Best & Worst

Best & Worst Beers for Weight Loss

two beers

Beer and wine both have a lot of magical effects on the body, both positive and negative.

On the downside, alcohol can make you sloppy, indiscriminate and snoozy. Plus, combining mugs and shots is scientifically proven to increase your risk of mug shots.

On the positive side, a lot of research on red wine (and some on beer and white wine) indicates that one drink a day can help protect against stroke, coronary artery disease, dementia, and other diseases. Indeed, some studies suggest that drinking in moderation can actually help deflate a beer belly: In a recent study of 8,000 people, Texas Tech University researchers determined that those who downed a daily drink were 54 percent less likely to have a weight problem than teetotalers. Between one and two drinks a day results in a 41 percent risk reduction. But that's where the trend ends. Consumption of three or more daily drinks increases your risk of obesity, says the study.

And therein lies the rub. If you can limit yourself to one or two a day, then you can get the health benefits without too many extra calories—if you choose wisely. Here's a rundown of what, exactly, you're really getting each time you reach for a cold one.

Beers are listed from worst to best based on calories and carbohydrate content—the two major nutritional factors at play when analyzing alcohol.

Bud Light Straw-Ber-Ita

Not That

Bud Light Straw-Ber-Ita

Calories

198

Carbohydrates

23.6

ABV

8%

Bud Light Straw-Ber-Ita

What do get when you mix a strawberry margarita with a Bud Light Lime? A sugar-packed party in a cup that will cost you 200 calories for a tiny 8-ounce serving. If you’re planning to have more than one drink (which, let’s be honest, you likely are), don’t make this one of them.

Budweiser American Ale

NOT THAT!

Budweiser American Ale

Calories

182

Carbohydrates

18 G

ABV

5.3 %

Budweiser American Ale

You may be as patriotic as the next guy, but if you’re trying to fight fat, pass on this American ale for one of Bud's lighter options.

Michelob Honey Lager

NOT THAT!

Michelob Honey Lager

Calories

178

Carbohydrates

19 G

ABV

4.9 %

Michelob Honey Lager

The honey sweetens the beer but sours the carb count. See what else is on tap that could better fit your calorie budget.

Guinness Extra Stout

NOT THAT!

Guinness Extra Stout

Calories

176

Carbohydrates

14 G

ABV

6.0 %

Guinness Extra Stout

This beer is terrific, but full of extra calories. So opt for Guinness Draught instead. You’ll no doubt be pleasantly surprised where it falls on this list. (Hint: Keep scrolling.)

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

NOT THAT!

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Calories

175

Carbohydrates

14 G

ABV

5.6 %

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Yes, it's delicious. But that should just give you more reason to take a close look at its calorie count. If this beer flows down your throat like water, save it for a special occasion when it’s okay to indulge. (Don’t even think about driving.) And of course, if you do drink more than you should, at least make sure you’re working those extra calories off with regular exercise.

Blue Moon Belgian White

NOT THAT!

Blue Moon Belgian White

Calories

164

Carbohydrates

13 G

ABV

5.4 %

Blue Moon Belgian White

This brew’s calorie-count isn’t outrageous, but it’s not going to help you lose your beer belly.

Samuel Adams Boston Lager

NOT THAT!

Samuel Adams Boston Lager

Calories

160

Carbohydrates

18 G

ABV

4.8 %

Samuel Adams Boston Lager

If you love Sam but are worried about your waistline, you’re better off drinking this brand’s light variety.

Bass Ale

NOT THAT!

Bass Ale

Calories

156

Carbohydrates

13 G

ABV

5.1 %

Bass Ale

This one’s borderline. Drink two and you're consuming more calories than a jelly-filled donut from Dunkin’ Donuts. Another reason to watch your pace: Harvard University researchers found that consuming more than 3 alcoholic drinks in a 24-hour period can elevate your risk of atrial fibrillation—a condition that may hike your stroke risk by 500 percent.

Stella Artois

Not That

Stella Artois

Calories

154

Carbohydrates

12 G

ABV

5.2 %

Stella Artois

This is a great beer. But only if your mantra is “quality over quantity.”

