Can You Still Lose Fat While Drinking Alcohol?

Nutrition Advice from Our Virginia Beach Gym

Jacelyn McCune, Nutrition Coach
iNLeT Fitness

It’s almost summer so I get this question a lot at the gym. Alcohol is its own macronutrient (the others are protein, fats and carbohydrates) and an “empty” calorie which leaves you little nutritional value.

There are 7 calories per gram of ethanol, and when its present in the body, lipolysis – our fat burning process is inhibited while the body metabolizes the alcohol.

You CAN still lose fat with alcohol in your diet BUT understand that it needs to be tracked and accounted for when counting your calories so that you can stay within your allotted daily macronutrient goals.

How do you track alcohol? You take the calories from either fat (9 calories per gram) or carbohydrates (4 calories per gram) to fit into your daily macros.

Personally, I recommend counting alcohol as a carb (value if 4 grams). So first, look up the alcohol you are drinking via the internet or a tracking app like MyFitnessPal and then divide it by 4.

For example: 1 standard shot of vodka is 97 calories

97 divided by 4 = 24.25So your “low calorie” vodka soda is going be worth approximately 25g carbs and 100 calories.

Another example would be a White Claw, which the nutritional information reads as being 100 calories and just 2 grams of carbs.

Really, it’s: 100 divided by 4 = 25g carbs and 100 calories.

As an aside, most tracking apps do not have these loaded correctly so in order to track correctly, you have to more than likely input the drink as a custom food.

There is a time and place for drinks but choose those events carefully. The key is to:

  1. PLAN AHEAD- decide ahead of time what you’re eating that day and make room for the drinks you will be having.
  2. STAY ACTIVE- get a good workout in at the gym that day so your metabolism is fired up.
  3. ENJOY YOURSELF! Don’t make alcohol the focal point of an evening out or an event.

If you have any questions about tracking alcohol or achieving your weight loss goals, contact me at [email protected]!

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