Stop Drinking Your Calories!
If you were to try and lose weight right now, what method would you choose?
For most of us, the biggest change would be the way that we eat.
Cutting out fatty foods, maybe some starches and perhaps reducing our sugar intake are a good start. All of these methods are a great way to limit the amount of food you eat so that you can lose weight. But what about your drinking habits? How many calories per day are you ingesting via liquids?
Unless you only drink water and calorie-free soda, chances are good that you add a lot of extra calories of which you may not be aware. In fact, depending on the kind of stuff you drink, it could cause you to gain weight, even if everything else was equal.
So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at how our beverages can affect our health.
Whenever we go out drinking, cutting down on calories is not usually on our minds. However, even if we stick to just a couple of drinks, they can add up to substantial weight gain over time.
No matter what kind of alcohol you like, it has plenty of empty calories that can sneak up on you.
Part of the reason that we don’t think about alcoholic beverages in this way is that most liquor bottles do not have a nutrition label on them. Therefore, we are completely unaware of how many calories are actually in our next shot or cocktail.
To give you a better idea, here are the numbers for common drinks.
- Beer: 100-150 calories per bottle
- Red Wine: 125 calories per glass
- White Wine: 121 calories per glass
- Spirits (rum, whiskey, etc.): 97 calories per shot
- Champagne: 84 calories per glass
- Frozen Margarita: 168 calories per glass
As you can see, calories add up quickly.
If you drink a few bottles of beer in a night, then you could be adding significant empty calories to your waistline. They don’t call it a beer belly for nothing. Even if you drink light beer, it can still have up to 100 calories per bottle or can.
In the end, if you drink regularly, you need to take these numbers into account.
Fruit Juices and Smoothies
For some people, losing weight means breaking out the blender as they will start making delicious and healthy smoothies. Drop a handful of fresh fruit and veggies into the machine, and you are on your way to a thinner waistline, right?
Well, that depends on how much sugar is involved.
Even though fruit is healthy for you, the sweetness doesn’t come from nowhere, meaning that you can have a drink that is packed with fructose. Worst of all, when you make a smoothie, you are adding even more sugar since you need more fruit to make enough to fill you up.
There is a huge difference between eating a banana and blending two of them into a beverage.
One method will fill you up and add fiber to your diet, while the other distills the ingredients into a sugar frappe.
It gets even worse if you try to get pre-made smoothies or juices from the store. In many cases, these drinks have sugar added which makes them as bad or worse than soda.
Of course, because we are drinking fruit instead we mistakenly think that it’s healthier for us, but while fruit juices or smoothies are better than drinking empty calories from soft drinks, you do have to realize that you are still ingesting a lot of sugar in the end.
Most Americans think they need some kind of stimulant in the morning.
Whether it’s a cup of coffee or an energy drink, we suck them down without a second’s hesitation. However, unless you are drinking plain black coffee or a calorie-free Red Bull, you ingest a lot of extra calories.
For those who like a little cream and sugar in their cup of joe, it could result in a beverage that has between 100 and 200 calories.
Energy drinks are even worse with calorie ranges that can be upwards of 250 per can, which is why you should avoid them unless they are sugar-free.
Black coffee is your best bet, as it usually has less than five calories per serving, but who takes it black?
Teas and Flavored Water
Finally, we have another group of people who forgo things like sugary sports drinks and soda in favor of iced tea or vitamin water.
At first glance, these may seem like a welcome change; but as we’ve seen throughout this article, where there’s sweetness, there’s trouble. In this case, if you drink sweet tea you could be ingesting up to 25 grams of sugar and 120 calories per bottle.
Vitamin and flavored waters are even worse with over 200 calories each and even more sugar.
The best way to go here is to get sugar-free options or those that are sweetened with calorie-free ingredients.
In the end, you need to pay more attention to what you drink than anything else, especially if you want to lose weight. A good rule to follow is that if the beverage is sweet or creamy, you should avoid it or find a less-sweet alternative.
Also, cut back on your alcohol intake as there is no way to cut calories there besides not drinking them at all.
Hopefully, over time your tastes will develop to where you no longer need extra sweet drinks, your body will thank you.
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