Best & Worst

Best & Worst Beers for Weight Loss

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

Best & Worst

Best & Worst Beers for Weight Loss

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.

Not That

Bud Light Straw-Ber-Ita

Calories 198
Carbohydrates 23.6
ABV 8%

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.

NOT THAT!

Budweiser American Ale

Calories 182
Carbohydrates 18 G
ABV 5.3 %

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.

NOT THAT!

Michelob Honey Lager

Calories 178
Carbohydrates 19 G
ABV 4.9 %

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

NOT THAT!

Guinness Extra Stout

Calories 176
Carbohydrates 14 G
ABV 6.0 %

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.)

NOT THAT!

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Calories 175
Carbohydrates 14 G
ABV 5.6 %

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.

NOT THAT!

Blue Moon Belgian White

Calories 164
Carbohydrates 13 G
ABV 5.4 %

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

NOT THAT!

Samuel Adams Boston Lager

Calories 160
Carbohydrates 18 G
ABV 4.8 %

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

NOT THAT!

Bass Ale

Calories 156
Carbohydrates 13 G
ABV 5.1 %

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.

Not That

Stella Artois

Calories 154
Carbohydrates 12 G
ABV 5.2 %

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

Not that!

Red Stripe Jamaican Lager

Calories 153
Carbohydrates 14 G
ABV 5.0 %

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

Not that

Hoegaarden

Calories 153
Carbohydrates 13 G
ABV 4.9 %

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

Not that!

Heineken

Calories 150
Carbohydrates 12 G
ABV 5.0 %

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

Not that!

Coors

Calories 149
Carbohydrates 12 G
ABV 4.9 %

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.

Not that!

Dos Equis

Calories 149
Carbohydrates 12 G
ABV 4.9 %

Dos means two. Let that be your reminder.

Not that!

Corona Extra

Calories 148
Carbohydrates 14 G
ABV 4.6 %

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

Not that!

Foster’s

Calories 145
Carbohydrates 11 G
ABV 5.0 %

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.

Not that!

Budweiser

Calories 145
Carbohydrates 11 G
ABV 5.0 %

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

Not that!

Modelo Especial

Calories 145
Carbohydrates 4 g
ABV 4.4%

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

DRINK THIS!

Pabst Blue Ribbon

Calories 144
Carbohydrates 13 G
ABV 5.0 %

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

DRINK THIS!

Miller High Life

Calories 143
Carbohydrates 13 G
ABV 4.7 %

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.

DRINK THIS!

Beck’s

Calories 143
Carbohydrates 10 G
ABV 5.0 %

Crisp, clean, and smooth. Enough said.

DRINK THIS!

Yuengling Lager

Calories 142
Carbohydrates 12 G
ABV 4.6 %

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

DRINK THIS

Bud Light Platinum

Calories 143
Carbohydrates 10 G
ABV 5.0 %

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.

DRINK THIS!

Rolling Rock Premium

Calories 132
Carbohydrates 10 G
ABV 4.5 %

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

Drink this!

Natural Ice

Calories 130
Carbohydrates 4 g
ABV 5.9%

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

DRINK THIS!

Guinness Draught

Calories 126
Carbohydrates 10 G
ABV 4.0 %

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.

Drink This!

Bud Ice

Calories 121
Carbohydrates 10 g
ABV 4.0%

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

DRINK THIS!

Sam Adams Light

Calories 119
Carbohydrates 10 G
ABV 4.0 %

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

Drink This!

Bud Light Lime

Calories 116
Carbohydrates 8
ABV 4.2%

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.

Drink This!

Busch

Calories 114
Carbohydrates 6.9 g
ABV 4.3%

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.

DRINK THIS!

Bud Light

Calories 110
Carbohydrates 7 G
ABV 4.2 %

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.”

DRINK THIS!

Coors Light

Calories 104
Carbohydrates 5 G
ABV 4.2 %

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.

Drink This!

Keystone Light

Calories 104
Carbohydrates 5 G
ABV 4.1%

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.

DRINK THIS!

Budweiser Select

Calories 99
Carbohydrates 3 G
ABV 4.3 %

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

DRINK THIS!

Yuengling Lager Light

Calories 99
Carbohydrates 9 G
ABV 3.8 %

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

DRINK THIS!

Miller Lite

Calories 96
Carbohydrates 3 G
ABV 4.2 %

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

DRINK THIS!

Amstel Light

Calories 95
Carbohydrates 6 G
ABV 3.5 %

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

Drink This!

Busch Light

Calories 95
Carbohydrates 3.2
ABV 4.1%

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

Drink This!

Natural Light

Calories 95
Carbohydrates 3.2
ABV 4.2%

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.

DRINK THIS!

Michelob Ultra

Calories 95
Carbohydrates 3 G
ABV 4.2 %

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 because it does all that and is lower in carbs than its closest competitor—and tastes great, too. It’s the #1 Best Light Beer in America.