Sunday, July 8, 2012

Don’t drink your calories!!!

When I’m talking to people about good nutrition and changing their diet/lifestyle, one of the first questions I like to ask is about what they are drinking. SO MANY of us are drinking our calories, and it is packing on the pounds!! Most of us aren’t aware of how many calories we’re consuming in our beverages throughout the day, and even diet drinks (with ‘no calories,’ but LOTS of artificial sweeteners and Aspartame) are making it more difficult to lose weight. Diet drinks are notorious for making it a challenge to lose the belly fat, and even one a day is too many. If you HAVE to have it, I’d work on cutting back to one a week as a treat.

Eventually, though, I think you’ll see your taste buds change and you lose your taste for some of the drinks you once couldn’t live without. I quit drinking sodas in high school, and now they seriously gross me out. Even just a small sip burns my throat and is disgustingly sweet…I feel like I can taste the syrup and chemicals. Drinks are empty calories, and caffeinated beverages are actually diuretics and dehydrate you from the water your body needs to function properly. Personally, I’d MUCH rather EAT my calories than drink them. Soft drinks, sports drinks, lattes, juice, and alcohol are all PACKED with sugar and calories, so I avoid them all.

I know people who have lost anywhere from 5-50 lbs by simply cutting out Cokes!! Seem crazy? That just shows how much sugar we are really consuming.

Not only are most drinks bad for your health, skin, teeth (the sugar can cause cavities and the colors/ dyes stain them), but they are EXPENSIVE!!!! If you get a drink every time you stop at the gas station, you are spending an extra few bucks that really add up. And I don’t even have to tell you how ridiculous the costs of drinks are at a restaurant. We have saved a few hundred bucks, EASY, from Jonathan ordering waters instead of sweet tea when we go out to eat. Some places now charge over $3, and if you’re paying for that for your whole family, that can REALLY, REALLY add up. So if the health reasons and vanity reasons aren’t enough to motivate you, maybe the financial ones will. (Yes, I know you can get them cheaper by buying them in bulk, but what if you TOTALLY wiped that expense from your budget and invested in a big water bottle instead??) I encourage you do the the math to see what you’re spending on drinks in a week so you can see how much you would save by eliminating that cost from your budget. Then do a little multiplication to see how much you’d save in a month and in a year. You could probably go on a mini-vacation with the savings!!!! It’s SO WORTH IT to cut something out that is NOT good for you anyway!!!

Maybe some of the visuals will help clear it up and help us recognize what we are actually drinking.




So, what DO I drink??

**Around a gallon of water every day! (I work out hard and sweat a lot.) I recommend drinking 16 oz. first thing in the morning (I add lemon juice) to replenish what you lose while you sleep. You body is dehydrated, so if you’re waking up and going straight for a cup of coffee (or two) without having that water, your body isn’t getting what it needs.

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**1 Spark a day, as needed. (sugar free & aspartame free, 45 calories, PACKED with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids for 3-5 hours of energy and mental focus with NO crash, less caffeine than a cup of coffee). You can have up to 3 a day, but I usually only need one to avoid my mid afternoon crash. I typically mix in a scoop of Rehydrate as well, which replaces electrolytes and is SO much better for you than Gatorade or Powerade.


**1-3 Cups of Hot Green Tea a day. Green tea has SO many benefits, and I like to have something warm, especially in the evenings after dinner. I can also get a Venti hot green tea from Starbuck’s when my friends want to go there, guilt free! It’s WAY cheaper, and I’m actually putting something GOOD into my body rather than a sugar frilled mocha frappa cappa whatever (that IS delicious, but not so hot for you or yout checkbook).

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** I do treat myself to hazelnut flavored coffee on Sunday mornings during winter. Any time I drink coffee, I drink it black only. (Big Jon says I drink it “like a cowboy.” Ha!) Coffee is not bad, and it actually has a lot of good benefits…but we tend to ruin it by loading it down with creamer, sugar, flavored syrups, etc. 

That’s it. That’s all I drink. Like I said, I’d much rather EAT my calories than drink them. Most drinks do not provide very much nutritional value anyway and are simply empty calories. Let me challenge you with this…Write down everything you drink for a week. You will probably be very surprised at how it adds up by the end of the week. Anything you can cut out??

Don’t drink your calories!!


Amanda Nicole said...

I used to drink at LEAST 5 energy drinks a day. I always had sugar free so I figured it wasn't bad. I don't have a weight issue so I never cared, I just kept drinking.. until my doctor told me she has never seen anyone's liver enzymes so high.. she was so concerned about my health. We finally figured out that it was due to the caffeine. So, not only does it pack on the pounds... it's awful for your health!! Awesome post! Sorry for the extra long comment!

Lauren said...

This was super helpful - thanks!
I just started cutting out diet drinks and swapping for green tea (it's winter in Oz) this just confirms i'm doing the right thing. hooray! haha

A Girl. said...

Really makes you think... "Convenience"...think killing us.

Nikki said...

I LOVE this! It really amazes me how many people do not understand just how many calories they ingest through their drinks! I stopped drinking soda about 7 years ago and I have to admit every now and then I get a bug up my but to have a sip of it then when I do I remember why I dont like it so I have now started to drink sparkling with lemon or lime in it when I want something a little different.

Anonymous said...

How do you drink/fix your green tea. I would really like to incorporate this into my daily routine. I drink tons of water (still breastfeeding my youngest) and limit other drinks. I usually do 1 spark a day also to get through the afternoon rut. thanks!

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

I just saw this blog entry which in turn made me think of your blog entry. It's CRAZY what aspartame will do to a body!!

Anonymous said...

I usually may not agree with some of your more religious posts however I really appreciated this information. It was a great reminder about much sugar we consume! Thank you!!

Traci said...

I used to drink sodas like crazy 10 years ago and now I only drink water with a coffee in the morning. I can't even enjoy a sip of soda anymore. It definitely doesn't taste like it used to!

Lauren @ Love, Water and Wine said...

My mom has always said "don't drink your calories" and it is so true. I didn't gain weight until college where I drank soda and alcohol like it was my job and gained SO much weight. It's crazy how much they effect. Love your blog, btw - thank you for the inspiration!

Jennifer Lynn said...

So I found your blog this morning and I've been stalking it pretty much all day. Anyway, came across this post while I was drinking my weekly diet coke... it's now in the trash lol. This kind of stuff is so eye opening. I've printed out your grocery list and it will be healthy eating for me and the hubs from now on :) You've just topped my list as my new favorite blogger!