If you are trying to lose some weight, you may have been advised to take more liquids, as they may contain fewer calories and carbohydrates than solid food. While this advice is good when it comes to water (it has zero calories), it may not hold when it comes to seemingly innocent liquids that have lots of calories you may not know about.
Liquid calories are stealth calories; they mostly come undetected but have a huge impact on your weight loss. Just like calories from food, liquid calories can also make you gain weight. They don’t make you feel full for long, and you, therefore, end up eating more food, and more calories since you are getting them from two sources. When you take calories in the form of solid food, you easily compensate by reducing your food intake. When you take liquid calories, however, you are not as satiated as you would with solid ones, and you end up overcompensating by taking more.
How to reduce liquid calories in your diet
Replace sports drinks and soft drinks with water
Water has lots of health benefits and has zero calories, and therefore is one of the healthiest drinks you can take. Sodas have lots of sugar in them, which increases the blood sugar, causing an insulin reaction in the body. With time, this can lead to weight gain and other health problems such as diabetes. You may think that you are talking sugar-free drinks by drinking diet soda, but what you don’t know is that they replace sugar with sugar substitutes such as aspartame, which is equally as dangerous, as it increases the risk of metabolic syndrome, resulting in belly fat and raised cholesterol, among other health problems.
Unless you are doing hardcore cardio exercises, you don’t really need the calories from sports drinks. Energy drinks have several disadvantages to your body, such as putting unnecessary stress on your heart and having lots of carbohydrates. For instance, a small can of Red Bull has only 115 calories, but a whopping 28.3g of carbohydrates, which are converted into fat.
Eat fruits instead of drinking the fruit juice
In as much as you will get the same nutrients when eating a fruit or drinking its juice, eating the fruit is better as it is more filling, and for longer, due to its fiber.
Opt for low-fat milk
You can save some more calories by opting for low-fat milk in place of the more popular full fat milk. A cup of whole milk (about 244g) has 148 calories while a cup of low-fat milk has only 90 calories, clearly making it the healthier option. If the taste of low-fat milk isn’t pleasant to you, you can start by switching from the 3.25% whole milk to the 2% reduced fat milk. Once you get used to it, you again switch to the 1% low-fat milk, and finally to the 0-0.5% skim or nonfat milk.
Reduce your intake of specialty coffees
Most of the specialty coffees, such as Cappuccino, Frappuccino, and Mocha have lots of calories. For instance, the Starbucks Caramel Brulee Frappuccino Blended Coffee has a whopping 430 calories. Opt for regular coffee, either black or with low-fat milk, and drink the specialty coffees only on special occasions. You can even choose to avoid them altogether.
All alcoholic drinks and liquors have calories, and some, especially those that have sugary mixes or cream have lots of calories that will hinder your weight loss. When you take alcohol, your body immediately starts metabolizing it. This, however, means that your body stops metabolizing fat for the entire period that it is metabolizing the alcohol. For someone who takes alcohol once in a blue moon, this may not be a problem, but if you regularly drink alcohol, this could slow down your weight loss. You should limit your alcohol intake or completely avoid it if you want to lose weight.