Extra Pounds Hidden in Your Cup
Beverages are a hidden source of calories that many people don’t realize they’re consuming. You could start to lose weight quickly just by replacing high-calorie drinks with lower ones. Take a moment to think about what beverages with calories you drink every day. If you’re like most people, you probably drink at least a few of the following:
- coffee or latte
If you’re overweight and drinking any or all of these every day then you can start losing weight right now without changing what you eat. Here’s why:
A Calorie Is a Calorie
Gaining or losing weight comes down to simple math. When energy in is higher than energy out, you gain weight. The good news is that you can tip the balance in the direction of weight loss, too. Calories that you don’t use are stored as fat. It doesn’t matter if they’re calories that you eat or drink. They factor in the energy balance the same way.
Most of the calories we drink don’t to go a long way for making us healthy or keeping us thin. Yes, some drinks contain beneficial vitamins and antioxidants. Some examples are green tea and 100% fruit juice. However, most of what we drink is loaded with sugar and doesn’t help us to feel satisfied when we eat. Those drinks tip the energy equation in favor of gaining weight without any trade-offs like feeling satisfied or getting more fiber.
#1 List What You Typically Drink Each Day
One pound of fat = 3,500 calories. Let’s say you want to lose one pound of fat per week. That means that you need to cut 500 calories per day (500 calories x 7 days per week = 3,500 calories) through diet and/or exercise. For our purposes, we’re going to concentrate on the diet portion only.
Now take a moment to write down what you typically drink every day and how much.
#2 Check the Beverage Calorie Chart
Now check out this chart to figure out how many calories are in those drinks: Calories in Drinks and Popular Beverages
Write down and add up how many calories are in your drinks. Keep in mind that the calories listed on that chart are per 12 ounce servings. You can either estimate or actually measure how much you typically drink.
#3 Plug Your Numbers: Calories in Popular Drinks
Now you’re ready to figure out how many pounds worth of calories you’re drinking each week. Follow the example below to figure it out:
- 12 oz. Starbucks café latte with whole milk = 200 calories
- 12 oz. Regular soda = 150 calories
- 12 oz. Orange juice = 160 calories
200 + 150 + 160 = 510 calories from drinks each day
510 calories x 7 days per week = 3,570 calories per week
That’s more than enough to lose a pound per week without changing what you eat in any way. That adds up to over 52 pounds you could lose in one year!
Now You Know How Much Weight You Can Lose
Once you look up your numbers on the chart, you can do the math and figure out how much weight you can lose every week by substituting your usual drinks for water. You don’t have to drink only water. You can either trade some of your usual beverages for water or find lower calorie versions of what you already drink.