Nutrition

Don’t Drink Your Calories

What are Liquid Calories?

Liquid calories are calories that come from the liquids we consume as part of our daily diet.  Alcohol, juice, and soda are a few examples of liquid calories, that can add up quickly and easily slip under the radar.   

This type of calories can slide by so easily, it’s common for most people to miss accounting for them.  People often go through their day consuming many beverages, without realizing that they may be ingesting a good portion of their calories from beverages.

When you’re making health and wellness a priority, exercising and maintaining a healthy diet might not be enough if you aren’t accurately monitoring your fluid intake.  If you are sticking to your healthy habits and wondering why you haven’t lost weight or have hit a plateau in your progress, the answer may be sneaking in through your beverages.  Still, there are several ways for you to enjoy your morning latte without having to raise the number on the scale.

Here are a few effective tips to help you make better beverage choices.

Watch Your Water

Nowadays, an increasing number of people are replacing water with vitamin waters, sports drinks, flavored waters, and other beverages that promise surprising energy boosts and nutrition.  What advertisements don’t tell you is that many of these are also packed with additives, sweeteners, and potentially extra calories. The best advice is to stick with regular water and avoid the hidden calories these drinks may contain.  

Avoid Soft Drinks

A 12-ounce can of regular soda ranges from 90-160 calories, depending on the brand.  Twelve ounces of Pepsi contains 150 calories, so consuming a 20- ounce bottle with dinner would increase your daily caloric intake by a staggering 250 calories.  However, if your cravings get the best of you and you need to have a soft drink, choosing diet is your best option.

Accountability You Can Trust

Beware of Fancy Coffee Drinks

 If you think your morning latte doesn’t affect your diet, you’re in for a big surprise.  A tall caffe latte from Starbucks packs 180 calories, without counting the additional calories added by the whipped cream.  Unless you are ordering a tall nonfat latte from Starbucks, you will be adding an additional 240 calories to your day with just your morning coffee alone.  Alternatives to your normal morning coffee fix would be to ask for soy or nonfat milk, skip the whipped cream, ask for sugar free syrup or bring stevia with you as a sweetener.

Skip the Morning OJ

Whether it’s orange, apple , or cranberry, juices are loaded with sugars and calories.  An 8 oz. glass of juice contains around 110 calories, 22 grams of sugar, and 26.9 grams of carbohydrates.  If you drink a glass of orange juice every morning, that’s an additional 770 calories to your week! A good substitute for juice would be to eat a piece of fruit.  Eating your fruits instead of drinking them means your body reaps the benefits of fiber and nutrients.

Drinking the Pounds!

Alcoholic beverages can contain the highest amount of calories of all beverages.  Whether it’s a 12-ounce can of beer or a mixed drink, your alcoholic beverages can be a cocktail for catastrophe as it relates to your health.  The average beer contains anywhere from 135 to 210 calories. Choosing light beer such as Bud Select or Michelob Ultra, which are popular lower calorie brews.  Beware of fruity drinks such as pina coladas, daiquiris, and margaritas. A 12-ounce pina colada has 650 calories! Instead, try mixing liquor with club soda or other zero calorie mixers for a lower calorie cocktail.

With all of this being said, if you are mindful of your calorie intake, you can still indulge once in a while with a margarita, orange juice for breakfast, or that extra whipping on the top of your latte. 

Just remember to be more conscious of what you put in your body, even if it is just a “drink” after all… 

At CoreLife, we take a customized approach with our patients. We work one-on-one with our patients to ensure their calorie intake is up to par with what their bodies need and aligns with their lifestyles.  Our registered dietitians provide nutritional education, tools, and help you create a plan to establish healthy habits and manage weight loss in a healthy manner. Start your one-on-one accountability today!

Katy Misenheimer MS, RD, CDE

Author Katy Misenheimer MS, RD, CDE

More posts by Katy Misenheimer MS, RD, CDE

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