Summer 2021 Exclusive The Bookshelf

The Beer Diet: How to Drink Beer and NOT Gain Weight by Gary Greenberg

If you’re like us, after spending over a year (mostly) indoors, and with a semi-normal summer on the horizon, nothing sounds better than spending time on the beach with your toes in the sand and a cold beer in your hand. If you’re also like us, you may have been neglecting your exercise routine during last year’s COVID shutdown.

Fear not, beer geeks! Gary Greenberg’s delightful read, The Beer Diet, will have your beach bod back in no time – without swearing off your favorite refreshing adult beverage. An avid homebrewer and rugby player who describes himself as “an old boy who still fits into his size 32 rugby shorts,” Greenberg has been dedicated to making small adjustments to his lifestyle that help make a huge difference to his waistline.

Greenberg first heard about The Beer Diet in 1970 from his brother Rick, who adopted it as a game plan for a beer-lover to live a healthy lifestyle “even in a world with an ever-increasing selection of high-calorie, high-carb, craft beers.”

Greenberg’s quirky and informative prose takes readers on a trip through the history of beer, addresses where the myth of the beer belly originated (and it is a myth, folks!) and even delves into some of his homebrewing adventures.

Breaking up historical tidbits and data with refreshing Beer Breaks (“It’s Friday afternoon and I’ve just cracked open a 22-ounce bomber bottle of Quadraphonic, a 10.5% ABV Belgian-style quadruple ale from Barrel of Monks”), Greenberg quickly makes readers feel like drinking buddies.

But beneath Greenberg’s quick wit and amusing anecdotes is a thoughtful and balanced approach to a healthy lifestyle, while also indulging in beer from time to time. For instance, while he doesn’t count calories, Greenberg is very aware of what he’s putting into his body. That means eating healthy during the week and being proactive about the way your body works so you can be vigilant for signs of something wrong. He’s a big advocate of exercising 30-45 minutes every weekday and also believes in the benefits of Dry January, the new phenomenon of a month-long abstinence from alcohol.

He’s sworn off soda, fruit juices and sports drinks and takes five supplements a day that support all seven cell functions. Greenberg also advocates understanding the dangers of too much alcohol. “Drinking more than two 5% ABV beers a day has proven to be harmful to health and longevity for men,” writes Greenberg. “And that number drops to one for women.” The secret, of course, is not to overindulge, while following his other helpful tips to compensate.

The book itself makes it very clear that it is not intended to promote, encourage or condone alcohol abuse. However, he also acknowledges that Nancy Reagan’s 1980s-era anti-drug campaign – “Just say no” – doesn’t quite work either. Instead, Greenberg provides a helpful guide on moderation.

The Beer Diet is a one-stop-shop for learning how to lead a healthy lifestyle while keeping your fridge stocked with your favorite IPAs. He’s even included healthy soup recipes and a bonus chapter on The Body by the Numbers, “just so you know what you’re made of.” With its compact size and Greenberg’s personable approach, The Beer Diet makes a fantastic beach read, whether you’re already careful about what you consume or are looking to adjust your lifestyle.

If you want to stay trim and enjoy drinking beer for many years to come, you need to read this book!

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Draught Lines is a seasonal magazine dedicated to the craft beer experience.