Red Stripe Jamaican Lager

Not that!

Red Stripe Jamaican Lager

Calories

153

Carbohydrates

14 G

ABV

5.0 %

Red Stripe Jamaican Lager

Deceiving little guy, isn’t it? Just because it comes in a shorter bottle doesn't mean it has fewer calories.

Hoegaarden

Not that

Hoegaarden

Calories

153

Carbohydrates

13 G

ABV

4.9 %

Hoegaarden

A good beer with dinner. But remember: Three good beers with dinner and you've downed yourself another dinner.

Heineken

Not that!

Heineken

Calories

150

Carbohydrates

12 G

ABV

5.0 %

Heineken

This popular beer even made a guest appearance on Mad Men. Just don’t go mad over it yourself.

Coors

Not that!

Coors

Calories

149

Carbohydrates

12 G

ABV

4.9 %

Coors

Have just one, maybe two. After all, there’s no way around it: Once you start to pound this beer, that’s exactly what you’ll end up with: more pounds.

Dos Equis

Not that!

Dos Equis

Calories

149

Carbohydrates

12 G

ABV

4.9 %

Dos Equis

Dos means two. Let that be your reminder.

Corona Extra

Not that!

Corona Extra

Calories

148

Carbohydrates

14 G

ABV

4.6 %

Corona Extra

Extra what? Extra flavor? Extra smooth? Or is it extra calories? Don’t be fooled by it’s “light” taste.

Foster's

Not that!

Foster's

Calories

145

Carbohydrates

11 G

ABV

5.0 %

Foster's

More motivation to drink in moderation: Binge drinking after you lift weights may inhibit your ability to build muscle, according to a report in Strength and Conditioning Journal. Researchers say that guzzling the alcohol equivalent of five or more drinks appears to suppress the production of testosterone, a hormone that’s crucial for muscle growth. Smaller doses (one to two drinks) appear to have little or no immediate effect on testosterone. Of course, the best beverage to consume after exercise is one that contains a healthy dose of protein.

Budweiser

Not that!

Budweiser

Calories

145

Carbohydrates

11 G

ABV

5.0 %

Budweiser

No doubt about it, this domestic is a classic, but it's a bit higher in calories than we'd like to see.

Modelo Especial

Not that!

Modelo Especial

Calories

145

Carbohydrates

4 g

ABV

4.4%

Modelo Especial

This pale lager isn’t the worst thing in the cooler, but there are a number of better beers to choose from.

Pabst Blue Ribbon

DRINK THIS!

Pabst Blue Ribbon

Calories

144

Carbohydrates

13 G

ABV

5.0 %

Pabst Blue Ribbon

This old-school brew has been around since the late 1800s—long before anyone thought much about calorie-counts.

Miller High Life

DRINK THIS!

Miller High Life

Calories

143

Carbohydrates

13 G

ABV

4.7 %

Miller High Life

The High Life isn’t too bad for you—so long as you know when to call it quits—which, in this case, should be after one brewski.

Beck's

DRINK THIS!

Beck's

Calories

143

Carbohydrates

10 G

ABV

5.0 %

Beck's

Crisp, clean, and smooth. Enough said.

Yuengling Lager

DRINK THIS!

Yuengling Lager

Calories

142

Carbohydrates

12 G

ABV

4.6 %

Yuengling Lager

This beer is a favorite in Eastern Pennsylvania, where it’s brewed.

Bud Light Platinum

DRINK THIS

Bud Light Platinum

Calories

143

Carbohydrates

10 G

ABV

5.0 %

Bud Light Platinum

One of the newer additions to the Budweiser family, Bud Light Platinum is more potent than the average American brew and has fewer calories, too.

Rolling Rock Premium

DRINK THIS!

Rolling Rock Premium

Calories

132

Carbohydrates

10 G

ABV

4.5 %

Rolling Rock Premium

Tastes like summer. Stick to this and you won’t grow out of your swimsuit.

Natural Ice

Drink this!

