Drinking Beer On A Diet

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!” So how can a lazy IT guy drink beer on a diet?

From what I’ve seen the average 12 oz craft beer runs around 250 calories which is 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.

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 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, and then I come home to play video games and enjoy a beer. It’ll be a struggle for me to work out in the first place, let alone to work 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.


Instead of drinking beer drink hard liquor. I was once a big time whiskey drinker, especially of the Canadian variety a.k.a. Crown Royal. Crown is about 96 calories per shot, and I initially 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 sold on it.


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 offer our readers with my thoughts on said amazing tastiness. And still enjoy getting buzzed! My plan is to 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).

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 losing a pound a week! Heck, I may not even need to work out… but best not start thinking that way. I will still, of course, take many “breaks” or opportunities to cheat such as an upcoming bachelor party, wedding, and, of course, the Cincinnati Beer Fest!

If you have any beer-related diet tips, tricks, or ideas, please share in the comments! Oh, and wish me luck!

7 thoughts on “Drinking Beer On A Diet”

  1. Pingback: I Swear, I Am NEVER DRINKING AGAIN
  2. Good to see this. Too many craft beer enthusiasts refuse to recognize that beer isn’t good for you. I run and, to reward myself, I typically allow myself beers on the days I do so. If I skip a running day, no beer for me that day. I’m a big fan of incentives to model behavior, so it works pretty well for me. I’m going to get stricter about it after January 1, though.


  3. I just recently went on a low calorie diet. It’s been tough to say goodbye to all the craft beers. I too work in IT and we align 100% on the workout/exercise points.

    However, as you said, I switched to Crown and diet, and lost about 9lb already.

    Yes, I miss the beer – but I’m also too fat.

    Thanks for the article!


  4. I’m going to take a guess and say your main issue is that you are eating too many calories also. I lost around 50 lbs right around the same time I started brewing beer and therefore drinking way more. The way I did it was to first figure out how many calories I should be eating for my desired weight loss (I used myfitnesspal.com). Then I logged every calorie I ate (again using myfitnesspal) and I didn’t go over your limit the vast majority the time. I don’t track calories anymore, but I keep a rough estimate in my mind. Worked for me and I’ve been able to keep it off about a year now. Good luck!


  5. Pingback: The End Of The Cincinnati Beer Fest | The Road to the Future

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