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Is Beer really that bad if you count it in your calorie count?

I know you should be eating good calories when your counting calories. However there are some days I am below my calories and really feel like a beer. I think one night a week is good to unwind with a beer. If it's not a beer I like wine with a hat bath and candles.

What are those types of calories doing to me if I'm under my calories for the day?

Fri. Jul 28, 3:03pm

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sounds like a good wiki entry. When I am done with my vodka entry (complete with tips on how to drink like a Russian) I'll get on that.

Friday, July 28, 2006, 3:07 PM

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here is the link...


Friday, July 28, 2006, 3:09 PM

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I'm counting calories too and I purposely save about 150 calories for the end of the day so I can have a 5 oz glass of wine for dessert. So far, so good. I've lost 27 pounds since October. There are some scientific studies that suggest that moderate drinking (1-2 drinks per day) is better for you than abstaining totally.

Friday, July 28, 2006, 4:08 PM

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I think the main problem with drinking is that it can (a) give you the munchies, and (b) relax your eating inhibitions enough to give in to (a).

If it's one drink like the 27-lb loser above (go go go!), then a & b are probably irrelevant unless you're a lightweight (drinker that is).

Friday, July 28, 2006, 4:18 PM

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My biggest problem with having a beer or any alcohol?????

It is so easy to have another and another and ok... maybe a few more. :(

Friday, July 28, 2006, 4:27 PM

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For me it's exactly the "munchie" factor. But, Hey! if it doesn't put you over your # for the day I say do it!

Friday, July 28, 2006, 4:47 PM

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This is off the topic a little....

It's really intersting to me that if someone puts up a diet pop thread, everyone lets loose about how bad pop is for you. If someone puts an alcohol thread, noone gets all uptight about it. I personally don't drink alcohol, but if someone wants ONE beer or a glass of wine it's not a big deal to me and I would never cut into them. It's just none of my business. I drink one pop a day and if I were to mention that here some people would go beserk. Do you see what I am saying???

Friday, July 28, 2006, 5:46 PM

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diet pop is not good for you - even in moderation.

That is why everyone jumps on it.

Friday, July 28, 2006, 6:30 PM

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Diet pop never killed anyone. Most food today has a lot of "unnatural" ingredients. Unless you eat totally organic which personally I can't afford to do.
I can think of a lot worse things that people put in their bodies besides diet pop. Like regular pop for example. I'd say that contributes more to obesity than diet pop.

Friday, July 28, 2006, 6:38 PM

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Yes, 5:46, I see what you're saying.

Friday, July 28, 2006, 6:41 PM

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you are right, the bad thing in diet pop is artificial sweeteners. The bad thing in pop is sugar. The bad thing in beer is alcohol ... which can be very very bad for you ... worse than an overdose of nutrasweet .. I think, maybe

Friday, July 28, 2006, 7:17 PM

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Now all we need are some scientific studies that say that moderate diet pop consumption (say 1-2 per day) is better than totally abstaining ;)

Friday, July 28, 2006, 7:22 PM

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if only you could talk to your liver and say "pick your poison!"

Friday, July 28, 2006, 7:29 PM

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6:30pm poster - I wasn't aware Beer had any nutritional value either.

Friday, July 28, 2006, 10:48 PM

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well I guess you should read up on that!

Saturday, July 29, 2006, 2:19 PM

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YES, it SLOWS the metabolism!

Yes, it SLOWS the metabolism! All alcohol slows the metabolism. One night of beer NEGATES 6 days of working out to speed up your metabolism!

Saturday, July 29, 2006, 7:11 PM

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so is beer worse for you than diet pop?? i am thinking yes.

Saturday, July 29, 2006, 8:35 PM

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well, alcohol in moderation has health benefits ... I haven't heard that beer NEGATES 6 days of working out ...More info please. ..

Sunday, July 30, 2006, 12:45 AM

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id also like to know more about this "negates 6 workouts" deal. yeah, you're probley better off not drinking, but if you did, canceling out 6 workouts b/c of it seems a little much to me.

