Craft Beer + Weight Loss = ???

Last night, Jacob and I had a great time out with friends in Avondale.  It was our first time out on the town since New Years Eve.  Crazy!  Originally, we had planned to go to The Marble Ring, as we heard great things about this 20s themed speakeasy.  However, that plan did not work out.  My friend had tried calling earlier that day to get a reservation but was unsuccessful.  So, we decided to try our luck without a reservation.  Well, we didn’t get a call back until two hours later.  Needless to say, we were already enjoying our evening at 41st Street Pub.  If you like Moscow mules, they make a pretty good one!

We’re having a good time at 41st Street Pub!

Since I knew we were going out with friends and I was going to partake in an adult beverage or two, I made it a point to adjust my calorie intake for the day.  I still ate my regular meals, but I substituted my snacks for lower calorie options.  Also, I did my daily exercise routine.  Remember, a healthy lifestyle is a well-balanced diet and exercise.

If you know me, you know that I love craft beer (and so does Jacob).  We absolutely love going to a Birmingham brewery on the weekend and relaxing with a cold one.  When we decided to start our journey to return to a healthier lifestyle, we knew that we were going to have to adjust that part of our life.  Since we weren’t going to completely give up beer (or wine), we found ways to still enjoy our adult beverages and keep our weight loss goals.  It’s definitely not in the same manner as before; however, it is the perfect amount to keep us happy and to continue to go out in Birmingham.  Wondering how we drink craft beer and still lose weight?  I’m glad you asked.

My suggestions on how to drink craft beer and live a healthy lifestyle are based on my personal experiences.  Find what works for you and your ultimate goals (consult a nutritionist or doctor for added advice).  If your goal is quick weight loss, you might want to skip the beer and alcohol altogether.  You can gradually add it back and in moderation once you have reached your weight loss goal.  If you find it difficult to stop at 1-2 beverages, you might want to evaluate your need for alcohol (i.e. social drinker, emotional drinker, problem drinker) and get the needed assistance.

Here are my suggestions–

  1. Get a flight and share! If you’re out with friends, order a flight and share.  Jacob and I have shared plenty of flights and still enjoyed our evening.  If flights aren’t your thing or you’re just wanting to drink your favorite beer, stick with 1-2 beers (depending on the type).  Beer can range in calories from 90 to over 600.  If you’re not careful, you can drink your daily calorie intake in one sitting.
  1. Moderation, moderation, moderation.  Let’s face it, drinking beer and losing weight don’t go hand in hand.  Think about all of those carbs!  However, moderation is key if you’re wanting to enjoy your craft beer and still lose weight.  I recommend a weekly range of craft beer intake to be one to two days out of the week, depending on your weight loss goal.  Like I mentioned in the first suggestion, you should only drink 1-2 beers at each sitting depending on the type of beer.  If you’re drinking red wine only during the week, you can probably get away with having it up to three days a week.  Just be mindful of your daily calorie intake.  Side note:  We don’t keep craft beer in the fridge.  Bye, bye temptation! 
  1. Drink water.  Drink water in between drinks.  This will help you moderate your consumption of alcohol and keep you hydrated.  If you don’t want plain ole’ water, ask for a lemon wedge from the bar (or bring your own pre-cut lemon wedge if you don’t want it from the bar).  You can also bring your own bottled water.
  1. Take healthy snacks with you and eat before you drink. Most of our bad choices with beer come from the food we eat with beer—wings, nachos, or late night Waffle House.  Before you go to a brewery, eat your normal meal and grab a handful of nuts to take with you to satisfy the munchies.

If beer is not your thing, you can also enjoy other alcoholic beverages and still live a healthy lifestyle.  Outside of beer, I enjoy on occasion a glass of red wine or an old-fashioned/Moscow mule.

Needs some additional help on alcohol and calories? Check out these articles:

10 of the Lowest Calories Cocktails You Can Drink

An Easy Way to Estimate How Many Calories Are in Craft Beer

Want recipes for Low Carb Adult Beverages?  Check out Peace, Love, and Low Carb.

Side note:  Please drink responsibly.  If you are not okay to drive call a friend, a taxi, or an Uber.  Thank you 🙂

I hope my suggestions are helpful to you and your weight loss journey/healthy lifestyle change.  If you have any additional questions, please comment below.

What are your favorite adult beverages and how do you balance drinking and weight loss?

Cheers!

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