Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Don't Drink Your Calories...

By Ron McDonald Jr., CPT

When it comes to weight loss it appears that the market is flooded with quick fix diets, low-carb diets, high protein diets, low fat, to name just a few. I think that diets really over complicate the issue. The bottom line is that to lose weight, you must take in fewer calories than your body uses. What I have noticed is that most people seem to reduce their calorie intake by only focusing on food, but another way to limit your caloric intake may be to think about what you drink.

What most may not realize is that they may be consuming large amounts of calories from what they drink. Just visit a near by grocery store, convenient store, or 7 Eleven in your area and see the large variety of high calorie drinks available. From Gatorade, VitaminWater, Fruit Punches, Arizona Ice Tea, sodas, and of course alcoholic beverages. Calories from drinks can really add up quick if your not careful. The calories from alcohol are just as high as fat (9 kcal/gram) at 7 kcal/gram. Here some examples of the total calories of regular servings of popular beverages:

  1. Gatorade (32 fl oz) = 200 Calories
  2. Vitamin Water (20 fl oz) = 125 Calories
  3. Ginger Ale (12 fl oz) = 124 Calories
  4. Orange Juice (12 fl oz) = 168 Calories
  5. Fruit Punch (12 fl oz) = 192 Calories
  6. Whole Milk (8 fl oz = 150 Calories
  7. Fat Free Milk (8 fl oz = 90 Calories)
  8. Coffee Frappuccino® Blend (16 fl oz) = 240 Calories
  9. Lemonade (12 fl oz) = 168 Calories

Drum roll... please...

#10. Water (12 fl oz) = 0 Calories. Yeah yeah I know you already know.

As you can see some of the popular drinks are really high in calories. Just think about the number of free-refills of that raspberry lemonade you drank the other day at your favorite restaurant. My recommendation is 80/20. 80% of the time make water you drink of choice. 20% of the time enjoy yourself. For those that are on the 20/80 plan try reversing this to achieve optimal weight management results.

And oh yeah people not every fruit smoothie is healthy. Yeah it may have fresh fruit, non-fat yogurt, and some whey protein, but 32 ounces is 32 ounces. So even a healthy smoothie based on ingredients can be high in calories if you consume a large size. Try a smaller size to keep the total calories down. As with any weight managment practice is all about small changes that lead to big results.

What do you think?

Be Well.


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