Liquid Calories: Are you drinking dessert?
Liquid calories come in all sorts of flavors and varieties. It could be the sports drink you’re buying at the gym because you forgot your water bottle. It could be the smoothie you enjoy with your kids. And it could be the latte you order through the drive thru.
At some point in time, our coffee turned into dessert.
Take the popular pumpkin spice latte. Not only is it sweet and tastes like pumpkin pie, it comes with whipped cream. As a result, you can get your daily limit of sugar in the smallest serving. Indeed, it contains a few grams of sugar more than a regular piece of pumpkin pie, which has 21 grams.
The question is: are the liquid calories worth it?
When you consider all the health problems associated with carrying extra weight, they’re not worth it at all. So why do keep drinking them? The answer is in our brains. Sugar acts like a drug and makes us feel good.
Sodas, coffee drinks, sweet tea, fruit drinks and sports are leading sources of added sugar in the American diet, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Half of the adult population drink at least one sugary beverage each day
Unfortunately, it’s not easy to give up sugar. But you can do it. Just as those liquid calories add up, they also drop down. Many people speed up their weight loss when they quit drinking soda, juice and sports drinks.
Ditch your liquid calories
Here are some tips from the CDC to help you replace sugary drinks.
At the coffee shop:
- First, steer clear of whole milk. Order your drink with fat-free or low-fat milk instead.
- Always order the smallest size available.
- Skip extra flavoring. Tell your barista you do not want any syrups in your drink.
- Do not get whipped cream. Otherwise you’re ordering dessert.
- Drink your coffee black if you can. Or try just adding fat-free milk.
At the smoothie shop:
- Order a child’s size.
- Check the nutritional information – you’ll need to ask for it – and pick the smoothie with the fewest calories.
- Hold the sugar. Order your smoothie without added sugar. Fruit is sweet enough on its own.