This one is tough for me – I am a self-proclaimed craft beer fanatic! I generally would get home from work and sit down to have a beer with dinner and then maybe one after as I’m relaxing in the evening.

beer-cheers

Here’s the thing though – every one of those beers is between 150 and 200 calories. And since one of the primary ingredients in beer is barley (a.k.a. “carbs”) that doubles up on the danger in beer.

So I wanted to get in shape, to get healthier and yes, to lose some weight in the process. And I always thought that doing so meant giving up pretty much all the things I love. (Craft beer, a good donut, pizza, etc.) But that’s absolutely not true. The thing is, you have to be moderate in your indulgences.

So I decided that I’d do the following:

  1. Cut back on the beer. I’m not cutting it out completely, just reducing the amount that I have.
  2. Only have beer 2-3 days per week.
  3. Generally limit myself to one beer each time, occasionally two.

The bottom line here is that I generally have about 3-4 beers per week. If I want to have more than one beer in a given day, I try to make sure that it’s after I’ve been to the gym and my reward is that extra beer.

It’s a really simple rule that has definitely helped me to accelerate getting in shape while not depriving me of something I really enjoy. (Also note that my wallet has been thanking me – I used to spend about $150-200 per month on beer. Now I spend maybe $20-30.)

An interesting side effect here is that I’ve gotten pickier about the beer I drink. If it’s not an absolutely great beer, I don’t drink it. Whereas it used to be that I’d drink an entire beer even if it just “so-so”. Now, if it doesn’t knock my socks off in the first couple of sips, it’s down the drain it goes. Sometimes I feel bad about the wastefulness, but then I think about how wasteful it would be to drink an entire beer that I didn’t really enjoy only to have to burn off a couple of hundred calories somewhere else.

This also gives me the freedom to spend a little more money on higher quality beers. I’m not buying a lot of beer, so I can be choosier when I do make my purchases at the bottle shop.

Finally, note that when I say “one beer”, this means one 12 or 16 ounce bottle, can or draft pour. It does NOT mean one 22.5 ounce large format brew.

So don’t give up the craft brew – just get choosy about what you drink, set your own rules for how much and when you’ll have it and enjoy!