23. How to Calculate Alcohol
9/1/2011 6:03 PM
| COMMENTS (20)
EDITED: The formula has been edited just slightly because M_IN_MD2 showed me a flaw! The edits are in italics :D I only edited calculations that had fat or protein (Mikes Hard Reg.)
Alcohol. It can really be the bane of any Weight Watcher’s existence.
Every now and then, we’ll see someone on the boards saying “omg, I calculated out a shot of vodka, and it’s 0pp!!!!” or “have you guys tried the Smirnoff Ice Light? It’s only 1pp!!!!”
Every time I see this post on a board, I feel like the spoiler of the party when I chime in with “unfortunately, alcohol can’t be calculated by the nutrition information because alcohol is metabolized as sugar in the body. The points calculator doesn’t account for the basic science of alcohol consumption, and blah blah blah” and I sound like the teacher who told you that we had to cancel recess because of the Hurricane ;)
Unfortunately, it is true that alcohol can’t be calculated on the points calculator, but here IS a way to calculate the Points Plus values of your favorite alcoholic drink! Although it takes a little more math than the typical system, I have personally LOVED having the ability to figure out those pesky drinks that just aren’t in the tracker.
I originally found this formula on a WW message board. Believe it or not, the system is RELATIVELY simple.
- Take the total calories in the drink, the total carbs in the drink, the total fat in the drink (usually 0), and the total protein in the drink (usually 0).
- Multiply the total carbs by 4 – this gives you calories from carbs
- Multiply the total fat by 9 - this gives you calories from fat
- Multiply the total protein by 4 - this gives you calories from protein
- Add all 3 numbers to get calories not from alcohol
- Subtract calories not from alcohol from the total calories – this leaves you with calories from alcohol
- Divide calories from alcohol by 7 – this gives you alcohol grams
- Add alcohol grams to the total fat in the drink (often 0)
- In the points calculator put alcohol grams + fat in the “fat” box, the carbs in the “carbs” box, and any other nutrition info in the other boxes (most alcoholic drinks will not have protein or fiber)
And that’s it! Now, I’ll calculate some of our favorite drinks to demonstrate how the system works!
Calculating Some Favorite Drinks
11.2oz bottle MGD64 – 2pp
- Calories: 64 - Carbs: 2.4g - Fat: 0g
- 2.4 x 4 = 9.6 (calories from carbs/not from alcohol)
- 64 – 9.6 = 54.4 (calories from alcohol)
- 54.4 / 7 = 7.8 (alcohol grams)
- 7.8 + 0 = 7.8 (alcohol grams + fat)
- Fat: 7.8 , Carbs: 2.4 , Fiber: 0 , Protein: 0 = 2pp
11.2oz bottle Mike’s Hard Lemonade – 7pp
- Calories: 220 - Carbs: 38g - Fat: 1g
- 38 x 4 = 152 (calories from carbs)
- 1 x 4 = 4 (calories from fat)
- 4 + 152 = 156 (calories not from alcohol)
- 220 – 156 = 64 (calories from alcohol)
- 64 / 7 = 9.1 (alcohol grams)
- 9.1 + 1 = 10.1 (alcohol grams + fat)
- Fat: 10.1 , Carbs: 38 , Fiber: 0 , Protein: 0 = 7pp
11.2oz bottle Mike’s Hard Lemonade Lite – 3pp
- Calories: 98 - Carbs: 6g - Fat: 0g
- 6 x 4 = 24 (calories fr
om carbs/not from alcohol)
- 98 – 24 = 74 (calories from carbs)
- 74 / 7 = 10.6 (alcohol grams)
- 10.6 + 0 = 10.6 (alcohol grams + fat)
- Fat: 10.6 , Carbs: 6 , Fiber: 0 , Protein: 0 = 3pp
Pint of Guiness – 6pp
- Calories: 168 - Carbs: 13g - Protein: 1g - Fat: 0g
- 13 x 4 = 52 (calories from carbs/not from alcohol)
- 168 – 52 = 116 (calories from alcohol)
- 116 / 7 = 16.6 (alcohol grams)
- 16.6 + 0 = 0 (alcohol grams + fat)
- Fat: 16.6 , Carbs: 13 , Fiber: 0 , Protein: 1 = 6pp
How to Deal With Mixed Drinks
Unfortunately, the system ISN’T fool proof. The only way to calculate a mixed drink is to separate it out into its components.
E.g. - if you have rum and pineapple you need to calculate the pp value of the rum, and then the pp value of the pineapple juice, and add them separately into the tracker. This is the only way I know how to do it. If someone else knows differently, tell me!
And, of course, the easiest way is to use calorie-free mixers ;)
So I hope this helps!! Let me know if it’s confusing, or if you have questions :D:D