Friday, April 6, 2012

Beer: The Cause of, and Solution to, All of Life's Problems

I have a confession: I love beer.

I love it despite the fact that it's basically punching my healthy eating habits in the face. It's full of carbs. It's full of calories. In excess, it drop kicks your liver and does a queasy number on your stomach. One non-light pilsner of the delightful libation can rack up quickly, with 150+ calories and 8g+ carbs per 12 ounces. And since the light options are at times lacking and flavorless, what is a beer-lovin girl to do? I've compiled below some tips on how to enjoy beer without going overbeered- er, overboard.

The Beer Loving Girl's Guide to... well, Loving Beer

#1: Take everything in moderation (a theme you will see come up again and again on this blog). You know that saying "too much of a good thing" ? Let's apply it here. It's tough to drink just one (especially since that initial glass relaxes you and makes the idea of another that much more enticing). But I have started to set limits before I enter drinking situations, and be sure to tell Michael my goal limit as well. I not only am watching out for myself (because let's face it, your number one coach has to be yourself), but I find support in friends and family - which can be a key factor in keeping you away from more beer than is truly optimal.

#2: Discover "kinder" alternatives to the heavy beers (or have one heavy beer and a couple of these light ones).

  • Michelob Ultra (95 calories, 2.6g carbs, 3 WW Points+). Probably my favorite of the uber-light beers. A safe, refreshing beer that doesn't sacrifice much in the taste department (aka: it doesn't taste like beer-flavored water).
  • MGD 64 (64 calories, 2.4g carbs, 2 WW Points+). I gotta be honest, I have a difficult time enjoying Miller - I just don't get along with the taste for whatever reason. But this is an EPIC light beer for all of you Miller fans out there!
  • Budweiser Select 55 (55 calories, 1.9g carbs, 2 WW Points+). It tastes like a diet beer, pure and simple. But it is awesome for kicking back a couple with friends at a BBQ (which is how I first sampled it last weekend). My guy friends that tried it had to stifle their gag reflex (an exaggeration in my opinion :) ), but my girl friends were over the moon about it. Go figure. If I want to have a couple beers in a social gathering situation, this will be my go-to.

#3: Realize that there are health benefits to a glass of the good stuff every day (yes, every day!). One glass a day for women, two glasses a day for men. Among other things, it raises good cholesterol (HDL) levels, it contains healthy vitamins & minerals, and promotes kidney health! Some awesome links that tell more here:

Weight Watchers has put together an excellent "Cheat Sheet" on beer drinking, and I refer to it often when I know I will be in a situation where beer drinking may occur. It's a great overview on the pluses and minuses of beer drinking, and gives some great tips on beers to enjoy and beers to avoid.

It's also important to keep in mind that drinking beer in excess is not healthy, and that is not what I am trying to promote here. But it's important for me to be realistic - there are going to be days that I will drink more than the one recommended serving for my health, and I have to be aware of that fact. I am in no way promoting alcoholism with this post, or saying that you need to drink more than one or two (or any, for that matter!) in a social gathering to have a good time. This is just the way that I have come to terms with how to love beer without being excessive in consumption of calories and carbs. Like I said above, everything in moderation makes for a happy and healthy Bizzy.

All beer nutrition information referenced in this entry can be found here. I've bookmarked it and refer to it on occasion - being knowledgeable about this type of thing is extremely helpful. I feel much more comfortable when I know exactly what I am putting into my body. If you're a beer drinker like me, I recommend you bookmark it too!

Have a GREAT weekend, and a Happy Easter!  See you on Monday!


  1. LOVE your blog, Bizzy! I also love the heavy, fun-flavored beers and try to limit my intake because they are so BAD. However, I found a new go-to healthy option – Michelob Ultra FLAVORED beer! My personal favorite is Pomegranate Raspberry, but they also feature Tuscan Orange Grapefruit and Lime Cactus! Perfect for summer and same low-calorie/carb counts as the non-flavored one. MMMM! I’ll drink to that!

  2. Hi Katy!! WOW - this is an awesome recommendation!!! Thank you so much for letting me know! I'll keep an eye out for the flavored Michelob Ultra - I can't wait to try it! Thank you also for reading & commenting! Let me know if you ever have any questions or comments - very excited to see you in a few weeks' time!

  3. Gosh - this is so my downfall, too. Biz, I love your blog so far because you and I are in a similar place in our lives - trying to find the balance between mind, body and spirit. Right now for me I'm noticing that I can eat healthy all day long (well, almost all day long) but at the end of the day, I can't WAIT to reach for a tasty IPA. Every few months I try to get into wine but I always come back to my IPAs. Talk about the "heavy stuff". Hahaha. I'm going to an IPA fest tonight, and I'm taking a bus if that gives you any indication of how many beers I will drink (let's just say it will be more than one).

    Okay, so my way of dealing with my beer obsession as I work on the balancing act? Limits, water, exercise and flavorful non-alcoholic options. 1) Limits: I try not to have any beer at least twice a week, only one beer two or three times a week, and then I'm allowed to drink two (sometimes three) twice a week. 2) Water: I try to drink water all day. 3) Exercise: I try to exercise at least 4 times a week (I find I don't really want to drink after a serious Irish dance class). 4) Non-alcoholic flavorful options: I recently found an awesome alternative to diet coke - Sky Soda made with stevia. Here is a link: I think the root beer and ginger ale are the best.

    I know that people who don't love beer also do these good things, but this is my start, for now.

  4. S Bracks - this is awesome. You have to do a guest post sometime! I hope you enjoyed your IPA fest tonight (mmm, love it)!!!

    Another great non-alcoholic alternative that I am attracted to time and time again is seltzer water. Right now I'm drinking Trader Joe's Raspberry Lime Sparkling Spring Water and it totally hits the spot. And hydrates you too! Stay tuned, I'm doing a whole post about sparkling water soon :)

    Thanks so much for posting!!!

    1. Ooh - I should check out that TJ drink! Looking forward to your other ideas. :)

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