Here are 5 simple solutions to help cut calories out of your liquid intake every day.
1. Give Up Soda
Not only is it bad for your teeth, soda is a terrible nutritional source that is high in sugar, calories, and caffeine. For those who switch to diet soda, a study by the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio (link) shows that drinking diet actually enhances weight gain. Give up a daily soda habit and you’ll lose pounds quick. Add exercise and a healthier diet, and you’ll find that those jeans from college start looking a lot better on you.
2. Drink More Water
Replace that daily soda habit with water. It might be difficult at first, but you’ll find drinking more water helps you feel better throughout the day and you’ll have a lot more energy to exercise. It’s what the body naturally needs.
3. Order Smaller Drinks
Are you someone who orders a Venti drink (20oz) from Starbucks every morning on your way to work? You probably are benefiting more from the calories than the caffeine. Cut back to a Grande (16oz) or a Tall (12oz) to still get your caffeine boost without the extra calorie intake. Here are the calorie numbers for one of their espressos – Caramel Macchiato: Tall – 180, Grande – 240, Venti – 300. It could make a big difference over time switching to smaller sizes. Starbucks and many other companies add a lot of sugar and other flavors to their drinks so you also might benefit by switching to a caffeinated beverage that doesn’t have those extra calories added. Pay attention to the calorie labels shown at many of the coffee shops and restaurants you visit, you’ll see the benefits
4. Eat Your Vegetables and Fruit
Cutting back on juice can also decrease your calorie count. A lot of juice is sweetened and you don’t receive the full nutritional value that you get when actually eating fruits and vegetables. Yes, it’s better than soda, but don’t be fooled into thinking that the 100% Vitamin C label means your waistline will decrease. Another alternative is to blend your fruits and vegetables into a tasty smoothie every day.
5. Change The Way You Drink Sports Drinks
There is no doubt that drinking water before, during, and after exercise is the best way to stay hydrated. Sports drinks are marketed to replace water to help replenish electrolytes and carbohydrates that you lose while burning calories. It’s easy to buy into that because Gatorade does taste better and it is important to maintain energy while working out. But a good rule of thumb is that you don’t necessarily need to drink anything but water for any light exercise for less than an hour. If you plan on exercising hard and/or for a long period of time, definitely alternate between water and the tasty sports drink. The longer the workout, the more your body needs carbohydrates in order to maintain your energy.