First things first, beer is not healthy. No matter what Guinness wants to advertise about a “meal in a glass” or however few calories Budweiser can cram in a bottle of “beer”, the beverage we love so is not a healthy one. Beer is empty calories, regardless of how many times I proclaim that “they’re not empty, they’re full of joy!” From what I’ve seen the average 12 oz craft beer runs around 250 calories. Really not horrible compared to most of the stuff at McDonald’s but still not healthy, especially when water is 0 calories and a can of coke is 140. For comparison liquor usually runs about 100 calories per shot, depending on proof.
Where am I going with this? Well, it’s a new year and time for new resolutions. After successfully completing last year’s, and many year’s prior, resolution of quitting smoking I’m on to trying to lose some weight. So what is a lazy IT guy who loves a beer (or more) a night to do??
The way I see it I have a few very limited options:
Quit drinking, no way in hell that is happening. I love beer, I like the taste of it and the subtle changes brought to each style by each brewer. Plus getting buzzed ain’t too bad either
Drink “light” beer, also a no. In my experience light beer means fewer calories and less taste. Not necessarily a worse taste, just little to no taste. While I say this is a no I am going to spend some time this year drinking various light beers by different brewers. Both to satisfy my curiosity and let you know so you don’t have to suffer through the same, knowing is half the battle and all.
Working my ass off, instead of cutting beer out of my diet at all I’ll just work out that much more. Yeah… no. As mentioned before I’m an IT guy so I sit all day, then I come home and play video games and drink. It’ll be a struggle for me to work out in the first place, let alone working out extra to compensate for however much beer I drink. As a side note for those interested my workout plan is to use an elliptical a friend was kind enough to hook me up with and watch Netflix. I’ll work out for however long the episode is and repeat this 3 – 4 times a week.
Liquor, instead of drinking beer drink hard liquor. I used to be a big time whiskey drinker, especially of the Canadian variety a.k.a. Crown Royal. Crown is about 96 calories per shot and I originally poured ~2 shots into a glass of Coke, so that’s about 340 calories. A lot more than your average beer. Of course I wouldn’t knock those back nearly as fast as a beer, and I also wouldn’t enjoy them nearly as much as a beer. This idea is plausible and I may replace beer with liquor occasionally, but I’m still not really sold on it.
Moderation, this is the way I plan to go. As some old dude once said “all things in moderation.” This way I can still drink and enjoy the awesome amazing tastiness of the craft beer world. Still provide our readers with my thoughts on said amazing tastiness. And still enjoy getting buzzed! My plan is cut back from “1 beer a night + more on Fri & Sat” to “2 beers Sun – Thur + whatever on Fri or Sat”. Early guesstimates figure that this will save me a 6-pack or more a week, so $10 and over a day’s worth of calories (~2,400).
The whole diet + work out routine is separate from all of this. The way I drink and enjoy beer I decided I have to tackle it separately from the work out/general diet routine. If anyone is curious I plan to hit the elliptical and watch calories/fat/carbs as much as possible.
Per the internet you have to cut around 3000 calories to lose a pound. So cutting back a 6-pack a week will be close to lose a pound a week! Heck, I may not even need to work out… but best not start off thinking that way. I will still of course take numerous “breaks” or opportunities to cheat such as an upcoming bachelor party, wedding, and of course the Cincinnati Beer Fest!
For more diet info/motivation check out my friend’s blog Rage Your Way Thin
For beer calorie info I usually turn to Rate Beer I also plan to start including this info in future reviews when it’s available.
And I’ve been enjoying Skinny Taste for healthy recipes for some time now.
If you have any beer-related diet tips, tricks, or ideas please share in the comments! Oh, and wish me luck!