Thursday, July 5, 2012

The High-Calorie Cost of Beverages

Question: Why am I not losing weight, even though I am very careful about what I eat?

Answer: Have you considered what you are drinking? How many cans of sugary soda, glasses of juice or sugar and cream filled cups of coffee do you drink each day?  What about alcoholic beverages?  Including a smoothie as a snack from somewhere like Jamba Juice? Some drinks can have more than 500 calories!  For example, a banana berry power smoothie at Jamba Juice comes in at 590 calories (plus 122 grams of sugar), and Starbucks' Venti white hot chocolate has 520 calories! (have you checked out the nutrition information on Starbucks or Jamba Juice yet?  They both have some lower calorie or free options.) 


If you consider that most people need somewhere between 1800 and 2500 calories to maintain their weight (and less to lose weight), you can see how what you drink might affect your success.

A recent study showed that 21% of Americans’ calorie intake comes from the beverages they drink. Americans are drinking more sweetened beverages than ever before. Between 1977 and 2001, the proportion of calories included each day from sweetened soft drinks and fruit drinks with calories (sweetened fruit beverages, not 100% fruit juices) increased by 300%.  Three hundred percent!


Think about how many calories you drink each day...?

Your body does need liquids to keep it healthy. The amount of fluids you need depends on your health and body size. Meeting your fluid needs with beverages containing sugar is not a good idea.  Cut back in this easy area, and you will see health results.  (Bonus, including more water will help you feel better and have more energy!  For tips on drinking more water, click here)


Check out the labels and nutrition facts for the beverages you are including each day.  
  • A 12 oz soda is around 140-150 calories.  Consider that 44oz, its going to set you back over 500 calories!  Try switching to diet, or trying the new options like coke zero or pepsi next.  
  • For most juices, 8 oz contains around 120 calories.  Look for options like crystal light with zero calories, or Tropicana 50, which is 50 calories for those same 8 oz.
  • Ask for skim milk at the coffee shop and try a sugar free vanilla syrup instead of the high calorie syrups.  Try splenda or stevia in place of sugar.
  • Look online at the nutrition in the smoothie before going in.  Try making your own at home, using skim or almond milk, fat free yogurts and fresh fruit with no add sugar.
  • Limit alcohol, and remember the calories add up fast.  Wine has around 100 calories for 4 oz, light beer is around 100 calories for 12 oz, and 1 oz of vodka or hard liquor is between 70-85 calories depending on the proof.  
I have had clients see huge differences just by cutting out calories from fluids.  Depending on how many caloric beverages you are drinking each day, it could be a pound or more a week!

Glass of water


Trop 50
Crystal Light   

Are you drinking calories?  Have you already made the switch to more water or diet options?  What do you like and how did you do it?  Please share in the comments below!



Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today.  Thanks for reading!  If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right.  Also, we would love to have you join us!  Join this site in the "followers" box to the right.  "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd) and pinterest using the the boxes on the right.  Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

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