For weight-watchers, calories are a nightmare. You are always extra cautious about how many calories youre taking in from each meal and through the whole day. You learn to read nutrition labels and quickly familiarize yourselves with foods that are low in calorie content and are safe to be brought home from supermarket. No matter how calorie conscious you are, your immediate thoughts go to what you eat. But what about the calories that come from beverages? Liquid calories are just as disastrous too!
Lets take a look at some of these beverages that should be avoided not only when youre on a diet, but also when you are not.
Soft drinks and sodas
Its yesterdays news, alright! But have you been paying attention enough to realize the extent of harm that the calorie content in soft drinks and sodas can do to your body? They contain high-fructose corn syrup which has been linked to diabetes and obesity. One full can of soda contains 156 calories and can contribute to a weight gain of ½ kg a month if consumed daily. Diet sodas are just as risky! Studies show that people who drink 3 diet sodas a day have seen an increase in their Body Mass Index (BMI) by one and a half times.
Healthy alternative: Cutting out sodas and fizzy drinks completely is the best alternative but having an occasional diet soda is harmless enough as long as you balance it out with your food.
Sweetened fruit juices
A glass of fruit juice a day sounds harmless enough but you need to watch out for those sweetened, packaged fruit juices in the supermarket. The labels tell you about the nutritive values but they do not tell you how many calories each package carries. A 500 ml carton or bottle of orange juice contains about 120 calories and if you consume a glass (250 ml) per day, you might gain about ½ kg in a month! Research shows that some people are overweight simply because their diet includes high simple sugars from the fruit juices they consume daily.
Healthy alternative: Whole juice that doesnt contain artificial sweeteners or sugar is always a safe choice.
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While nothing is more refreshing on a scorching summer day than a tall glass of cool lemonade, you need to go easy on this one. Because of the high acidity from the lemon juice, a large amount of sugar and sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup is added to lemonade to counteract the acidity. A glass of this beverage can load you up with about 170 calories which, if consumed every day, will lead to a weight gain of nearly 1 kg in a month! Besides, weve already established above in this article how high-fructose corn syrup can lead to obesity and diabetes.
Healthy alternative: Opt for homemade lemonade with minimal sugar or get those bottled herbal water that are infused with natural additives like ginger and mint for an equally refreshing but low calorie swig.
Coffee with the works
A cup of joe may be your choice of beverage to jump start your mornings as you prep yourself to face the onslaught of incoming mails. The trouble, however, starts when you start fixing the drink with whole milk, whipped cream, and syrup. A cup of Cafe Mocha (Sorry, Starbucks!), with whole milk and whipped cream, offers 400 calories. Without the cream, itll still carry around 300 calories. You can best take it down to 220 if you use nonfat milk. And did you know that a cup of iced coffee contains 520 calories and above? Feeling giddy yet?
Healthy alternative: Not everyone can wrap their heads around coffee sans milk and sugar. Green tea is the best alternative. Or if you cant survive without a moderate dose of coffee, opt for black coffee but of course, keep a tab on your sugar limit.
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Are you already crossing items off your list of beverages? Is there anything that we missed? If so, let us know in the comments below! Meanwhile, remember to keep watch on what you eat and drink if you are to ward those cruel calories off.