Sunday, July 30, 2006, 2:58 AM

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I am weary of all the mythology and hearsay in the field of health. Anyone care to start quoting some real peer-reviewed research? Thanks in advance.

Sunday, July 30, 2006, 6:38 AM

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I don't have anything to quote at this time but i know i have read in recent months that there are studies showing that a serving of beer and even liquor, in moderation is as good for your heath as a glass of wine-it provides antioxidants as well as some cardiovascular benefits. And yes, it's true, you can't beleive everything you read today, as the consensus will change next year.

Time will tell of course, but personally, my main thing with diet/health choices is that i try to avoid things i deem unnatural, highly processed, and because of this i would be more likely to drink a beer a couple of times a week than a soda anyday, since i can pronounce and recognize all of the ingredients in my beer, and the hops, barley, alcohol, yeast all occur naturally.

Nevermind the artificial sweetners in diet soda, but the regular ones contain high fructose corn syrup, food coloring, and other things that human aren't mean to consume. Beer has been around for hundreds of years and comes from a natural fermentation process . . .that alone is enough for me to allow it in my diet!!

i too disagree w/ the poster that says one beer will slow your metabolism down for six workouts . . .what is the logic here? a calorie is a calorie, burned off or consumed, muscle burns more than fat-these are things i know. and drinking a couple of beers here and there, and eating a varied and healthy diet, with lots of exercise has allowed me to drop 40 lbs. My metabolism seems unaffected by the beer!

"beer is proof that god wants us to be happy"

Sunday, July 30, 2006, 2:57 PM

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i'd choose a naturally-brewed beer any day over a chemically-clogged diet soda! for that matter, over a regular soda, too! non-alcoholic beer is very tasty, too, and without all of the sugar/alcohol. here is a link to one study's results. if you google about the benefits of beer, you will find a lot of info-not just those reports sponsored by the industry, either...


Monday, July 31, 2006, 11:35 AM

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to the op: i think those calories are just adding to your daily calorie clount without providing you with any energy. i have not found anything to indicate that this is harmful every once in a while.

Monday, July 31, 2006, 5:05 PM

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slows the metabolism

HOLY MOLY! i did a little research into whether or not alcohol slows your metatbolism and found some really interesting stuff. i really had no idea this was even remotely possible. i thought a cal was a cal. damn. i've been moaning about my sluggish metabolism for MONTHS now. guess this might be my problem as i love me a glass of something most nights.

"Alcohol has the second highest concentration of calorie (7) after fat (9). It also slows the metabolism making you store more fat. Light beer, while slightly lower in calories, is still alcohol and that's the problem, not the calories. If you're developing a "beer belly," here's why: Alcohol interferes with metabolism in several ways, which slow it. A slow metabolic rate makes for an increase in stored fat. Also, medium term excessive drinking causes a certain amount of bloating, which could be what you're noticing."


Monday, July 31, 2006, 9:45 PM

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while i agree that a gram of alcohol is second in density of calories to fat, i don't see any proof in the last poster's link that a beer will slow your metabolism . . .just because this guy says excess will lead to a beer belly isn't enough proof for me. people gain weight from beer because they are taking in more calories than they should, not because alcohol slows down your metabolism (maybe if you are a couch potato slinging them back!).

Tuesday, August 01, 2006, 12:04 AM

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I have to totally agree. I drink 4-8 beers daily almost 2 gallons of water a day,watch my fat,no fried food, I watch my sugar intake. I workout 4-6 days a week and have accidently lost 10lbs in 3 months. Beer makes me happy! Being and looking in shape is very important. No clue about the 6day rule!!!!! I feel eating healthy, working out regularly makes the alcohol not as bad for me as most people who eat what they want,execise sometimes abuse there body worse than an individual who consumes more than 2-3 beers daily. I am no Dr. but am sure physically I feel Great!! We all have choices for our body; mine are work hard, workout hard, and play hard not mentioning what exercise I get when my girlfriends drink more than the daily consumption of alcohol.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008, 5:54 PM

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I can say that I lost 25 pounds and kept it off for the last 2 years without cutting alcohol out of my diet. I also drink diet pop! I am a runner, I bike ride, I lift weights, I eat balanced meals, tons of veggies and fruit, and when I want to splurge on junk food I do so in moderation. I have normal cholesterol, amazing blood pressure - my Dr asked what I do to be so healthy! So I think to make the broad statement that 1 beer ruins 6 days of working out is just kind of out there!!

