How to lose weight: Avoid beer

Do you want to lose weight? Here’s part 7 of a 17-part series of blog posts. You can read all the posted tips on the How to Lose Weight-page.

Get rid of your beer belly

7. Men: Avoid Drinking Beer

This applies to women too, but men drink more beer on average. Beer contains rapidly digested carbs that shut down fat burning. That’s why beer is sometimes referred to as “liquid bread”. There’s a good reason for the term “beer belly.”

Here are smarter alcoholic options for losing weight:

  • Wine (red or dry white)
  • Dry champagne
  • Pure spirits like whiskey, cognac, vodka (avoid sweetened cocktails – try vodka, soda, lime instead)

These drinks hardly contain any sugar/carbohydrates so they’re better than beer. However, large amounts of alcohol might slow weight loss somewhat, so moderation is still a good idea.

More: Read all posted tips on the How to Lose Weight-page.


  1. Avoiding beer isn't the answer... avoiding excessive and/or daily beer drinking is.

    Personally, I do not see any impact to weight loss from drinking a few beers if I count the calories (obviously it does impact anyone trying to stay in or get into a ketogenic state).

    I also only drinking real ales or stouts rather than commercially made swill (e.g. budweiser). I also avoid light beer like the plague (because it's low calorie and low alcohol content it tastes like crap and people drink more than they would have otherwise.

    My suggestion is to always drink beer with fatty/protein rich foods rather than any carb sources. The fat and protein will slow digestion and reduce the blood sugar impact of the carbs from beer.

    Beer has numerous health benefits, including (but not limited to): high levels of silicon (required for bone health), heart health (studies have shown that beer consumption raises HDL and reduces cardiovascular risk), reduced risk of kidney stones (maybe due to the hops in beer curbing the leeching of calcium from our bones), brain health (studies have shown a marked reduction in the incidence of Alzheimer's disease in people who drink an average of a beer/day, reduced cancer risk (beer has as many antioxidants as wine, but the flavanoids are different), providing ample vitamin B6 & B12, reduced stroke risk, reduced risk of diabetes (alcohol INCREASES insulin sensitivity in most people), lower blood pressure (again this works with any form of alcohol) and longer life (due to the aforementioned 9 factors).

    Once again though, all studies that have shown the health benefits of beer (and any alcoholic beverage) have been based on moderate consumption (1-2 drinks per day). This of course may be challenging for anyone coming from a Puritan culture to understand.

    Personally, I reach for a can of Guinness or a pint of local Canadian Ale on a daily basis...

    I've lost 76lbs in the past 10 months.

  2. paleozeta
    rationalization is a bad beast..
  3. eddie watts
    there are health benefits for alcohol, but the cost of such a high carb load has to be taken into account.
    and as for "substance x is high in substance y so you should consume it" you can make those claims about practically any foods (barring maybe vegetable oils or flour). but where else can those substances be obtained?
    are those sources free of a high carb/glucose load?
    if so those sources must surely be better?
    all those B vitamins will be plentiful in any animal product rich diet and most of the other benefits you mention are actually obtained from alcohol not something special and holy about beer specifically.
  4. Maki
    "Personally, I do not see any impact to weight loss from drinking a few beers if I count the calories (obviously it does impact anyone trying to stay in or get into a ketogenic state)."

    This is something that everybody needs to try for themselves. For example I recall somebody saying that fruit is fine for them because they get bored of it, and don't overeat, but I can eat ridiculous amount of fruit, and it does make me much hungrier overall. The problem with calorie counting is kcal=/=kcal when we talk about sedation, and not craving to overeat.

    Reply: #8
  5. FrankG
    And once again we immediately get a comment which takes this general advice to the extreme and tries to make it out to be nonsense.

    This is not a papal decree to never. ever touch another drop of beer; on pain of immediate death from massive weight gain and poor health!

    IF you are aware of the potential downsides of the carb load, the grains and the alcohol, AND you still like to drink a beer or two every now and then AND you especially like your tipple from a small-scale artisanal brewery AND you find that you (personally) can manage this along with your healthy way of life, then by all means drink it and enjoy it!

