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Doctor say's no more beer. Drink vodka instead.

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noblebrew

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I went to the Dr. yesterday, and low and behold I have hypertension. I am also overweight. 242 lbs at 5ft 9in. So I need to lose weight I get it. So now I'm supposed to count calories. I can do that she put me at 1500 calories a day. I can do that as well. Then the conversation turned to drinking and she asked me "how much do you drink?" She inquires.
"A pint and a half a day" says I.
She has this confused look. "How much is a pint? Is that a lot?"
I convert it to oz. "About 24 oz so two beers I guess"
"Ok well you have to stop drinking beer."
"I brew my own beer I have a kegerator and two taps. I just started 5 gallons of cider before I came over, and 12 gallons in my pipeline. Brewing is my passion. It helps keep me sane." I tell her.
"Well if you need to take the edge off just take a shot of vodka." She tells me.
At this point I realize she doesn't understand.
So my plan is stick to the 1500 calories per day and just count the beer in there as well. Man, am I glad that beersmith calculates calories.
 

Hello

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Beer will consume a lot of those daily calories fast. I'm not saying you shouldn't drink it, but just be aware. Also, 1500 calories sounds to me like you'll shed weight fairly quickly. Keep in mind, if you exercise then you can create a deficit and become ill. It's a balance really.

I am by no means thin but having shed a substantial amount of weight before and keeping most of it off, I can say that you really want to keep track of the calories in and calories out. There are good calculators online that help and dozens of iOS & Android apps out there. Endomondo and MapMyFitness are two favorites.

I think beer has more calories (beer worth drinking) and an ounce of vodka so I can see her point. She clearly doesn't get it but it is not her job to understand brewing passion. I too appreciate that Beer Smith tells us calories. It may not be 100% accurate, but it's probably fairly close.
 

jnr1005

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I love the assumption that you drink to "take the edge off". My parents assume the same thing. I'm not saying I haven't gotten drunk off of beer, but most nights I have a beer because I love the taste, so subing a shot of vodka would not satisfy my craving.
 

JonM

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How about add exercise - do a 300 calorie workout and earn that pint. That's motivation.
 

Mdsutton

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But if you are going the Vodka route, try a Ukrainian Honey Pepper Vodka. You would have to find a Russian store to buy it. I have never found any in Regular liquor stores. Me I exercise, HOT Yoga 5 times a week. Dropped about 15#s.
 

Brewing_on_the_Internet

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You could switch to unsweetened lambics or other beers with a low fg. Most of the calories in lambics comes from alcohol.

The most important thing is to just count your calories. If your beer and food is under your caloric limit while still providing all the nutrients your body needs, you're fine.
 

wilserbrewer

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Your doctor has no idea how many fluid ounces are in a pint? That would concern me...

While 1500 calories a day would be a great goal, do you have any idea what your average caloric intake is now?

Just saying, if you are currently eating and drinking like a maniac (ahem...5-9" and 242), you may not need to go as low as 1500 to achieve reasonable weight loss...the key is long term lifestyle change eating right and staying away from super galactic calorie bombs...cheers and good luck!
 

IslandLizard

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She clearly doesn't understand homebrew. Staying sane is also a healthy choice, as well as losing weight. Exercise and being aware of your daily intake are solid proven routes.

It is about the balance, yes.

As long as you burn off more cals than you take in, you will lose weight. How much you can lose per month is up to you, your dedication, and your overall state of health. I'd call that the common sense diet. You don't see it advertised on TV.

Some foods and condiments are just high in calories, so replace those with nothing or lower cal alternatives. There is the "-75 cal diet," which is one of the most sensible ways to take 75 cals off each meal without much noticing or effort. There's a whole list of 75cal items that can be replaced or omitted easily, such as a dollop of mayo or a smear of peanut butter. 4 of those can help to put a pint back in your hands. Otherwise chances are you'll be back in her office some day, for Prozac.

It can be fun getting those pounds off! Like a good game.
 

NickTheGreat

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Your doctor has no idea how many fluid ounces are in a pint? That would concern me...

While 1500 calories a day would be a great goal, do you have any idea what your average caloric intake is now?

Just saying, if you are currently eating and drinking like a maniac (ahem...5-9" and 242), you may not need to go as low as 1500 to achieve reasonable weight loss...the key is long term lifestyle change eating right and staying away from super galactic calorie bombs...cheers and good luck!
Yeah . . . maybe she grew up in a metric country or something :drunk:

I am no nutritionist, and weigh about the same as the OP. But I wouldn't see what is wrong with counting the beer calories. And besides, a 1oz shot of vodka has 64 calories according to Google. A lot of people don't realize that a drink made with hard liquor can be very high in calories, not including the mixers!
 

