Many people watch what they eat, but don’t watch what they drink. Beverages that many people drink often, such as soda and alcohol, are loaded with calories, which can contribute to weight gain. The average American gets a fifth of their daily calories from beverages (WebMD). By switching high-calorie beverages for healthier alternatives, you can boost your metabolism and curb your appetite, which will send you on your way to losing weight.
Though you may not realize it, drinking soda fills your body with hundreds of empty calories. Many people choose to switch to diet soda in order to cut calories, but there is no conclusive research that shows that this leads to weight loss. Some studies have shown a short-term benefit, but others have resulted in people gaining weight. If you are trying to weight control, switching to diet soda will not be enough. Instead, try drinking more water. Drinking water instead of soda will cut hundreds of calories per day.
Water can help with weight loss in other ways as well. If you drink two glasses of water before a meal, you will feel full more quickly, so you will eat less. Research has also shown that drinking water can have many positive effects on your metabolism.
This one may be a bit surprising, but fruit juice can have as many calories as soda. It does have more of a nutritional benefit than soda though because it contains vitamins and minerals. You shouldn’t stop drinking fruit juice if it is a regular part of your diet, but look for 100% fruit juice. That way you will still have all the nutrients without the extra sugar. A low-calorie alternative to fruit juice is vegetable juice. It is just as nutritious as fruit juice, but it has half the calories. For example, 12 ounces of tomato juice has 80 calories, whereas the same amount of orange juice has 160 calories (WebMD).
Smoothies are nutritious because they contain fruit and milk, but they can be very high in calories, especially when ordered at a restaurant. These smoothies may contain ice cream or other sweeteners that add a ton of calories to an otherwise healthy beverage.To cut calories, make smoothies at home instead. That way you can control what goes in it so you won’t be consuming unnecessary calories. Also, try drinking low-fat milk.
Energy drinks have just as many calories as soda. While they do have extra nutrients added, those vitamins and minerals can be found elsewhere. The little nutritional value of these drinks is not worth the extra calories. If you need an energy boost, drink coffee instead. Black coffee has almost no calories and there are several health benefits to drinking coffee. However, coffee is only low in calories when you don’t add anything to it. Cups of coffee with extra flavoring and whipped cream on top can contain as much as 570 calories, the equivalent of an entire meal (WebMD).
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Alcoholic beverages, particularly wine and cocktails, are high in calories. A five-ounce glass of wine has about 100 calories and certain cocktails can have as much as 715 calories (WebMD). There isn’t really a low-calorie alternative to alcoholic beverages.The best way to cut calories from these drinks is just to consume less.