AT MIDNIGHT on Sunday, thousands of otherwise clear-thinking citizens will resolve to stop drinking beer in a vain attempt to lose a few pounds. Beer, they’re certain, is the reason they’re walking around with a spare tire.
Some will swear off it forever. Or worse, many will switch to light beer.
Bradley Scott Cailor says they’re almost certain to fail. “It’s not the alcohol that’s making them gain weight,” the author of “The Beer Drinkers ‘Diet’ ” (BookSurge, $14.95) proclaims. “It’s the munchies they’re eating and their sedentary lifestyle.”
Yes, you read that right: “The Beer Drinkers ‘Diet.’ ” It sounds like a dream come true, even if you read the subtitle: “The weight-loss plan that allows for the responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages!”
Responsible? I’m not sure what that means, but it’s gotta be better than those other diets that tell you to give up everything – beer, wine, whiskey, even sugar-free Jell-O shooters – if you have any hope of losing those extra pounds.
“That’s exactly why they don’t work,” Cailor told me in an interview. “You’ve got to let people do what they want to do and incorporate it into a health plan that’s going to work for them. You can’t tell them to stop drinking beer, because that’s not what they want to do.”
Cailor describes himself as a lifelong yo-yo dieter who lost 593 pounds (and gained them all back) over the years. He went into each weight-loss plan with the necessary commitment but, every time, stress sidetracked him into drinking excessively and munching on fast food.
Then he discovered that the secret to losing weight was to just stop dieting. Instead, he taught himself to incorporate healthy eating and exercise into his everyday lifestyle.
He exercises a little more and cuts out a few beers in the middle of the week. He’s also eliminated junk food and weekend bingeing. No Atkins, no grapefruit diets – nothing too complex. He eats up to six small-portion meals a day.
The result: He lost 114 pounds of fat in about a year; the 5-foot-8-inch author’s down to 165.
“This ‘diet’ was actually very easy to follow because I never felt that I was actually on a ‘diet,’ ” he writes.
Indeed, the key to his plan is to treat himself to the thing he loves most: “I like to drink beer! I am not an alcoholic; I just enjoy hard-earned beers, in moderation, as a reward for working hard during the week.”
He said: “The bottom line is that I did nothing that could be considered depriving or frustrating. I ate what I wanted and drank what I wanted.”
Refusing to give up beer not only made it easier to stick to his weight-loss regimen, Cailor points out in his easy-to-read memoir, it also proved that beer ain’t all that bad.
Take that dreaded light beer. Beer companies spend millions advertising the calories in that watered-down crud. But the difference between the 110 calories in Bud Light and the 135 calories in Yuengling Lager is only about a handful of potato chips. Instead of taking one less bite of all that saturated fat, beer drinkers subject themselves to tasteless yellow swill.
Another thing: Beer doesn’t automatically go to your gut. That’s an urban legend. In fact, among women, studies have shown an inverse relationship between alcohol consumption and body mass. Beer bellies go away when you put down the Doritos and pick up a dumbbell.
So, how much does Cailor drink? He won’t tell.
“I admit to drinking in spirited moderation,” he said. “Most diet books tell you to drink, at most, two to four beers per week. I assure you that I exceed that. The point is, you have to decide for yourself what moderation is… . There’s no sacrifice in this book. I just give you some boundaries.”
Tips on diets & drinking
Here are a few of Cailor’s guidelines:
- Beware of umbrella drinks. They may contain 600 to 800 calories each.
- Instead of just sitting, burn a few calories playing bar games.
- Drink a glass of water every few drinks.
- Eat a balanced meal before going out for drinks. Avoid late-night munchies. Your body burns alcohol calories first, then stores your food calories as fat.
- Try to limit partying to weekends.
For more info, visit www.TheBeerdrinkersDiet.com.