If you’re on a diet, drinking beer might be on your list of indulgences to give up until you lose weight. But while alcohol — and especially carbohydrate-laden beer — is loaded with sugar and calories, you don’t have to give it up altogether if you want to see a change in weight and body tone. By switching up your beer, you can still manage to cut calories and carbs. And as long as you’re being careful with other parts of your eating routine and taking care to exercise frequently, you can have your beer and drink it too.
The most obvious beer substitution for dieters is to drink light beer. Traditionally, regular beers contain around 150 calories, but light beers are in the 100-110 calorie range. If you like Budweiser, switch to Bud Light, for example. Even light versions of heavier beers like bocks will make a difference. Just make sure that you’re not drinking higher quantities of light beer to make up the difference, otherwise you’ll maintain or even gain weight. If you absolutely hate light beer, or want to drink a variety of beers, give up your stouts and heady beers. Beers with less carbonation — the creamier, headier beers — have more calories and carbohydrates. Also, beers like hefeweizens and wheat beers that have been unfiltered usually contain more carbohydrates and will crash your diet. If you love the citrus or fruit-infused taste of hefeweizens, try squeezing a lemon or even dropping a few pieces of chopped apple into a pale ale or lager for the extra taste without all the yeastiness. Red flag words to look out for include honey, red, stout, bock (or double or triple bock!), IPA, porter, cream, and of course anything with adjectives like heavy, big, devil, intense, wicked or extra.
Drinking organic beer probably won’t make a big difference in caloric or carbohydrate intake, but you will be imbibing fresh ingredients without chemicals or preservatives. And if you’re really serious about your diet, cut the number of drinks you have as well as the type of beer you order. Replace chips and beer nuts with crunchy vegetables or a handful of whole wheat crackers, and remember to add an extra 10-20 minutes to your work out on the days you drink.
Did you enjoy this article?