Monday, February 14, 2011

How many calories do you drink a day?

I read that the average American consumes 6 cans of soda a day. Let's put that in perspective: 1 can equals 140 calories, so 6 cans is 840 calories a day. You have to burn approximately 3500 calories to lose a pound, or about 4 days of drinking soda to gain a pound.

It's very easy to consume a large amount of calories a day drinking sodas or other drinks that are high in calories and sugar. When I was in my late teens, early twenties, I lost 20 pounds in one year simply from giving up soda. I started drinking it again, and put all the weight back on.

If you are trying to lose some weight cutting out liquid calories is a good place to start, avoid drinks like soda, coffees, sweetened teas, most juices and alcohol. Alcohol and beer are very high in sugars and can pack on the pounds just as quickly as soda. Try finding sugar free or reduced sugar/calorie drinks to replace those sugary drinks.

Here's some low or no calorie drinks suggestions:

1. Water! This is very important. Even if you drink plenty of drinks a day it's still important to drink some water, your body is 80% water and you need to stay hydrated.

2. Try Crystal Light, or another instant drink mix, they have a very large variety of drink choices, and most are 5 calories or less per drink. They also have non-caffeinated choices. My favorite is the Raspberry Green Tea.

3. Sobe LifeWaters are really good. But be careful these come in a regular and a zero calorie version. I opt for the 0 calorie versions and they are really good, but better when they are really cold. I really like the Yumberry Pomegranate.

4. Flavored seltzer waters can help satisfy that craving for bubbles. One of the reasons I love soda so much is the carbonation, but I have found that if I add a seltzer water to a flavored drink packet like the Crystal Light I can make my own variety of sugar free sodas. I like the Raspberry Lemonade Crystal Light and one cold can of seltzer water YUM!

5. Diet Soda is always an option. For the longest time I wouldn't touch anything diet, I hated the taste of the artificial sweeteners. I still don't enjoy the sweeteners they use in sodas, but I have found I don't like soda anymore either. It just taste too sweet.

6. Try tea with a little bit of honey or use an artificial sweetener. We use Equal in our house, as it's the only one my Honey likes at all. Sun Tea is another favorite around my house and the kids love to help.

7. Juices can be a great alternative to soda as long as you read the label. Most of those kids juices toting 100% fruit juice use juices that are high in sugar and low in nutritional value like pear juice. I am really hooked right now on the Odwalla and Naked Drinks. These both have some really great stuff in them and while they are a little high in calories, they are very good for you. The Naked drinks also have a reduced calorie version that's very good. My favorite Odwalla drink so far is the Superfood, it looks gross but it tastes amazing.

8. Get the coffee with out the crap! Have a cup of drip with a little low fat milk and Equal or your choice of sweetener. A cup of drip coffee with a little low fat milk will cost you anywhere from 10-20 calories, where as the Starbucks Frappucino will set you back 190 calories for a tall (plus think of the money you save!).

Remember the key is moderation. Having a soda, coffee or even a beer every once in a while won't kill any one, but drinking 6 of any of these a day isn't going to help you lose any weight.

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