Drinking the wrong beverages is the fastest way to blow out your waistline. If you want to lose weight, simple drink swaps can shave pounds off your body at a remarkable pace. A recent study found that people who cut liquid calories from their diets lost more weight—and kept it off longer—than people who cut food calories. Slashing your drink calories in half could mean dropping more than 23 pounds in just 1 year. Sascha de Gersdorff, Health & Features Editor at Women’s Health, showcased just how many calories you could be drinking throughout your day.
8:00 A.M. Breakfast
Choosing the right beverage is never more important than in those first moments after you roll out of bed. That juice in your fridge may just be a glorified (but well-disguised) glass of sugar water, ready to douse your fat-burning fire before the day even starts. While juice is good for you, it can contain a lot of sugars that you want to look out for:
• SWAP: Orange Juice; Calories 110; Sugars 22.0g
• FOR: Simply Grapefruit (8 oz) 90 calories / 0 g fat / 18 g sugar. Orange juice may be king of the breakfast table, but grapefruit deserves the crown. Not only is it lower in sugar, but it’s also rich in lycopene. It’s the most underrated juice in the cooler.
• Note: Beware of the impostor juice drinks. This misleading bottle contains only 15 percent fruit juice—water and sugar are the first two ingredients.
12:00 P.M. Lunch
The soda, syrupy coffee drinks, and so-called functional beverages are not only adding inches to our waistlines, but they’re just not working hard enough to keep us hydrated.
• SWAP: Sugar Ice Teas or Soda: 240-325 calories / 0 g fat / 61-85 g sugar
• FOR: Soda Water or Flavored Soda Water or Unsweetened Ice Tea: 0-2 calories
Note Sugar equivalent in a can of soda or that sugary drink is equal to 4 Chocolate Eclairs.
3:00 P.M. Afternoon Slump
Afternoon pick-me-ups can result is some of your biggest calorie blunders. If you are drinking your tea or coffee black you are looking at only 1-2 calories, but many of us are adding milk/cream and sugar—plus other add ons in our lattes.
The average caloric impact of the blended coffee drink is 239 calories versus the average 63 calories in brewed coffee or tea even after you add cream and sugar. So even if you like your coffee sweet and light, you can strip away 176 calories every day by making this swap. And it’s not just latte love that’s packing on midday pounds. So the next time your eyelids begin to droop, be careful about what you use to wake up.
• Swap: Venti Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha with whipped cream: 660 calories / 22 g fat / 95 g sugar. This20-ounce tongue twister packs more than 25 percent of your day’s calories and enough sugar to ensure a crash as soon as the caffeine wears off
o Flavored Black Tea—if you want something sweet there are loads of amazing caffeinated flavor options for very minimal calories.: Only 2 calories.
o Like the flavors: you can see if they have flavored coffee brewed or add cinnamon/nutmeg for flavor and actual health benefits!
o If you like the blended drinks—order an ice coffee and then put it in a blender. This will make it like a smoothie but with only a couple calories!
o If you MUST have a latte try getting a cappuccino with nonfat milk for only 80 calories.
Note: those sugary lattes can have more than 2 pints Ice Cream
5:30 P.M. Workout
There’s no better way to undo the benefits of a sturdy workout than to replace sweat with sugar. Many sports drinks are high in sugar and fillers you don’t need. The best thing to sip on when you are at the gym is plain water! The only reason you would need to have a sports drink is if you are running a marathon or an extreme athlete. Even then, H2o is a great way to go.
• SKIP Sports Drinks: Generally sold in 32-ounce bottles, they will contain as many as 300 calories and is packed with sugar and sodium. While the sweet taste of the drink might encourage you to drink more to properly rehydrate, the calories tend to break the bank and the company goes overboard with the sugar and sodium content. And we all know that we will drink more than the serving size portion and drink the whole bottle.
• Stick to: Filtered tap water has 0 calories / 0 g fat / 0 g sugar
9:00 P.M. Night Out with Friends
Red wine isn’t the only health hooch. Alcohol in moderation—one or two drinks a day—has been shown to raise HDL (good) cholesterol, boost blood flow, and improve sugar metabolism. It’s even been linked to a reduced risk of dementia and heart disease. But it is all in moderation and in restaurants these days, a single “signature” cocktail can contain nearly half a day’s calorie allowance and three or more servings of alcohol. It all proves that age-old adage: Think before you drink.
o Margarita: 500-890 calories / 183 g carbohydrates; Carbohydrate –equivalent: 57 Miller Lites
o Rum & Coke: 270 calories
o Beer: 100-330 calories on average / 32 g carbohydrates /
o Champagne only 85 calories. That’s 15 calories fewer than the same size glass of wine and between 15 to 100 calories less than a 12 oz bottle of beer.
o Vodka and Soda: 64 calories—jazz it up by adding your favorite flavored soda water or fresh fruit.
If you were to drink just one of everything on the “Bad” list you could be drinking at least 1750 extra calories a day! And we all know that we don’t just have one cocktail on a night out!
By making the simple swaps you can save yourself (and this is choosing our higher calorie options add up to about 260) 1490 calories!
The best thing to drink is good ol fashioned water, but if you are going to choose higher calories options, be smart and choose lower sugar options!