    Otherwise be aware that IF you are trying to lose weight (the focus of this series of posts -- clue is in the title folks) AND you have stalled AND you drink beer regularly THEN this may be good general advice for YOU. :-)

    As I read it: It is entirely up to you. Dr Andreas is offering general advice and pointing out things which you may need to consider when making your own choices.

  6. eddie watts
    FrankG stop spouting all of this common sense, don't you know what the internet is for?!!
  7. Removing beer as my staple session drink has actually enhanced my enjoyment of it.

    I no longer plunge headfirst into four pitchers of whatever bland swill is on at the local dive bar, I now seek out the best and most exotic craft beers and really enjoy the flavour, then move back onto spirits or wine.

    Yes, I'm now a beer wanker thanks to a ketogenic lifestyle.

  8. paleozeta
    for example I recall somebody saying that fruit is fine for them because they get bored of it, and don't overeat, but I can eat ridiculous amount of fruit, and it does make me much hungrier..

    same here. i hear many times in podcasts or in blogs that you can eat twenty candies, but after one orange or banana you re fed up. pardon me! i do not think so! not for me and others. if i start on fruit it is like eating chocolate and generally i end up right there on the sugar.

    for the beer.... one avoids fructose because it is hard on the liver and surroundings because it is metabolized like alcohol and wants to drink beer , which contains alcohol?
    tell you what.... abstain 30 days from beer and then we talk again.

    Reply: #9
  9. nostents4me!
    Many kinds of digesting...
    "...eating chocolate.." Is it really the chocolate ? I buy one 85% chocolate 100 g, once a week now. I eat one or max 3 pieces every time I see or think of it, never any more, and it always lasts about a week now. Before LCHF I would have consumed every bit the very day it was bought.
    Probably it is the sugar in common chocolate causing the cravings, the cocoa does only seem to do me well - no narcotic craving effects. I read also that lack of Vit C may also cause (sugar) cravings, apart from the standard blood sugar oscillation all high carb food provide and all its detriments now rapidly coming back into the lime light.
    So now when carbs are on the way out it may be time to recall that high carb intake used to be the essence of survival, not so long time ago, probably just due to the problematic blood sugar oscillation it inevitably induces:
    The amounts of fat we could accumulate gobbling carbs like bears in the autumns very often used to be the prime determinant of our winter survival probability. So those that now are getting the fattest and sickest by today's SAD are those that survived the longest winters best in historic primitive settings. Genes matter and as long as they remain different within the species, the species are likely to continue to survive changes.

    Further regarding body fat I read recently about reindeers, that is beyond Rudolph and Santa, that they remain the staple feed for Swedish sames:
    Particularly the fat running outside of the back bone of the slaughtered animal is highly regarded as it is always "fresh": "It is used up each winter and new fat is put on again following autumn." Just like for primitive HS, although in different places.
    Maybe the reason my remaining belly fat is so hard to shed is just that the bulk of it not one season fresh, but more than 20 seasons,... hardly "fresh"!
    Is it now in a state that my own body strongly resists to digest it ?

    Is a higher ketogenic state of affairs sufficient, or what else do I need to spice up with? Will I be sick when/if it goes? Is the stubborn fat full of embedded toxins or is it just rancid fat by now??
    Any ideas? Is this a case of liposuction justified, for once?
    Have gone from 97kgs to 89 and I cannot see the belly vanish before ~ 80 kgs. Plateau now
    for ~ 4-5 months... Maybe I just need to measure ketones and get them spot on ?

  10. Pilly
    Thank you for all the great info Andreas!

    Maybe average 15 beer a day for past 11 years.

    6'2 232 pounds stable weight,large amount muscle mass,farmer by trade,went to 190 for my wedding and everyone thought i was sick and not looking good.

    Down to 224 in 10 days but do consume vodka at 7-8 drinks a day,i know,know,i'm that guy,i'm working on it.

    If you need alcoholic ginny pigs I'm your man,but thanks again,you made it all make sense.

  11. Really, I am a victim of that one.
  12. Dru
    Continual reference to the "Carb load." Carbs are not the enemy. Adkins was wrong!
    Reply: #13
  13. erdoke
    Who is "Adkins"?
    Carbs might not be your enemies, but close to 70 % of US population is overweight and obese and this must also be close to the ratio of people suffering from metabolic syndrome. For them most carbs are in fact the #1 enemy.

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