• christina

Tracking Alcohol In Your Macros

What kind of macronutrient is alcohol?

We know about the three main macronutrients fat, carbs, and protein, right? So, what exactly do we classify alcohol as? Alcohol is a fourth macronutrient, and contains 7 calories per gram, like the 4 calories per gram in carbs and protein, and the 9 calories per gram in fat. However, while alcohol does contain calories (or energy), it does not have any other nutritional value, like vitamins, minerals, or fiber. Therefore, it is important to remember to consume alcohol the way you would consume candy—in moderation.

Three possible ways to track alcohol

There are three possible ways to track alcohol in your macros: as carbs, as fat, or as a combination of both. My recommendation is to track as carbs. Fat and protein are essential macronutrients for a properly functioning body, whereas carbs, though imperative as an energy source, are a bit more arbitrary in comparison. Additionally, most people have more carbs to spare on a given day than fats. However, if you have a lot of fat allotted in your daily macros, you may opt to substitute alcohol for fat or as a combination of both.

How to do it:

  1. Track any mixers first before tracking pure alcohol calories. You may want to consider using calorie free mixers to keep overall calorie content as low as possible.

  2. Use the nutrition label for your drink to discern how many calories from alcohol (versus carbs, etc.) are in your beverage. Divide leftover alcohol calories by 4 to track as carbs or 9 to track as fat. To track as a combination of both, split the number of calories and divide by 4 for fat or 9 for fat.

  3. Examples:

  4. To track as carbs: If your beverage has 150 calories for alcohol, you would divide 150 by 4, giving you 38 grams of carbs (37.5 rounded up to 38). Subtract this from your daily carbohydrate allotment.

  5. To track as fat: Divide 150 by 9, equaling 17 (16.7 rounded up to 17). Subtract this from your daily fat allotment.

  6. To track as both: Let’s split evenly—75 calories of carbs and 75 calories of fat. Divide 75 by 4 to get 18.75 grams of carbs (round up to 19). Divide 75 by 9 to get 8.3 grams of fat. Subtract these numbers from your carb and fat allotments, respectively.


For those in the general population who are just interested in a sustainable way of eating to lose fat: consuming al