Going on a diet is not something that many people want to do—instead people force themselves to count calories and cut sweets. Every year many people put a diet on their New Year’s resolutions list, but I would guess that a large majority never follow through with it. Something that most people don’t realize is that just because you are on a diet, it does not mean you cannot continue to enjoy yourself—it just takes some self-control. This means that beer drinkers do not have to give up their beloved nectar, nor do they need to turn to drinking light beer.
Light beers do indeed have fewer calories in them. However, serious beer drinkers do not want to sacrifice quality or flavor just to adhere to their calorie count. The key I have found to drinking beer while dieting is to find opportunities to treat myself. Instead of consuming beer on a consistent basis, I include one or two into my diet when I have available calories. This allows me to enjoy them even more, satisfy my desire for good beer and stay within the confines of my diet. The downside is that I have to be more selective on what to try and sometimes have to forgo trying certain beers—it is difficult to determine which beers to select and which to try later or not at all.
There is a formula on the internet that illustrates how to calculate the calories in beer. The formula is to multiply serving size (ounces) and alcohol content (ABV). You then divide that number by 60, and multiply the resulting number by 150. You can of course also do a search for the calories in your beer. In fact I am enjoying a Dogfish 120 at 540 calories as I type this. Now, the 120 is an extreme example of beer enjoyment. Most 12 ounce beers with an ABV of 5-6.5% are in the 150-200 calorie range—the higher the ABV or larger the bottle, the more calories in the beer.
I want my fellow beer lovers to know that just because you may choose to start a diet, it does not mean that you have to sacrifice your beer. You can still drink your favorites or discover something new. You just have to pick the moments to treat yourself to something delicious. The resources are out there to help you; it just matters on what beers tickle your fancy.
Patrick Miller, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits Beer Consultant
Follow him on Twitter @abcbeerpatrickm