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Drink Beer AND Lose Weight

Want to shed that beer belly? Why not try the low-carbohydrate approach? Following the philosophy of today's most popular low-carbohydrate books, dieters gradually increase the early restrictions of their daily carbohydrate intake while excess weight continues to come off, once again enjoying starchy foods like potatoes, rice and pasta ... in moderation, of course.

But what about beer? Is it possible to include moderate amounts of regular brewed beer in a low-carbohydrate diet? One stumbling block that some beer drinkers find when trying to shed weight on a low-carbohydrate regime is the reliance on light beer with its minimal carbohydrate content (and some might say taste). Is it possible to move beyond the restrictions of light beer and on to one of your full-bodied favorites?

Don't bother looking for the answer to this beer drinker's quandary in the many low-carbohydrate diet books that can be found on store shelves today. Not one of these books addresses the possibility of moving on from light beers to regular brewed beers while the pounds continue to melt away.

Why not? If you're a beer drinker, the answer might be obvious. There are no carbohydrate listings on the cans or bottles of regular brewed beer because the government feels that "... nutrition information on labels [of regular beers] is unnecessary and unwarranted." Brewers of light beers, however, have to not only prove that their products are lower in carbohydrates and calories than their big brothers by listing the carbohydrate and calorie count on beer containers, they must also include the nutritional values of the lighter brew.

Is it right to know the carbohydrate and calorie content of what's in your Twinkie but not in that bottle of Czechvar imported beer sitting in front of you? Not if you're a beer drinker on a low-carbohydrate diet!

For the benefit of anyone who's considering using the low-carbohydrate approach to shedding unwanted pounds, here's a list of some popular beers with their carbohydrate contents. All carb values are for twelve-ounce servings:

Anchor Steam 16.00,
Bitburger Pils 9.05,
Boston Beer Summer Ale 15.85,
Budejovicky Budwar (Czechvar) 13.49,
Cooper's Genuine Draught 7.02,
Coors Blue Moon Belgian White 12.87,
Corona Extra 13.99,
Grant's Scottish Ale 12.70,
Harpoon IPA 12.00,
Leinenkugel Original 13.90,
New Belgium Fat Tire 13.66,
Pete's Strawberry Blonde 13.70,
Pilsner Urquell 14.70,
Warsteiner Premium Fresh 12.78,
Spoetzl's Shiner Summer Stock 10.50.

For more information on the carbohydrate count of more than 350 worldwide brands of beer, go to

Bob Skilnik is a Chicagoland freelance writer who has written for the Chicago Tribune, the Collector Magazine, the American Breweriana Association's Journal and the National Association Breweriana Advertising's Breweriana Collector on the subjects of beer, brewery history and breweriana. He is a 1991 graduate of the Chicago-based Siebel Institute of Technology, the oldest brewing school in the United States, with a degree in Brewing Technology.

His interests in beer and brewing were cultivated while serving as a German translator in West Germany for the United States Army. Skilnik is the Associate Editor for the ABA Journal and The Tap newspaper, and a member of the Society of Midland Authors and the Culinary Historians of Chicago. He has appeared in the Chicagoland area on Media One's television program, The Buzz, WTTW's Chicago Tonight with Bob Sirott and Phil Ponce, Chicago's Public Radio station, WBEZ , Springfield, IL's WUIS Radio and the WOR Morning Show with Ed Walsh in New York. Skilnik's national television appearances have been on the Cold Pizza morning show on ESPN2 and Fox News Live.

Skilnik's latest effort is The Low-Carb Bartender, published by Adams Media. This reference book of hundreds of beers, wines, liquors, and liqueurs with their carbohydrate counts and a collection of over two hundred low carb mixed-drink recipes will be available in bookstores in the fall of 2004. His first book, The History of Beer and Brewing in Chicago, 1833-1978 was published in 1999. The book was awarded the Quill & Tankard Award by the North American Beer Writers Guild (NABWG) as "Best Beer Book" of 1999. The follow up to this work, The History of Beer and Brewing in Chicago, Volume II, is now available at Infinity Publishing,, the author's website at, and

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