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3 Simple Steps to Avoid Drowning in Liquid Calories
For all the counting, measuring, weighing, fussing and annoying most of us weight-obsessed Americans do to police calories, we often let sneaky liquid calories slide down our throats. Nearly a quarter of the calories Americans consume come from beverages. Shockingly, soda and other sugary drinks are the single largest contributors of calories to the American diet and to the ballooning American waistline.
By simply making better drink choices, you can boost health and lose weight – for good!
Here are three simple steps to cut those empty liquid calories – start right away as your next smart sip.
1. Ask yourself: “What am I drinking now?”
For seven consecutive days, write down each drink you consume, how many ounces (approximately) and the calorie count. Look at the label or look online if you have to. At the end of the week, calculate your total liquid calories. This takes effort, but it’s an eye-opener and mind-popper!
Example: a Starbucks Caffe Latte, skimmed milk, grande (16 oz.) has 160 calories (with whole milk, 270 calories). A latte a day corresponds to 1120 calories a week. Yikes! That’s almost a whole extra day’s worth of calories in a week (eight days’ worth of calories in just seven days) – just from that one drink! Take a look at what else you drink.
Check out these liquid calories and be amazed:
Coffee with a pitcher of liquid creamer (8 oz.) – 30 calories
Starbucks Coffee Frappuccino, venti – 300 calories
Starbucks Cappuccino, Skimmed Milk, Grande (16 oz.) – 110
Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha, Whole Milk, Whipped Cream, (20 oz.) – 600
Beer, regular (12 oz.) – 150
Beer, light (12 oz.) – 100
Wine, red (8 oz.) – 170
Wine, white (8 oz.) – 160
Martini (2.5 oz.) – 106
Margarita (from mix) – 290
McDonald’s Chocolate Shake, Large (32 oz.) – 1030
McDonald’s Coca-Cola Classic, Large (32 oz.) – 310
Burger King Vanilla Shake, medium (14 oz.) – 430
Ginger Ale (20 oz.) – 200
7-Up, Coca-Cola, root beer (20 oz.) – 250
Milk, fat-free (8 oz.) – 90
Milk, 1% fat-free (8 oz.) – 100
Milk, whole (8 oz.) – 180
Apple or orange juice (8 oz.) – 110
Grape Juice (8 oz.) – 150
2. Ask yourself, “Is this drink energizing me or draining me.”
When it comes to beverages, total calories are one consideration, total nutrients are another. If you consume liquid calories, are you getting the most nutrition for your calories? Look at each beverage of your choice and ask this question: Does this beverage provide me with good nutrients, or does it deplete me of sugar, salt, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, preservatives, dyes, caffeine, and/or alcohol? Again, read your labels.
Amazingly, the only beverages that don’t drain are water, decaffeinated herbal teas, fresh, homemade fruit and vegetable juices, and raw, unpasteurized, store-bought juices (a rare breed).
All other beverages are depleting to some degree, even the 100% commercial fruit and vegetable juices. Surprised? Let’s review some of your deplete-me favorites.
Ï Coffee and caffeinated tea
Practice – it might hurt a bit! Coffee, as well as caffeinated tea, can seem like the ideal beverage, especially when trying to lose weight. After all, it has zero calories if you drink it plain and don’t add the extra calories from sugar, chemical sweeteners, cream or milk. However, the zero calories hardly make up for the fact that coffee wears you out – big time. Regardless of its beloved status, coffee contains caffeine, an addictive stimulant. That’s one of the reasons we drink it – to get that buzz. Even decaffeinated coffee contains caffeine, albeit in smaller amounts.
Coffee is also associated with depression, diarrhea, atherosclerosis (hardened arteries), rheumatoid arthritis, urinary incontinence, reduced insulin sensitivity and leaching of calcium from bones, osteoporosis. As a natural diuretic, it overtaxes your kidneys and bladder. If your organs work harder, you wear down faster. It’s called aging!
In terms of energy, caffeine can seemingly give you the quick pick-me-up with its deceptive, artificially stimulated highs, but those highs are always followed by bottom-out lows. These peaks and dips drain your natural resources for sustainable energy, ultimately wearing you down and causing fatigue.
You might as well take some of your household chemicals, add some sugar and drink it up. After all, some sodas, like cola, can remove rust from a car’s engine. Most 12-ounce cans of pop (not to mention super-sized 42-ounce sodas) contain about ten teaspoons of sugar, a significant portion of the thirty-three teaspoons of sugar the average American consumes per day, equal to over ten pounds per serving. month or about twenty percent of daily calories. We are trying to lose weight, not drink more! Both regular soda and diet soda are statistically linked to obesity, tooth decay, caffeine addiction, type 2 diabetes and weakened bones. Furthermore, aspartame in diet soda is believed to be toxic to the body.
