How to Choose Your Martini Wisely
Let’s be honest, we’re all human and most of us like to enjoy a drink or two here and there.
When working with my clients (both in gym & online), I explain that the less alcohol they have, the better success they’ll have. But at the same time, I’m not stupid, and I know they’re going to enjoy themselves at times (which they should)!
So, instead of completely banning alcoholic beverages from their food list and shaming them, I instead try to teach ways to make better choices and find the “lesser evil” drinks (as I like to call them). I’d much rather know they’re choosing the better options available than have someone lie to me and be drinking the worst ones out there completely ruining all of the work they just put in that week with me.
When trying to decide on a cocktail, you MUST look at the ingredients.
Here are just a few key ingredients to make sure you stay away from:
- Juices (orange juice, pineapple juice, cranberry juice, etc.)
- Regular Soda (not diet)
- Regular Margarita Mix/Strawberry Daiquiri Mix/Pina Colada Mix
- Triple Sec
- Coconut Milk (if there’s a decent amount)
- Tonic (for example: Gin & Tonic)
- Anything with ice cream added to it (duh)
Alcohol is not a macro (carb, fat or protein), but it is a type of calorie (that’s where the phrase “empty calories” comes from). Liquor is all pretty similar in terms of how many calories it has (vodka, rum, tequila, etc). In every 1 oz shot, there’s about 70 alcohol calories.
If someone wanted to count an alcoholic drink into their macros, I usually suggest taking from their carbs. For example, lets say someone has a diet pop with 1 oz of vodka in it. That drink has roughly 70 calories total, which divided by 4 (1g of carb = 4 calories) is 17.5. So that person would then need to eat about 18 less carbs than they normally would in a day to technically fit it into their macros.
Obviously, that means that person must then sacrifice food with nutritional value for a drink with empty calories which is not most optimal, but that’s how you’d do it if you wanted to keep track and not completely blow it.
Now, let’s discuss those “lesser evil” options and what I meant by that.
Basically, the less ingredients the better. Look for the simple drinks, not the fun frozen ones with the cute umbrella (sorry!). My go-to when I see a list of sugary drinks on a menu is vanilla vodka + diet coke/pepsi (anything diet). Though diet pop has no nutritional value, it also has zero calories which is a lot better than that fruity cocktail full of loads of sugar coming from “real fruit” (sugar is sugar, “good” or “bad” kind, both digest too quickly and are stored as fat).
Beer & Wine:
Beer and wine have both alcohol calories AND carbs in them.
A 12 oz Bud Light as 110 calories (with about 24 of those calories coming from 6 carbs, the rest alcohol). A 4 oz glass of red wine (not the sugary moscatos) has about 90 calories (about 3-4 carbs).
I still consider both of these to be lesser evils because the carbs are so minimal and I can count them towards my allotted macros.
Now that you understand the basics, let’s take a look into some of the highest alcoholic beverages out there: (keep in mind the small serving sizes and how quickly they go down)
Obviously there’s a lot more drinks, both good and bad, not discussed in here. There’s also multiple different variations of some of the drinks mentioned above that could have completely different calories & carb counts when compared to one another. There’s an infinite amount of possibilities and combos, but the point I want you to take from this is to pay attention to the ingredients. If there’s something listed that you’re not sure of, look it up (we have smart phones for a reason). By abiding by these basic guidelines you can still go out and enjoy yourself without feeling so guilty about it or demolishing your diet.
Have a drink for me tonight, I’m saving up for all the wine in Italy in 2 weeks.