by Hari Won
It's no secret that beer is delicious. But did you know that it can also help you lose weight? Believe it or not, there are a few light beers on the market that can help you reach your fitness goals. Check out this list of the best beers to help you lose weight and start enjoying your favorite drink while reaching your health goals!
When you're trying to lose weight, every little bit of help counts. And what could be better than a cold beer that also helps you trim down? Here are some of the best beers to help you lose weight. Cheers!
Why not try light beers like Bud Light or Miller Lite if you're looking to cut down on calories?
"If someone is looking to get the full taste of beer but would like fewer calories, light beers are a great option," said Dr. William Tigbe, a primary care internist at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Ill.
A 12-ounce serving of Bud Light has 110 calories, compared with 145 in a serving of regular Budweiser. A light beer is defined as having fewer than 3.2 grams of carbohydrates per 100 milliliters -- about 40 fewer carbs per 12 ounces than non-light versions of the same brand. Non-alcoholic beers have about one calorie per ounce.
"In general, light beers have a carbohydrate content that is less than regular beer," Tigbe said. "The average person metabolizes alcohol at a rate of 15 to 20 grams [of carbohydrate] an hour, so the lower the carb content, the fewer calories you get from it."
Beer is made by fermenting grain (usually malted barley), which causes the carbohydrates in the grain to break down into sugar, which is then fermented by yeast. By comparison, wine is made by using just the juice of grapes. Beer contains gluten, which some people are sensitive to and should avoid or limit their intake of.
Light beers might be lower in calories, but Tigbe suggests not using them to replace meals.
"If someone is having a light beer with their meal, they would be missing out on nutrients from healthy foods," he said. "And if someone is drinking a lot of light beers every day, they may want to consider what else they are eating or drinking."
Light beers are not necessarily low-calorie beers, according to the Calorie Control Council. The council is a nonprofit organization that represents manufacturers and suppliers of food and beverage products, pharmaceutical companies and ingredient suppliers.
"The calories in beer come from the carbohydrates (usually made up of some combination of maltose or dextrose) and alcohol," said Scott Wasula, director of technical services with the council.
Alcohol provides about 7 calories per gram, or about 98 calories in a typical 12-ounce serving of beer (5 percent alcohol). The rest comes from carbohydrates. Most traditional lager beers have an average carbohydrate content of about 14 grams per 12 ounces. Lighter beers will have a lower carbohydrate content, Wasula said.
"If you compare regular beer to light beer, the light beer would have about 8 grams of carbohydrates less per 12 ounces," Wasula said. "Compared to other beverages, this is not significant."
So if someone just switched from having a regular Budweiser (150 calories in each 12-ounce serving) to a Bud Light (110), they'd save 40 calories.
But Wasula points out that if someone is drinking more than one 12-ounce serving of beer, it would be easy to cancel out the lower calorie amount. A person could drink three light beers and easily achieve 150 calories or higher depending on their goal for the day.
Which beer should you order? Well, it depends on your tastes.
Wheat beers are a great way to get a little bit more flavor than usual when drinking beer. Wheat beers tend to have fruit-like flavors in the hops and malt. They also tend to be lighter in color than regular beers, but they can range from golden brown to cloudy orange.
Wheats are great beers to order in the summer when you're looking for something lighter than a dark beer like Guinness. Heineken, Amstel Light, and Newcastle Brown Ale are wheat beers that are available in the United States; Hoegaarden is another one of what I think of as "the classic wheats."
To get an expert opinion, I visited my friend Joe. Joe knows his beer, and he's the kind of guy who will offer you a sample before he'll let you buy one. He really knows what he likes to drink, too.
"A Belgian wheat is definitely the way to go if you are looking for something different," said Joe. "They are nice, sweet beers that are pretty light in color."
Belgian wheats are really different from other beers on the market, so if you're looking for something that will stand out among everything else, this is what you should go with. Personally I think they taste a bit like apple juice. Wheat beers have a fluffy head that is usually white, but it can range from pale yellow to tan.
With a 5.0% alcohol by volume content, these beers are great for any occasion or time of day. I personally like one with lemon during the summer while I'm sitting outside. They're really refreshing and they go down easy, too!
If you're not a big beer drinker, though, I don't recommend sticking with these. They might end up tasting like fruit juice to you and that's it. Try something lighter like Budweiser or Coors if you're looking for more of an introduction to the world of beer before you go out on a limb with something stronger like Newcastle or Hoegaarden.
The bottom line: If you want to try something new and refreshing, grab a wheat beer like Newcastle or Hoegaarden! The classic wheats provide a great flavor, and they're lighter than most beers so you can drink them all day long. Heineken or Amstel Light are also great options if you're looking for something lighter than Newcastle or Hoegaarden.
So you have decided to lose weight. But it is so hard, right? Well, here are a few hints and tips to help with your weight loss plan.