If that’s not bad enough, drinking soda tends to increase cravings for other sweets, leading to uncontrollable bingeing. It is extremely debilitating, addictive and full of chemicals, sugar and calories that hinder weight loss. Why even put something like that into your body, much less multiple times a day? Switch to sparkling water if you need fizz. Everything but soda.
Ï Protein drinks
Protein drinks are chemical mixtures with added sugar, salt and calories. Plus, they overload you with protein when, if you’re eating regular American fare, you’re already getting plenty, if not too much, from your foods. Make a fresh fruit smoothie instead. It tastes much better, provides good nutrition with lots of protein (yes, fruit contains protein, oranges are 8% protein, WHO says we only need 4.5% protein), provides energy (protein does not provide energy, fruits and vegetables do it ), and does not contain added sugar, salt or other chemical additives.
Ï Processed commercial juices/beverages/sports drinks
Unless purchased fruit and vegetable juices and beverages are marketed as raw and fresh, they are cooked and processed, which wipes out all enzymes and many vitamins. Basically, all you get is boiled, concentrated fruit sugar, usually with added chemicals and preservatives.
Also, many fruit juices and beverages contain additional refined sugar unless they specifically say “unsweetened.” Believe it or not, even those that say “no added sugar,” may have added some form of refined sugar. Processed vegetable juices fare no better. They are usually loaded with salt, sugar and questionable man-made chemicals for flavor and preservation.
Whatever has been added to processed juices and drinks, they offer you too many calories for too few nutrients. Read the label before drinking. If a juice or drink contains added sugar, salt, preservatives, dyes, or if it is pasteurized, it will deplete you, not feed you, and add calories to calories, adding fat to the fat.
Milk and dairy products are associated with all kinds of problems, big and small, such as congestion, runny nose, colds, sinus headaches, constipation, stomach problems, PMS, asthma, bronchitis, eczema, psoriasis, bedwetting, hormone-fed cancers (breast cancer). , prostate, lung, colon), atherosclerosis, heart disease and autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
Bypass the emotional dairy debate, look objectively at the calories you consume with a glass of milk. An 8-ounce glass of “fat-free” milk has 90 calories; 1% fat, 100 calories; and whole milk, 180 calories. Three “fat-free” glasses of milk in one day add 270 calories to your daily caloric intake. Just one daily glass of “fat-free” milk provides a total of up to 630 calories in a week.
Bottom line question: Are the extra calories worth it to you? As always, it’s your body, your choice.
At this point in your life, you know that alcohol is good for two things – getting you drunk and adding calories. For example, two glasses of red wine (340 calories) contain more calories than a large salad that fills you up, an entire lunch full of nutrients. Cutting out alcohol is an easy way to cut calories. Simple.
3. Ask yourself, “What are the best beverage choices?”
If coffee, soda, protein drinks, sports drinks, and commercial juices and beverages are draining you, what’s left to drink?
Of all the dozens of different beverages now marketed commercially, water is the best at its job: hydrating. And it comes with zero calories, zero chemicals, zero sugar and zero salt, all at a price of zero dollars. Drinking water restores fluids in our bodies that we constantly lose through elimination, breathing and perspiration.
Interestingly enough, water neither feeds nor depletes. It is neutral, but critical for a well-functioning body. The same goes for herbal teas that say “naturally caffeine-free,” list only plants as ingredients, and contain no man-made chemicals.
How much water?
Somewhere along the way, drinking eight glasses a day became a decree that we all believed. But the truth is that your water needs vary according to your size, the types of foods you eat, the climate and your activity level. So there is no magic amount.
For example, if you load up on foods high in salt, such as meat, cheese, processed foods, chips, and salty snacks, you’ll need to drink more water than if you load up on fresh fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain about 70% water and little sodium, reducing your need for drinking water.
You were gifted with an amazing instinct that keeps you fully hydrated if you listen to it. It is known in our language as thirst. When you’re thirsty, drink (water!). When your thirst is quenched, stop drinking. When you’re thirsty again, drink. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
Ï Freshly made juice
Juice, freshly made from whole, raw fruits and vegetables, is another good beverage choice. Not only do they hydrate perfectly like water, but they also nourish and provide essential vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, enzymes and macronutrients. These liquid foods quench your thirst while offering top value for your calories!
Yes, your own freshly made juice comes with calories, but every single one of those calories is packed with excellent nutrition that is absorbed into your cells within fifteen minutes, providing a surge of energy.
If you don’t feel like embarking on the adventure of creating your own juices, don’t. But start paying attention to those slippery calories that deplete you, not feed you, and add layers to your layers.
The subject of beverages boils down to two small words: Drink water. Your hips and your pocketbook will thank you. Now let’s all drink to it!
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