Where are your extra calories hiding? For many people, it’s in their drinks. Some of the most damaging calories for those trying to lose weight come in liquid form.
That morning smoothie made with acai juice? An extra 120 calories per cup. The much needed cafe latte after lunch? Add 190 more calories to the bank. And the glass of red wine before dinner? You can argue the health benefits, but it’ll still cost you about 125 calories.
It’s not difficult to see how extra calories like this can sneak by us unrecognized – especially when so many beverages have purported, or even genuine, health benefits like wine, coffee, and high antioxidant juices. But when working towards a weight loss goal, these benefits must be weighed with the calorie cost.
In the examples above, you could very easily drink over 400 extra calories a day, adding up to about 46 pounds worth of excess calories a year. Yikes! This is a pretty steep cost, especially when you consider that liquids do very little to satisfy hunger.
Research indicates that while liquid calories count the same as food towards our overall energy intake, they don’t do a good job of telling our bodies we’ve consumed them. In other words, 300 calories worth of chicken & veggies will help us feel full, but a 300 calorie cocktail will not. This is because our bodies have different ways of assessing hunger and thirst. When we drink beverages that contain calories, they may satisfy our feelings of thirst adequately, but do little to satisfy our physical feelings of hunger. This makes it very challenging to limit our calorie intake.
The take-home message? Do your best to avoid drinking your calories, especially when trying to lose weight. And when you do, be sure to compensate for them by cutting back a little on your food intake, or using more low calorie foods like non-starchy vegetables if you still feel hungry. For more information and support, speak with one of our Nutrition Specialists!