Counting the Calories in Craft Beer

Counting the Calories in Craft Beer

The holidays are near and with them bring great feasts filled with turkey, ham, mashed potatoes & gravy and let’s not forget the pies, cookies, and chocolates. We all know over-eating is upon us. There will be parties to attend and plenty of alcohol to go around. Over-indulging is inevitable and so are the extra pounds.

Ever wonder how much beer contributes to weight gain? You could cut it out of your life to test the theory, but why? Instead, look for other ways to cut calories.

  • Avoid sugary drinks during the day to save on calories. Soda and sweet coffee drinks are packed with calories. Women should ingest 1200 calories daily. A caramel latte from Star Bucks contains 250 calories and 6 grams of fat. Replace it with black coffee and low-fat milk.
  • Snacking obviously packs on the pounds and it’s hard not to grab those chips at night. Find a substitute that’s less fattening but still satisfying.
  • I don’t about you but I love mayonnaise on my sandwiches. Substitute it for ketchup or mustard to drop those unnecessary calories.

Little cheats here and there really help. Light beer is another option, but I can’t find one I can stomach. Exactly how much does beer affect your figure, particularly your waistline?

Someone once told me that beer itself is not fattening. The weight comes from eating AND drinking. To verify, I hopped on-line and found an article on WebMD titled “The Truth About Beer and Your Belly.” The article states that it’s not necessarily beer that contributes to a “beer belly” as much as it is the abundance of calories. Consuming too many calories certainly is easy to do when polishing off 5 or 6 beers in a sitting. Let’s think about that for a second, the average beer has 150 calories. Multiply that by six and you’ve just added an extra 900 calories to your daily caloric intake. That’s a lot. Beer however does not contain fat. As you drink, your liver burns alcohol first, not fat, leading to greater fat storage especially around your mid-section. Any way you sum it up, beer or just about anything you put in your body adds to weight gain.  

Here’s a list of how many calories your favorite style of beer contains.    

Average stout has around 225 calories per beer
Imperials average around 300 to 350 calories per beer

Christmas beers
Love a good Christmas Ale?  They average around 175 – 225 calories per beer

IPA’s (my favorite)
Average IPA has 200 calories per beer
Imperials average around 300 calories per beer

21st Amendment Hop Crisis – 291 calories
21st Amendment Hop Crisis – 291 calories

These wheat beers are not packed with calories like those above. Calories from a Hefeweizen range between 150-175 per beer.

Traditional Lagers
Budweiser 145 calories per beer
Yuengling 128 calories per beer

While researching I found an interesting website called “Get drunk not fat”. The website contains a nifty device called “The Drinking Calculator”!!  It tallies your blood alcohol level and caloric intake. Check it out!

My results after drinking 5 Dogfish Head 60min IPAs in a 4 hour period of time:

Blood Alcohol Level: 0.064.
Level  of Drunkness: Legally Impaired
Calories: 1045

1045 calories from 5 beers and that’s just the 60 minute IPA. I don’t even want to think of the calories in the 90 minute IPA or the 120 minute IPA.

Again you can eliminate calories by avoiding beer, but why would you? I asked the ladies of Stout & Stilettos what their thoughts were in regards to eliminating alcohol to lose weight.  We all are in agreement that we would rather give up something else before giving up our favorite brew.     

I will leave you with a quote from fellow Stouts & Stilettos blogger Amanda D from Maine.

“I would never give up beer for a nicer rear”

I couldn’t agree more.

4 Comments on Counting the Calories in Craft Beer

  1. I just want to point out that 1200 calories per day for women is a bit low. Many women of average (140-170lbs) size generally have a basal metabolic rate of about 1400-1700 calories per day. That’s what your body burns just breathing and whatnot. Any additional activity burns calories on top of that. 1200 calories per day is generally considered the minimum amount of calories a woman should eat when attempting to lose weight. Of course all bodies and activity levels may vary. I just didn’t want anyone to panic and think they only have 1200 calories to work with to maintain their weight, especially with exercise thrown in. Thanks for this even though the IPAs make me so sad. They’re my favorite and so high in calories!

    • Sorry, I should have stated that the 1200 calories was a figure I was using for losing weight. When I joined a weight program awhile ago that was the average calories they suggested for women. I’m bummed about the IPAs too!! My favorite as well.

  2. Over the holiday when I drink I switch between beer and water. That way I cut calories, stay hydrated, and don’t over indulge. I also only drink beer I really like, otherwise I’ll just have a diet soda or water.

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