Are you watching what you eat and wondering why you aren’t seeing the change you’d like on the scale? The problem may not be with what you’re eating but rather what you’re drinking.
It’s easy to forget about the liquid calories you consume every day. Your Starbucks habit, the juice you have with breakfast, a sip of soda here, a glass of wine there, a margarita at your favorite Mexican restaurant — these calories really start to add up, and quickly. With the exception of water and diet drinks (which aren’t necessarily a healthy alternative), most drinks contain calories.
With these beverages, not only are you adding calories but you’re also adding “empty calories.” Unlike the calories in food, which fill up your stomach and trigger it to signal your brain that you’re full, your body responds differently to liquid calories. It may not even register the calories you’re drinking. Think about it — if you have a soda or glass of wine with dinner, do you eat any less food than if you were to drink only water?
Liquid calories are simply extra calories that make it harder for you to lose weight. They may even be causing you to gain weight. If you’re tracking calories to lose weight, you must account for those liquid calories. That means you’ll have to consume less food to stay within your daily quota. All in all, you may find yourself feeling hungrier than if you simply drank water instead.
In addition to calories, sweetened drinks also contain carbohydrates, which aren’t doing you any favors either. How many carbs and calories are we talking about? Here’s a look at the approximate carb and calorie counts for some popular beverages. (Unless otherwise noted, all of the following figures refer to a serving of 12 ounces.)
What can you do to cut the calorie and carb counts for your favorite drinks? Try these tips.
Of course, sticking to water is always your best choice. Making smart choices when it comes to what you drink can help you reach your weight loss goals and avoid weight gain.