Health TipsNutrition

Are You Drinking More Calories than You Think?

beverage calories

Are you planning to make a commitment to losing weight in 2020? While you do not need to wait until January to start making changes, there is one habit that could have a big impact on your success. Exercise will always be a driving component to weight loss, but a change in calorie intake can also create positive effects.

An easy way for some patients to do this is to pay closer attention to the empty calories they are drinking each day. In a brochure about calories in beverages, the CDC reports that a 500 calorie per day decrease can lead to a healthy weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week.

How many calories are you drinking?

Spend a few days tracking how many calories you drink in a typical day. You may find you are consuming 500 or more calories in beverages – meaning transitioning to water could provide a healthy opportunity!

The CDC outlines an example of a near 800 calorie per day intake from a variety of beverages. This includes a 16oz latte (~265 calories), 20oz soda (~227 calories), 16oz iced tea (~180 calories), 12oz ginger ale (~124 calories).

Are you reading the nutrition facts?

Calories are often a point of emphasis for many consumers. However, it is also worth comparing other aspects – such as sugar. But the biggest point of deception is in the serving size.

Take a 20oz bottle of soda for instance. The nutritional facts may seem favorable for an entire bottle until you notice the bottle is 2.5 servings. Thus in order to accurately know the number of nutrition facts for the bottle, you would need to multiply the quantities by 2.5. Keep this in mind when consuming these larger beverages.

What should I be drinking instead?

If you are intending to lose weight, reducing the number of these beverages you are drinking each week can help your mission. Water is not the only option though, consider some of these ideas as well:

  • Try sparkling water or add real fruits to your regular water
  • Drink milk at meals (calories can vary here too – but milk has greater nutritional value compared to sugary beverages)
  • Purchase smaller sizes – instead of buying bottles of soda, purchase cans in 12oz or 8oz sizes