Natural Ice

Calories

130

Carbohydrates

4 g

ABV

5.9%

Natural Ice

Although it’s not super low-cal, downing a bottle or two of this brew won’t totally derail your weight loss efforts.

Guinness Draught

DRINK THIS!

Guinness Draught

Calories

126

Carbohydrates

10 G

ABV

4.0 %

Guinness Draught

Perhaps the most surprising beer on this list. The great taste of Guinness but with a calorie-count in the range of a light beer.

Bud Ice

Drink This!

Bud Ice

Calories

121

Carbohydrates

10 g

ABV

4.0%

Bud Ice

This beer packs a combo we support: The great taste of a Budweiser with a calorie-count in the range of a light beer.

Sam Adams Light

DRINK THIS!

Sam Adams Light

Calories

119

Carbohydrates

10 G

ABV

4.0 %

Sam Adams Light

Think of it as a good beer's thinner brother.

Bud Light Lime

Drink This!

Bud Light Lime

Calories

116

Carbohydrates

8

ABV

4.2%

Bud Light Lime

Not only is this beer refreshing and perfect for beach and BBQ days, it won’t make you look bloated in your bathing suit, either.

Busch

Drink This!

Busch

Calories

114

Carbohydrates

6.9 g

ABV

4.3%

Busch

If you’re looking for an American-style lager that won’t break the calorie bank, cracking open a can of Busch isn’t a bad bet.

Bud Light

DRINK THIS!

Bud Light

Calories

110

Carbohydrates

7 G

ABV

4.2 %

Bud Light

Ah. Refreshing, isn't it? Keep it away from the beer bong and you'll be just fine. And in case you were wondering, both men and women experience “beer goggles.”

Coors Light

DRINK THIS!

Coors Light

Calories

104

Carbohydrates

5 G

ABV

4.2 %

Coors Light

Falls just above the 100-calorie mark, making it competitive with the top light beers. Don’t obsess over the details at this point: Just choose the one you like best.

Keystone Light

Drink This!

Keystone Light

Calories

104

Carbohydrates

5 G

ABV

4.1%

Keystone Light

Short on cash? Keystone light is one of the cheapest beers out there—and, lucky for you, it’s also one of the lowest-calorie brews on the market.

Budweiser Select

DRINK THIS!

Budweiser Select

Calories

99

Carbohydrates

3 G

ABV

4.3 %

Budweiser Select

Select this beer if you’re a Bud man (or woman!), but want a brew that’s lighter in calories than the original.

Yuengling Lager Light

DRINK THIS!

Yuengling Lager Light

Calories

99

Carbohydrates

9 G

ABV

3.8 %

Yuengling Lager Light

Goes down smooth, and with 43 percent fewer calories than regular Yuengling Lager.

Miller Lite

DRINK THIS!

Miller Lite

Calories

96

Carbohydrates

3 G

ABV

4.2 %

Miller Lite

Every bar has Miller Lite on tap for a reason. When in doubt, here's your order.

Amstel Light

DRINK THIS!

Amstel Light

Calories

95

Carbohydrates

6 G

ABV

3.5 %

Amstel Light

No frills here. Just a good beer that won’t fill you out.

Busch Light

Drink This!

Busch Light

Calories

95

Carbohydrates

3.2

ABV

4.5%

Busch Light

Light, crisp, refreshing and low-calorie. What more could you ask for?

Natural Light

Drink This!

Natural Light

Calories

95

Carbohydrates

3.2

ABV

4.2%

Natural Light

Popping open a Natty Light may make you feel like you’re back in college, but don’t let that steer you away. Sipping the low-cal brew in lieu of your heavier go-tos may help you fit into your frat-days jeans again, too.

Michelob Ultra

DRINK THIS!

Michelob Ultra

Calories

95

Carbohydrates

3 G

ABV

4.2 %

Michelob Ultra

Michelob Ultra doesn’t claim our top spot because the brand has associated itself with running, cycling and living an active healthy lifestyle, it’s our #1 pick over Natural Light because it’s slightly lower in carbs.

Read This!