekly basis.
For me personally, it’s not really a big part of my life anymore. I would never demonize it - I loved going out in college and still do on occasion. But I would soo prefer to save those extra calories to put towards food when I'm dieting. And coffee. Lol I don’t care how low you bring my calories I can’t eliminate a good cup of coffee. When I finish up with my diet, I will probably go back to having a couple of drinks occasionally and I will simply track them in my macros.
Sidenote - If you have never tracked macros before and have no idea what I'm talking about click HERE. It's basically a diet that allows you to eat whatever foods you like (within reasonable amounts!) It's the bees knees and I would NEVER go back to any other dieting strategy myself.
Back to the explanation - So basically, it comes down to how you want to prioritize your macros. It’s a budget, and you can do with it what you want. If you want to have a couple drinks, go for it! Here’s how you track it:
How to Track Your Alcohol When You're Tracking Macros
Alcohol does not fit into your protein, carbs, or fats. It does contain calories but has no nutritional value. You can choose to track it as carbs or fats but I would recommend tracking it as carbs as your body needs a certain amount of protein and fat for normal, healthy bodily functions. Carbs are generally just made up of remaining available calories after you’ve determined your protein and fat intake targets.
So - if you want to track it as carbs, take your calorie total for the drink and divide it by 4. For every gram of carbs, your body gets 4 calories. If you choose to track the alcohol towards your fat target, you would instead divide by 9 because every gram of fat provides 9 calories. This will give you the total gram amount to put toward your chosen macro target.
Just be careful! As I'm sure you're already well aware, the impaired judgement can totally lead to post alcohol munchies. If you aren't careful, you could end up eating more than you intended to or, worse, throwing your entire diet out the window. A drink or two won't hurt, but if you're planning for more than that, you could end up consuming a lot more cals than just the alcohol.
That being said...
Don't Deprive Yourself
You heard me! If you're out with friends or your partner, you SHOULD feel like you can participate in the fun. Your diet should not get in the way of you living your life. I firmly believe that the trick to making your diet last and work for you is to diet in a way that creates the least restrictions.
Severe food and drink limitations are a recipe for a nasty rebound! So keep your consumption moderate, but allow yourself to have fun! Track it towards your daily macros and ENJOY!
If you're new to tracking macros and you're interested in a diet that allows you extreme flexibility in WHAT you eat while reaching your goals, we can get you started ASAP on an individualized flexible dieting plan HERE.