IslandLizard

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Your doctor has no idea how many fluid ounces are in a pint? That would concern me...
I wouldn't be all that surprised if she doesn't know. They don't make doctors anymore like they used to. :D

I heard this question from a student next to me in Econ class quite a few years back:
"How many zeros are there in a million, 5 or 6?"​
:mug:
 

Clonefan94

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I'm not really one for telling you to not follow your doctors advice, but in this case, calories are calories. If you still need a beer a day, shrink that 24 oz, down to just a pint. With most homebrews I make, that's probably cutting off close to 100 calories right there.

I'm in a similar boat, I definitely have to cut some weight. What's been working well for me, is what others have said here. Over-all lifestyle change. Don't focus on losing 40 lbs as soon as possible. Look at it as dropping a couple of pounds a week, maybe even just a pound by making changes in your life you can live with. Sounds like cutting out beer completely isn't really an option for you, as it would be tough for me as well. So, I made the little changes that I can live with the rest of my life.

If you try to cut the beer out completely, just to lose 40 pounds or so, that's all going to come right back as soon as you pick up the beer again. Because you'll have a diet you are used to, but now you are adding extra beer calories back in.

It's kind of amazing, when you really start watching what you are eating and taking in, how easy it is to cut the calories. Don't go for the second helping, cut back on that side of potatoes, make a salad instead of a buttery vegetable and drink one pint of beer instead of a pint and a half.

The key is establishing a diet you can live with and deal with and don't think of it as a diet. And just keep an eye on yourself. I used to think, "Hey, I eat plain oatmeal with some cinnamon and half a banana in it, for lunch I have a couple pieces of turkey and raw vegetables, I eat great, what's the deal." Then I started paying attention to how I ate when I got home. I was so hungry from not eating much all day, I was constantly popping a small snack in my mouth while making dinner, then I'd have a snack again before bed. Adding about 100 calories to my lunch has probably cut out about 300 calories of crap I would eat when I walked in the door at night, just from not being as hungry.

As I said though, if the beer isn't life threatening, just a calorie issue, then there is no reason why you have to cut it out completely. You just have to make room for it. It's kind of scary when you go on one of those calorie calculators for homebrew. Just two pints at night could be more than you'd want to eat for lunch. The key is moderation, but focused moderation. A lot of people don't realize how bad they actually are eating, or even just how their habits they don't even think of are really bad for their over all health.

Oh yeah, and exercise really helps as well.
 

roastquake

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I cut back to a beer a day and I do this exercise that I heard about on the Jason Ellis Show:


I do the "no ropes version" that the hot woman shows at the very end. It's for people like me who are used to NEVER exercising. I'll be honest, It's painful for about 10-15 minutes 3 times a week, but I feel better overall and I'm losing weight (at my heaviest I was 241 lb, I'm 6 ft 2 inches) I don't miss the extra beers, and I'm brewing mostly 1-2 gallon batches of smaller beers. That's to make sure there is just less beer around the house, and the beer that is there is flavorful but not calorie-packed. This link outlines the whole workout, https://www.onnit.com/onnit-naked-challenge/?fhs=ellis there's a diet that goes along with it, but I love food. Especially the unhealthy southern food I grew up on, I just try to eat less of it.
 
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I'd say pick 1-2 nights a week and drink a few beers then. Cut back the rest of the week. That'll probably knock 300-400 calores off per day for 5 days a week. That way you won't feel like you're depriving yourself. Throw in some exercise and you should be good to go.

BTW - I wish I had a doctor that told me to do shots of vodka. She's a keeper. My doctor once snuck up on me at a concert and caught me eating an Italian Sausge and holding a beer. He gave me hell for it.:D
 

JonM

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Shot of Vodka? Blech. Im sure there are Vodka afficcionafos out there who "get" vodka, but i fail to see the point of drinking a spirit that is supposed to taste like nothing at all. Scotch, on the other hand ...

Maybe mix it up. A pint Monday, two fingers of 18-year-old Scotch Tuesday.
 
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I've been on Weight Watchers for 2 years - lost 45 pounds and have kept most of it off for about a year. Beer is the hardest thing about staying on plan, but I just make sure I limit myself to 1 pint most days and splurge only twice a week or so.

