Burn It Off: St. Patrick's Day Beer Edition

By , SparkPeople Blogger
St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner. If you're like most Americans looking for a reason to party, this means one of two (or…two of two) things: 1) You're going to down a pint of your favorite Irish beer in celebrate of St. Paddy, or 2) you're going to drink one of your favorite American beers tinted green.

But if you're trying to keep your weight in check—or even lose a few pounds—a beer or two can really throw things off. Alcohol can lead to weight gain, as the body processes it much differently than food. And burning off a few hundreds extra calories for a day or two of bar hopping is no small feat.

To help you decide which beer might make the best fit in your St. Patrick's Day diet (if any), I came up with this great visual guide to show exactly how many calories are in your favorite stouts, ales and draughts, along with how much exercise it'll take to burn off the beer of your choice.

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Calories burned based on a 150-pound female. Serving size for each beer is 12 oz.

While the calories in these beers don't vary that wildly (between 96-171), choosing to drink more than one of the higher calorie drinks (Murphy's Irish Red, Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale or Killian's Irish Red) would add up significantly compared to the lower calorie beer options (Miller Light, Bud Light, and Guinness Draught). Also keep in mind that the calories listed here are based on a 12-oz serving, which is a typical can or bottle; the bar you frequent may serve beers on tap in glasses that are 16 ounces or larger. And lastly, if you use blue curacao to tint your beer (rather than food coloring), you're adding 72 calories per ounce to your drink. Ouch. 

Thinking about how much work it might take to undo a few hundred extra calories of green beer might help prevent you from overindulging. But like all things: Moderation is key. One drink daily for women or two drinks daily for men is considered moderation. Please drink responsibly if you choose to do so and always stay safe out there!

Did these calorie counts surprise you? Do you normally drink on St. Patrick's Day?