How to Drink Craft Beer and Still Lose Weight



Every year, millions of people across America make New Year’s resolutions and every year by about January 15 they say, “Eh, maybe next year.” For 2015, 13% of Americans who made a resolution vowed that this would be the year they lost some weight. This is super evident when visiting almost any food or drink related website, as most of the headlines have to do with cleanses or sober January’s. But guess what? You don’t have to ditch the beer and drink only green juice to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. In fact, being so extreme will likely backfire and you’ll find yourself face down in a box of Valentine’s Day chocolates come February. So here are a few relatively easy tips that can help you both lose weight and enjoy your craft beer (or wine or spirits) in 2015.

Ditch the caloric drinks (minus beer of course)

If you are a soda, latte or juice drinker, switch to water asap. The reality is that many standard beers (save your high ABV barley wines and imperial stouts) actually have less sugar, carbohydrates and calories than your average caloric drink. For example, a grande (16 oz.) Starbucks Vanilla Latte has 290 calories, 11 grams of fat and 37 grams of carbohydrate, 35 of which come from sugar. By comparison, a pint (also 16 oz.) of Sierra Nevada Torpedo has 190 calories, 0 grams of fat and 18 grams of carbohydrates. Instead of your morning latte, treat yourself to an evening Sierra Nevada and you’ll save 100 calories a day. That doesn’t sound like much but by making that one tiny and delicious change you’ll ring in 2016 weighing 10 pounds less.

Make Room for Craft Beer in Your Day

Instead of treating beer like a beverage you enjoy with dinner, pizza or late night snacks, make it an indulgence like having ice cream for dessert. There is nothing wrong with occasionally having a “fattening” treat just like there is nothing wrong with enjoying craft beer, but if you simply add it onto your average day you’re going to find your waistline expanding quicker than you would like. If you know you are going to be drinking in the evening, make small, healthier swaps with your food throughout the day. Go for a side salad instead of fries for lunch, skip the 3 pm snack of chips and opt for an apple instead and happily enjoy and savor your beer. It’s not about eliminating things from your diet, it’s about making manageable tweaks to make your lifestyle work for you. Which brings us to our next point…

Don’t Restrict or Adapt Crash Diets

Lose 10 lbs. in 3 days by eating only cabbage soup and washing it down with a master cleanse drink. Sounds simple and delicious, right? Probably not. Not only are crash diets ineffective in the long run, they make you way more likely to rebel against yourself when you’ve had a few drinks. On paper a diet where you eat 500 calories during the day and drink 800 at night sounds like a surefire recipe for weight loss but in the real world it’s a disaster waiting to happen. Depriving your body of nutrients and fuel will only make you more likely to overeat when you are a bit tipsy, bringing your daily calorie count way higher than it would have been if you had just eaten sensibly all day.

Don’t Weigh Yourself the Morning After Drinking

If you are one to weigh yourself daily this may be difficult, but weighing in the morning after drinking is a total roll of the dice. Sometimes you may be dehydrated and find the scale down a few pounds, inspiring a false sense of confidence and invincibility, and other times you’ll be hit with dreaded water weight. Either way it is not an accurate snapshot and should you choose to step on the scale you should take the reading with a grain of salt. While we are on that topic though, it helps to drink plenty of water in between drinks as well as the following morning to help your body release some of the fluid it retains from alcohol. Oh, and if you really want to get crazy do some exercise when you wake up and sweat it out.

Do Drink What You Really Like

Same way you shouldn’t deprive yourself of food, don’t deny yourself the beer you are really craving. Have you ever been on a diet and had a really bad craving for, let’s say an Oreo? You resist, pat yourself on the back for being so “strong” and then days later find yourself polishing off a box of crappy, half stale donuts? No, just me? Well, the lesson here is if you want to drink Avery Mephistopheles’ which clocks in at 485 calories and almost 17% ABV then go for it. Better to drink one of those and savor it then slam down lighter beers all night and go home bloated and unsatisfied. Obviously this shouldn’t be an every day occurrence but go for quality over quantity when you are trying to watch your weight. You’ll likely drink less and enjoy yourself more.

 Helpful Weight Loss Tools aka Treat Yo Self

Here are some items that I (Alicia) have personally used and really enjoy.

A Fitbit monitors your daily activity, calories burned and most importantly, sleep. Speaking of sleep it even has a feature that gently wakes you up in the morning at an optimal time. Sadly, the Fitbit doesn’t think the best wake up time is noon every day. Once you have an idea of what your calorie expenditure looks like it makes it a lot easier to eat and drink within your means.


Quest Bars are super delicious, filling and contain high protein and very little sugar (without subbing in aspartame). This means they will keep you full and satisfied longer. My personal favs are cookie dough and cookies and cream, but a variety pack allows you to try 12 different flavors.  If you do enjoy these, your best bet is to buy them online. 7-11 sells them for $3+ dollars each which seems like a giant rip off.

A Bluetooth scale. High tech, right? This scale will sync up with your smart phone and keep track of all your fitness app data (My Fitness Pal, Run Keeper, etc.) while also keeping a record of your weight and calorie consumption. It allows multiple users, so everyone in your house can connect their own devices.



Disclaimer: These images lead to Amazon affiliate links which means we make a little money if you buy anything. But hey, this website takes time to write and if this post helped you at all then return the favor. 

Written by A+K

January 7th, 2015 at 10:24 pm

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