I agree that you should just cut back on how many and just count the calories. Just make sure you do eat and don't blow all your caloric budget on beer, as tempting as that is. :p One thing I like about WW is (not trying to preach here but) most fruits and vegetables are free, so if I want to have a few beers at night, I'll just fill up on vegetables and stuff during the day.

Speaking of doctors being alcohol-portion-size challenged, I once had this conversation with a doctor:

Doc: "How much do you drink a day?"
Me: "1 or 2 beers."
Doc: "How big?"
Me: "The usual size. 12 oz. So like 12-24 oz a day."
Doc: "That's way too much. You shouldn't have more than 1-2 oz of alcohol a day."
Me: "Right. 1-2 oz of hard liquor, which has a lot more alcohol in it than beer."
Doc: [blank look]
Me: "Right?"
Doc: "Uh, no. I think 1-2 oz of anything, including beer."

Needless to say, I never went back to that doctor. What are they teaching in med school these days?
 
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noblebrew

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Thank You all for the advice and encouragement. I need it.

Cutting out the beer was for weight loss not the hypertension.

I think she was more used to metric units.

I have downloaded a calorie counter and I'm trying drink water when I feel peckish instead of having a snack.
 

Xpertskir

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I'm not really one for telling you to not follow your doctors advice, but in this case, calories are calories.
Calories are not calories...the body processes different substances(proteins, carbs, fats, alcohol, ect) differently.

Beer is unfortunately doubly bad.

1. Alcohol jumps to the head of the line and basically "shuts off" your metabolism while it is being processed
2. Carbs are the majority component of beer and they are the easiest and most likely to be converted to fat stores.



@ the OP...
A 1500 calorie diet for a 5' 9 male, is pretty extreme. I'm not saying you wouldn't benefit from it in the short term, but you are probably better off using a more reasonable long term approach to take the weight of slowly and with a diet/exercise regimen that is more sustainable.

I'm not a doctor, but if you have been eating and drinking enough to be 5'9 240...a 1500 calorie diet is going to be a rude awakening, and difficult to adjust to, and even more difficult to maintain for any meaningful period...especially with the holidays around the corner.
 
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If you really want to drop weight FAST and get healthy at the same time... Buy a juicer and start a simple 1-2 a day juice regimen. Also find an apple you like and add 2 a day to your diet. Then have a good dinner. The juice will take the place of your breakfast ( you are eating breakfast right?) the apples will add the needed fiber to your diet and take the place of your afternoon snacks and then a good dinner. The weight will FALL off. I am living proof and I feel better than I have in YEARS! Even with my work load I was gaining weight like crazy 18# over weight in less than 6 months! I bought a GREAT juicer and have been drinking myself into better health and the weight is GONE!
Good luck man! Ohhh and if my doctor didn't know how many oz were in a pint and offered Vodka as an alternative to beer. I would switch doctors. Just sayen...

Cheers
Jay
 
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noblebrew

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In my doctors defense she is an army doctor. So that may have something to do with it. Also I don't think she was a beer drinker.
 
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noblebrew said:
In my doctors defense she is an army doctor. So that may have something to do with it. Also I don't think she was a beer drinker.
Believe me- losing the weight & getting your BP under control should be your focus. You can always go back to having a beer if you get that accomplished & keep your weight under control. You can't if you're dead!
I speak from experience. Almost six years ago I had a brain hemorrhage related to high BP. At the time I weighed 270. I sent a month + in ICU & inpatient rehab followed by 9 mo of outpatient PT/OT. I'm now right handed but weigh 195!
In fact, it is why I now brew beer! All my other hobbies are gone so it has given me something to do that I enjoy & can accomplish essentially w/ one hand!
I do limit myself to an avg of 2 pints per day & have maintained my weight for 3+ years. Plus my BP is now 120/70!
 

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Whatever it takes, however you do it, try very hard to keep to those 1500 calories. Now you get the chance to brew for others instead of yourself. You get to try small experimental batches, brewing with friends, maybe learn judging, lots of opportunities
 

stonecutter2

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First worry about losing weight to help your hypertension. Then figure beer into the equation. Beer is a simple and easy dietary change that will gain you big weight loss fast early on. Example...a 150 calorie beer twice a day is 300 calories. In one week that's 2100 calories off towards a 3600 calorie deficit to lose one pound.

Less beer for a while will help you easily drop some weight.
 
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