If you're a regular beer drinker and struggling with excess pounds, you probably don't want to stop drinking beer to lose weight. Like any type of weight loss, it all comes down to your total calorie intake and consuming fewer calories than your body needs, no matter where they come from.
Weight loss after quitting drinking wine or beer depends entirely on how much you were drinking in the first place. It also matters if you are making other lifestyle changes to aid in your weight loss.
With beer weighing in at about 150 calories, cutting it out lightens your caloric intake. If you quit drinking beer, you may lose weight, especially if you increase healthy habits like physical activity and keeping yourself hydrated.
The Calories in Beer
With about 2.5 calories per gram, alcohol is a close runner-up in calories to carbs and protein, which often take up the majority of calories consumed in a diet. As a type of alcoholic beverage, beer is a concentrated source of calories that offer very little nutritional value. A 12-ounce serving of regular beer has 153 calories.
In comparison, the same serving of light beer has 104 calories. This means that two-thirds to three-quarters of the calories in beer come from alcohol.
Beer Calories and Weight Loss
No matter what strategy you use, to lose weight, you need to create a caloric deficit. This can be accomplished by eating or drinking fewer calories, burning more with activity or a combination of both. To lose 1 to 2 pounds a week, you need to create a 500- to 1,000-calorie daily deficit, notes the Mayo Clinic.
You may have heard "stop drinking to lose weight" success stories and wanted to ignore them, but there's some truth to the approach. Cutting out beer may be an easy way for you to achieve a negative calorie balance to lose the weight. If you drink two 12-ounce servings of regular beer a night, you'll save a little more than 300 calories a day, which translates into a 2.5-pound weight loss in a month.
Read more: The Best Way to Lose Weight in One Month
Get Rid of Belly Weight
You may associate your belly weight with a beer belly, but beer isn't always the culprit. The cause of stomach girth is consuming too many calories. It may be from beer or from food. Whatever the cause of your abdominal fat, there are simple ways to help you combat it.
The easiest way to reduce the size of your stomach is to limit your calories while increasing your physical activity. To reduce your calories, you can stop drinking beer to lose weight. For exercise, Harvard Health Publishing suggests aiming for a half-hour to an hour of moderate-intensity exercise a day.
Remember, going too hard too soon can discourage you from sticking with it. It's more important to be consistent than burning yourself out by going too hard for a week.
Read more: 10 of the Most Common Weight-Loss Tips
Drinks to Lose Weight
If you replace your beer with beverages that contain a lot of calories, such as soda or juice, you may have a difficult time losing weight. Drink calorie-free beverages instead, such as water or unsweetened coffee or tea. Water is your best choice and may actually help promote weight loss.
A review published in the March 2016 issue of Frontiers in Nutrition supported the findings that increased hydration can improve weight loss. The researchers noted that chronic dehydration may foster obesity. So, while water may not be a weight-loss drink, it is the right drink to choose to aide in weight loss.
- Harvard Health Publishing: Abdominal Fat and What to Do About It
- FoodData Central Search Results: “Alcoholic Beverage, Beer, Regular, All”
- FoodData Central Search Results: “Alcoholic Beverage, Beer, Light”
- Mayo Clinic: "Weight Loss"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Beer Belly"
- Frontiers in Nutrition: "Increased Hydration Can Be Associated with Weight Loss"