One of the best ways to lose weight without feeling deprived is by not drinking your calories! When you focus on zero calorie liquids, you’ll have more room to enjoy actual food that can leave you feeling more satisfied than a juice or soda.
We’re usually not very strict on our diet rules, but one of them is definitely: DON’T DRINK YOUR CALORIES!
This may sound harsh, and of course – there is always room for the occasional glass of wine or cocktail, – but liquid calories add up quickly!
High Calorie Drinks to Avoid
1. Fruit Juice
Marketers love promoting juices with tons of health benefits, but we usually can get the same benefits with less calories and more fiber by eating the actual fruit or vegetable. A good example of this is a 70 calorie orange versus a 140 calorie glass of orange juice.
Soda can be a tough habit to break – especially if you love your caffeine fix in the afternoons. Regular soda is really just a lot of sugar which means empty calories into your diet. Several of the larger bottles (12oz or more) contain more than one serving, and just a single serving can be around 150-200 calories.
Diet soda has also been linked to an increase in cravings and weight issues because of the artificial sweeteners in them. While diet soda is 0 calories, it still isn’t the best thing you could be drinking. We have a guide to help you stop drinking soda as well that you might like!
3. Protein Shakes
Protein shakes definitely have their place in our diet if I’m being honest. I love how quick and easy they are to have when I’m on the go, and they keep me from grabbing fast food. With that said, they can be higher in calories than you’d imagine, and since you’re drinking it you might not feel as satisfied as say eating 2 eggs and a cheese stick which would the equivalent protein and calories as some protein shakes.
Again, alcohol is something you’ll find in our diet occasionally. We just want to be aware that alcohol not only has calories, but it also lessens our mindfulness about our goals as we drink it. We like to do a white rum and vanilla Coke Zero or a glass of wine followed up by a glass of water when we drink. Another option would be one spiked seltzer for about 100 calories.
Another idea would be to swap champagne for kombucha! It also has calories, but it has been linked to better gut health benefits and could help you not get as dehydrated as an alcoholic drink.
What to Drink Instead
We wouldn’t take away your drink options without giving you a few new ones to pick from!
Of course, water has to be on our list! Water helps us stay hydrated which can also help with our hunger triggers! Plus, it’s 0 calories and has other benefits as well! If you’re not a big water drinker, try our Lemon Ginger Cayenne Water for a little flavor!
2. Green or Black Tea
Both types of tea offer health benefits when drank on their own (no adding sugar). We personally love a great green tea for some flavor and a little pick me up!
If you’re reaching for a soda for energy, why not have an extra cup of black coffee? Healthline has linked coffee drinking to all kinds of benefits ranging from more energy to a decreased chance of dementia or type 2 diabetes!
4. Sparkling Water
Sparkling Water can be a great way to get a little bubble back into your routine if you normally drink soda. If you’re not worried about the artificial sweeteners, we really like the taste of Sparkling ICE and Crystal Light. If you are looking for something without any type of sugar, La Croix or bubly are both great choices!
Why You Should Stop Drinking Your Calories
If you’re not convinced yet, here are a couple reasons why we don’t drink our calories (often).
1. Weight Gain
Whether you’re tracking calories or macros, these high calorie, sugary beverages can be hard to fit into your diet. It’s also easy to forget to track them since you can guzzle down a Gatorade or sweet tea quickly! Why not take those 100+ calories and actually have a snack or meal you will enjoy?
2. Empty Calories
To go along with the weight gain, when you drink your calories – you’re not getting as many nutrients as you would from food. For example, broccoli is lower in calories than your favorite Frappuccino and it’s also packed with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and fiber! All of these things, and the time it takes for you to eat, help you stay feeling full and satisfied.
3. Increase in insulin resistance & a higher risk of developing pre-diabetes
The Journal of Nutrition did a study that found sugar-sweetened beverage drinks are associated with a greater increase in insulin resistance and a higher risk of developing pre-diabetes in a group of middle-aged adults.
7 Ways to Stop Drinking Your Calories
Okay, so now you’re on board with Rule #1: Don’t Drink Your Calories! How do we make it easy to ditch the liquids?
1. Freshen up your water! Add in lemon or use a fruit-infused water bottle for some flavor!
2. Make your coffee at home versus the cafe. This way you control how much cream, sugar, and syrups go into it! If you go to the coffee shop, plan ahead and find a lower sugar, lower carb coffee drink!
3. Find lower calorie or non-alcoholic options. Skip the fruity or frozen drinks and reach for a seltzer and liquor, wine or beer instead.
4. Follow your alcoholic drink up with water or seltzer. This will help you from consuming more calories and help with hydration!
5. Track your calories in drinks. Once you know how many calories are in that Frappuccino or piña colada, you may not be as tempted to have it!
6. Drink more water! Sure, you may not love it now, but if you commit to drinking 50-100 ounces of water a day for a week, we know you’ll start to crave it! We like to keep a bottle in the car, by our desk, on our nightstand, and basically anywhere we can take a sip easily!
7. Experiment with new teas! There is a flavorful tea for every time of the day! We love green tea in the afternoon and chamomile tea at the end of the day! We also really like Bevvy tea before a meal. It has a few calories, but the benefits have been worth it!
We also always want to include reader questions to our articles! If you have a question, please drop it in the comments so we can help!
Below are reader questions we’re excited to help with!
Will I lose weight if I quit drinking alcohol?
It really depends on how much alcohol we’re talking about. Weight loss really comes down to how much you are eating and how active you are. This is why we really suggest committing to a meal plan and home workout. This will help you see results each week. Most of our clients lose 1-2lbs per week on average!
If you’re interested in weight loss, we’d love to have you join our 21 Day Challenge!