Losing weight is all about calories in and calories out. The more you eat or drink, the more you need to burn by moving around. If you want to lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories that you take in. It sounds pretty simple but simply starving yourself isn’t going to work- we’ll get into that in another post. One really easy way to stop taking in so many calories is to quit drinking them. There are lots of beverages that are calorie bombs and can really pack on the pounds. Your body doesn’t recognize liquids as food so you are still hungry even after taking in 243 calories by drinking a 20 oz Coke. I know several people who started their weight loss journey just by paying attention to what they drink. Here are a few tips:
1. Make better coffee choices.
Some beverages pack as many calories as a meal! Watch out for options that are high in fat and sugar. While plain black coffee has no calories, adding just a bit of cream and sugar can add 135 calories or more. A grande caffe latte with non-fat milk is 168 calories and 4 tsp. of sugar.
2. Choose whole fruit instead of smoothies or juice.
While most blended drinks do contain fruit, they also often include frozen yogurt, sherbet, cream, and/or added sugar, all of which add calories. Smoothies can be a great breakfast or snack, but leave out the added stuff. Fruit and ice, maybe a splash of juice are all you need. Or- search for my green smoothie post for more healthy low-calorie recipes.
3. Limit sodas or choose diet soda.
Super-sized or extra-large beverages may be a bargain per ounce, but they are a disaster for your waistline. Did you know that a ‘child-sized’ soda in a fast food restaurant contains the same amount of liquid as a 12-ounce can? That’s 146 calories with NO nutritional value. I have a co-worker who dropped over 50 pounds by eliminating all sugar soda from his diet. He was amazed at how much better he felt without all that sugar in his system.
4. Drink skim milk instead of whole milk.
An eight-ounce serving of whole milk contains 160 calories. The same-size serving of skim milk contains just half as many calories! In general, go for the low fat/non fat option for all dairy products.
5. What about alcohol?
If you are trying to lose weight, avoid it completely. If that is not an option, try a light beer (I like Bud Light 55) or a wine spritzer. Keep this in mind- 1 shot of 80 proof vodka, rum, gin, or whisky has 97 calories and metabolizes directly to fat. While research does show that a glass (6 oz) of red wine has some great health benefits, it also has 150 calories so moderation is the key.
6. Make the best choices every day.
Stock the fridge with grab-and-go bottles of water and low-calorie beverages. Having the right foods and beverages on hand is key to controlling your calories. This helps keep you from making a bad ‘on the run’ choice when away from home.
Coming up tomorrow-Water, water everywhere!