I just don't believe in deprivation to the point that I am unhappy. I want to enjoy my life a I enjoy beers and cocktails on the weekends. I don't mind if others don't drink, don't drink diet soda or don't eat any fried foods, that is their choice. Live and let live!


Wednesday, August 06, 2008, 6:35 PM

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Alcohol also destroys brain cells.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008, 11:08 PM

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Well my HDL cholesterol is too low and my Dr wants me to get it higher and suggested alcohol. I already exercise, eat healthy... everything except drink. Now no he didn't tell me to go on a nightly bender but he suggested a glass of wine each week can help raise my HDL, so yes alcohol does have some health benefits.

Thursday, August 07, 2008, 9:42 AM

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Late night bar trends...thats the reason why I am here...I gained weight from drinking and eating too much

Thursday, August 07, 2008, 11:09 AM

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I just wanted to comment. I lost a total of 20 pounds following the weight watcher flex plan. I never counted ANY of my alcoholic drinks. Still lost the weight and have managed to keep it off. I am not an alcoholic but i defiantly drink on the weekends and have the occasional glass of red during the week.

So i would say if you're under your calories for the day and want to unwind with a beer, CHEERS!

- Michelle

Thursday, August 07, 2008, 2:17 PM

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well said rachspen!

Thursday, August 07, 2008, 2:18 PM

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Alcohol's Effect on Metabolism

The poster's comment and the quoted text about alcohol slowing your metabolism is not *entirely* accurate...but its just in the details.

Alcohol is treated by your body as a poison. When alcohol hits your bloodstream, your body goes to battle and doesn't stop til it wins (or gives up and you die of alcohol poisoning). In order to do so it must stop other non-vital processes temporarily while it handles the alcohol. For this discussion, the key process that gets slowed to a grinding halt is the metabolism of other non-alcoholic items being digested. The tendency is in turn is for that food to be stored as fat because your body needs to do something with the displacement of that energy and this conversion takes the least "effort" in the given environment.

So, with all this in mind....if you drink, just know that your body will halt its fat burning, focus on ridding your body of alcohol, and will for the most part store any additional energy you give it. This includes not only food...but also the carbs in your beer and mixed drinks. If you're drinking a 6 pack of regular beer you're probably looking at 70-90 carbs (maybe 1/10th of a pound of fat)

The comment about giving back up to 6 days exercise? Pretty stupid statement because there are too many variables. A couple recent studies have found alcohol to prevent the release of some of the key hormones in muscle development for up to 3 days. Obviously there is a difference between having 2 glasses of wine with dinner and drinking a case of beer at a tailgate party :-)

Can you undo a week's worth of exercise with a VERY FULL day of drinking with poorly timed eating? Yes, its probably "doable". Will you undo it by having a few casual drinks? No, not a chance in hell.

Consume in moderation and you will see no great effect on your progress as long as you work it into your diet.

I hope this clears things up a tad

Tuesday, August 19, 2008, 7:04 AM

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One final comment

Let me be the first to say that I partake in the occasional night out on the town. When I drink I dont have "a" beer. I accept the consequences and have managed to stay in excellent shape with around 11% bodyfat.

However, I want to make one last point. I noticed some of you posting about how alcohol didn't effect your "weight loss". Let me remind everyone that "weight loss" is great and all....but "weight" in itself does not mean much. Body composition changes are where real results are found. Alcohol in many cases will not change your "weight loss"....heck, its such a diuretic that you might wake up weighing 5 pounds lighter! Does that mean your body comp is improved? no. Does that mean it had no effect on your body comp? no

Alcohol is often relaxing...often fun...but lets not make any bones about it...there is no way to get around its effects.

Moderation moderation moderation :-)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008, 7:09 AM

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