Friday, 20 April 2012

The Case for Beer: And How I Lost 55 Pounds While Drinking Beer More Often

A friend passed along this excellent infographic, which led me to write my long-pondered thoughts on beer, health, and weight which follow after "the Case of for Beer."

Beer Infographic
Source: FrugalDad.com

Myself, I have consumed beer far more regularly in the last 16 months than in the previous years of my life.  Yes, I used to drink far more at a time, far more often, but since February 2011 I have both gone from around 250 rated beers to 492 while also losing around 55 pounds.

How?

Well, not only do I rarely drink to excess (though when I do I still attempt to stay within my daily caloric allowance), but I typically have one beer most evenings and only when it won't push me over my daily calorie and carbohydrate allowances (which are determined by my goals and sparkpeople.com).

Moreover, consider the following:

A typical pale ale has (12 oz bottle): 150 Calories, 14 grams carbohydrates (and nothing else, though stouts, porters, and browns often have 1-3 grams of protein also)

Average orange juice (12 oz): 164 calories, 1 gram fat, 37.5 grams carbohydrates, 33 grams sugar.

I am not going to say that beer is healthier than orange juice, but it is easier to drink - in moderation - while watching your weight, provided that you get your fruit and vegetable intake from whole foods.

Finally, exercise (both cardio and strength) and exercise harder after one of those rare excessive drinking nights.  Oddly enough, I have discovered that strenuous exercise is the best cure for a hangover (provided you properly hydrate while so so doing) and also allows me to lose weight and build muscle even during weeks of extremes (such as the holidays).

Beer, like all carbs, need not be cut from your diet if seeking to control your weight, but for me (as for many), keeping track of your consumption allows these pleasures in quantities that are conducive to a healthy enjoyment of life's finer pleasures!

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