When trying to maintain a healthy diet or lose weight, one of the most important things you need to learn how to do is read nutrition labels. To not only keep track of what you are eating, but also to make sure you aren't accidentally taking in any extra calories.
One product that can be quite deceiving is cider. Drinking a glass of cider may seem like it is healthy and natural; however, sometimes ciders can be full of unnecessary sugars and carbs. To help combat this problem many companies have come up with light versions of their most popular ciders.
One popular light cider is Angry Orchard Crisp Apple (5.3% ABV). This tart and refreshing cider has 138 calories per 12 ounce serving, along with 26 grams of carbohydrates. This calorie count is pretty reasonable for a light beer; however there are some ways to make it even lighter.
One way is to drink a Stella Artois Cidre (5.0% ABV). In true Stella fashion, this cidre has a very light and crisp taste with just 138 calories per serving. It also only contains 26 grams of carbs, which makes for an even lighter option than the Angry Orchard Crisp Apple cider.
Guinness, a stout beer with a high reputation for being rich and creamy, is not as calorically unfavorable as many light beers, but it contains about the same amount of carbs.
In addition to containing fewer calories than mass-marketed American lagers such as Budweiser or Coors Light, who contain about 110 calories and 5g carbs per serving, Guinness contains significantly fewer calories than other dark beers such as Newcastle Brown ale, which has 186 calories and 11.6g carbs - almost double the amount of carbohydrates.
However, Guinness is not an exemplary health drink - it still contains about 10 percent alcohol and 200 calories per 12 oz., and should be consumed in moderation.
A 12-ounce serving of Guinness contains 10 percent alcohol, 160 calories, and 21.2g carbs. The "Guinness Book of World Records" reports that a pint of the black stuff contains about 260 calories and 40g carbs - however, this may differ depending on region or brand.
A Budweiser tall boy (not light), for comparison, contains 5 percent alcohol and 145 calories. A serving of Newcastle Brown Ale contains 6 percent alcohol and 186 calories.
It's known among fitness and health enthusiasts that low-alcohol beers such as Michelob Ultra have fewer calories and carbs than regular beers.
But how many fewer? A bottle of regular beer has about 150 calories, while a can of light beer has around 110.
The brewing company Anheuser-Busch, which makes Michelob Ultra and other low-alcohol beers, says that its products contain 95 calories and 2.6 grams (0.09 ounces) of carbohydrates in a 12-ounce serving-just under 5 percent alcohol by volume.
The company declined to say whether the calorie figure is lower than for regular beers, but a spokeswoman did say that the carbohydrate content is "significantly lower" than regular beers, which typically contain about 26 grams of carbs in a 12-ounce serving.
Why does each have fewer calories and less carbohydrates? It's partly because low-alcohol beers are made from malted barley or wheat, rather than fully fermented.
Most regular beers are made from malted barley, which is what produces the sugars that are later converted into alcohol. When the sugars are gone-if they're not fully fermented-there tend to be fewer remaining carbs and calories.
"Malting just releases some of the complex carbohydrate chains that remain in barley," explains brewer and author Ron Raike, who has brewed at Redhook and MacTarnahan's breweries. "You get a lot of maltiness out of it before you kill all the enzymes that are in there."
That's what makes low-alcohol beers taste malty-the barley hasn't been fully converted into sugar.
Of course, a brewer can't simply remove the enzymes and expect to end up with something that tastes like beer. So how do they jump-start the process? By making sure there's still at least some sugar left in the brew when it's done fermenting; otherwise, it would be undrinkably sweet.
And what about the yeast? The company says it ferments Michelob Ultra for seven to 10 days. (The process can take up to three weeks.)
"Yeast consumes sugar and converts it into alcohol and other byproducts, like carbon dioxide," says Raike. "But if there's not enough sugar, the yeast will go dormant."
With its low number of calories, Michelob Ultra has caught on with weight-conscious drinkers. And it's not just a guy's beer: In a recent survey by Heineken, 42 percent of women said they'd be likely to order it at a bar, behind only vodka and flavored vodka.
So the next time you're at an airport bar or some other place where you might be tempted to order something caloric, consider reaching for a Michelob Ultra instead. It could help keep your New Year's resolution on track.
If you are looking to cut down on calories, but don't want to give up beer altogether, we have some good news for you. There are a number of light beers on the market that will help you reach your weight loss goals without sacrificing taste. So next time you're at the store, be sure to pick up one of these healthier options and enjoy a cold one guilt-free. Have you tried any of these light beers? What was your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!
About Hari Won
Hari has been a close friend with Josh since kindergarten. Her place is right around the corner from Josh’s.
She claims they are only friends. Hari also loves to drink. By accident, she tried her first taste of beer in middle school; felt in love with them since then.
Life has been up and down lately for Hari. She and/or other friends often meet up with Josh for a few packs. They may drink through the night, while taking turn to tell their life stories.
Hari received her BS degree in biochemistry from University of Phoenix. She hoped to become a great brewmaster someday...