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Low Carb Beer: Not So Skinny

Low carb beer and lite beer are two different animals. Both feature lower calories and both are ostensibly for weight loss. But a typical light beer contains almost 3 times as many carbs as a low carbohydrate beer. So far so good. If you'd like to enjoy an occasional beer while on a low carb diet, the low carb beers may be the way to go.

But they're no diet miracles, for either low fat or low carb dieters. On the Atkins induction phase or other initial phase of a low carbohydrate diet, no beer is likely to be helpful. These tasty wonders do contain many fewer grams of carbohydrates than a traditional beer (averaging 2.5 grams a bottle vs. 10-20 grams for a normal beer.) But when you need to limit your intake to less than 20 grams of carbohydrates for the day, you won't have much variety in your meals if you choose to include a beer.

Once you're at the ongoing weight loss phase of your low carb diet, you can enjoy the extra flexibility in your diet that goes with the higher level of acceptable carbs per day. And if you feel like a beer, a low carb beer is the best choice. But bear in mind, that successful weight loss, even on a low carb regimen, still means that your calories must be less than the level it takes to maintain your present weight. Low carb beers still tip the scales at close to 100 calories a bottle, because alcohol carries a penalty of 7 calories per gram, as compared to protein and carbs at 4.

So when the sun is beating down and nothing would taste better than a beer, remember as you crack that cool one open, to keep the big picture in mind and check the calories as well as the carbs.

Shawn Low is an author and contributing writer for the popular http://www.healthy-low-carb.com an online information source for low carb diets, free low carb recipes, diet basics, books, product reviews, and informative up to date dieting research.

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