Calories. Eat, Not Drink.

Those non-water drinks throughout the day can add up without you even knowing!

Smoothie and fruits on a table

It’s hard to realize that you are consuming additional calories through the liquids that you drink during the day. Yes, they may taste good, but they are throwing your healthy eating off path.

Drinking your calories on a daily basis ends up having a negative impact on your body:

  1. The body is not able to detect the liquid calories as well as it can detect food calories making the breakdown of liquids versus food different.

  2. When you sit down for a meal, you reduce the amount of food you eat by skipping extra servings or snacks, not the same with liquid.

  3. Liquid calories do not help suppress hunger nor thirst and actually make you hungrier, causing you to eat more. Especially fruit juices and smoothies, they are missing the fiber that helps fill you up.

Why not EAT something healthy to satisfy your taste buds instead?

We’ll walk through a day to understand where these extra liquids can add up when it’s not solely water.

Mornings:

A cup of coffee (if you drink it black, keep drinking away!) but how many of you add sugar, milk and/or sweeteners? Granted its not a lot of milk but if you are having a large latte just think, about a cup of milk goes into that! We haven’t even talked about sugar! 2 packs of sugar, with how many coffees during the day?

Tip: If you enjoy your coffee with sugar try sweeteners or try adding fewer additives! Try opting for a smaller sized coffee that’s a little stronger. Skip the extra large coffee and go for a medium. (The Italians know what I’m talking about with there small espresso’s!)

On the weekend let yourself indulge a little at a great local coffee shop. Try drinking for the taste not only for its caffeine aspect. (If caffeine is the only reason you’re drinking coffee try a different source of caffeine). If you love coffee, be adventurous! Try a new blend, try it without a sweetener or, try it with a milk alternative (coconut milk, rice milk, or one of my favorite milk alternatives, oat milk’s Oatly)! If these new options don’t win you over, skip the coffee and drink something else with caffeine.

Coffee with cake

A cup of green tea or herbal tea (if you like it plain with the filter, keep drinking away!) but if you need sugar or honey in your tea you’re making your beverage a dessert! Appreciate the taste of the fruit tea or green tea, with the large variety available, the options are endless! There are teas sweet enough on their own that you don’t need additional additives to make it a sugar bomb tea. Additionally, if you go about drinking the green tea as it is, it has less caffeine than coffee, but it is something that you can constantly drink throughout the day to give you the push you need.

Tip 1: One of my go-to favorites — Starbucks green tea lemonade unsweetened!

Tip 2: The taste of tea without honey or sugar still doesn’t suit your needs? Try eating a piece of fruit instead. The natural source of sugar will help keep you awake without a hunger pang striking soon.

Green tea carafe and a cup

Are you drinking orange juice? Is it freshly squeezed in a juice presser at home, or bought from the store shelf? Orange juice squeezed at home will still make you increase the amount that you would normally intake. A full glass is about 3 whole oranges squeezed! Do you normally eat that many oranges in a sitting?

Store bought juice is a whole other story. Take a look at the label and see the additional sugar that was added to that big bottle of pulp/no pulp orange juice.

Tip: In either case, it’s worthwhile to eat the orange as it’ll help satisfy your hunger. Taking the time to peel, and eat each slice allows your stomach to start working, and you will eat less than the amount you would be drinking. You also get an additional value of fiber when you eat the fruit as opposed to drinking it in juice form.

Afternoons:

A soda may sound good with your lunch, but if you’re on a healthy path of eating right, you take away from your meal. Soda whether regular or zero calorie has excess sugar, sodium, caffeine, and sweeteners and can dehydrate the body. You’ll need even more water afterward to satisfy your thirst, so why drink soda in the first place? Don’t choose diet soda as an alternative as they are sweetened with aspartame- a sweetener sweeter than sugar and giving you the addiction of wanting more later.

Tip: need bubbles? Try flavored sparkling water! An even better option — cut up fresh fruit and throw it into the sparkling water.

Smoothies and fruits

In a rush and opt for a fruit smoothie? Think again. Blending enough fruits together to satisfy your hunger results in a lot of fruit. Buying that smoothie off the store shelf can have added hidden sugars. Also, drinking that much fruit will actually make you hungrier sooner! You’re better off sitting down and eating the fruit, and you’ll be surprised that the amount of fruit you’d put in a smoothie you’d in most cases wouldn’t be able to finish.

Tip: Eat the fruit. Which fruits are the best? Berries of all kinds that have antioxidants and have a low GI level.

Blueberries

Is a protein shake after you workout your go-to? Have you looked at different kinds of protein or did you buy the one that looked to have the best taste? Make sure you check the label and the amount of added sugars in them!

Tip 1: Look for one that has the least added ingredients and solely focuses on the high-quality protein.

Tip 2: To mix the powder, just add water. Your body will absorb the protein the quickest and with milk, you can turn a healthy protein shake into a filling meal.

Tip 3: Eating meat, fish and/or chicken is the true go-to option for lean protein after a workout if you can get to it within a reasonable time.

Evenings:

Alcohol. Out for a drink with friends or coworkers? Unfortunately, all alcohol contains calories but there are some that are better options than others. The best way to consume is without mixers. Mixers contain an excess amount of sugar which is already present in alcohol.

Tip: If you’re a normal whiskey coke person, try for a whiskey on the rocks. Vodka seltzer cran? Ask for a vodka seltzer with a lime in it.

When you skip out on the sugary mixer, you end up drinking your drink slower as the alcohol has a stronger taste! Give it a try the next time you are out!

Bootles full of alcohol

What’s the best option?

DRINK WATER! But if you are someone that needs some flavor, try putting a sliced up lemon into your bottle of water or squeeze a little in to give it extra taste!

Lemons


*Use the ate food journal to not only log your meals but also to log your liquids throughout the day! *