Liquid calories slide so easily in your daily routine, that it is almost impossible to avoid them. If you are one of those people who wonder why they are not losing weight even though they have been exercising and eating properly, the answer might be in your beverages. To justify this further, researchers evaluated the data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2004, to see how many calories Americans drink. They specifically looked at “sugar-sweetened beverages” which includes,
1. “Low-calorie” drinks
2. Sweetened teas
3. Fruit drinks and juices
4. Sweet coffee-bar drinks (such as Cappuccinos and Hot Chocolate)
5. Rice and soy milks
6. Sports drinks
The results of their studies highlighted that 63% of Americans had one or more of these beverages on any given day, and total calories per day from sweetened drinks has gone up in the last 20 years by 29% to over 200 calories per day. This does not include alcohol which in the survey accounted for another 99 calories per day.
Most of these drinks have become a part of our daily routines and we don’t even realize how many empty calories we intake which are not actually good for health. It’s time to make a move and decide to eat rather than drinking up the calories. Here are some tips which will prove helpful for you to make smarter moves:-
a) Log your drinks
Don’t forget to log your morning juice and office time coffees in your digital trackers to keep a check on the calories intake. Keep a check on the total empty calories you had throughout the week along with the extra sugar intake to see why your weight loss efforts are not showing any results.
b) Drink water
Another reason, you might be consuming empty calories in drinks is because you are thirsty. It is adviced to have a minimum of 3 liters of water everyday. Also, you must make sure that you start and end up your day with a glass of water. Also be smart and always keep a water bottle on your office desk which will help in replacing mindlessly drinking calories with mindlessly drinking water.
c) Have water after wine
If you are going out for drinks with friends, try drinking a glass of water for every cocktail or glass of wine. You’ll surely end up drinking half the calories you normally would and you’ll wake up feeling a lot better the next morning, too!
d) Brew some tea
Be it green, black, white or red just brew it and have it. Not only is it flavorful but it is healthy as well as easy to make. You can drink it cold, hot, or anything in-between and it’s tasty morning, noon, and night.
SMART SWAPS TO KEEP EMPTY CALORIES AT BAY
Don’t ruin your diet with empty calories from sugary drinks. Here are some ideas for drinks that are diet and health friendly:
1. Drink a 12 oz diet soda instead of regular soda and save more than 100 calories.
2. Have a cup of skim milk instead of a cup of whole milk to save around 65 calories.
3. Want to have a hot chocolate? Add a sugar-free packet to your 2% milk, rather than sugar to save 60 calories.
4. Say no to the whipped cream on any coffee or beverage to save your 50 calories.
5. Swap a small chocolate milkshake for an 8 oz carton of chocolate milk to save 75 calories.
6. To avoid the intake sugar and save 15 calories per tsp go for black or green tea.
7. Love alcohol? Choose light beer over dark beer to have 50 calories lesser.
8. Tried soymilk? Replace 1 cup of whole milk with a 1 cup of vanilla soy milk to save 50 calories.
9. Rather than going for packed/commercial smoothies make yourself one to save about 100 calories.
10. In the mood for some fruit juice? Rather than having it pure dilute it 50% with water to save yourself around 50 calories. You can also opt for V-8 juices, which is even better as you can save more than 60 calories/drink.
So next time when you are in the mood to grab your favorite drink don’t forget to evaluate the harm it can make to your body and also look for a healthier version to curb the cravings!