Liquid calories and weight gain


Liquid calories go down quickly and taste great, but they are also a hidden source for rampant weight gain.


Alcohol contains a lot of calories

Alcoholic drinks are typically the worst when it comes to liquid calories. Did you know that alcohol contributes 7 calories per gram, whereas carbs only contribute 4? That's a calorie-dense drink!


The fruity, sweet drinks also contain a lot of sugar (which is another word for carb), so they pack a double punch when it comes to weight gain. If you are interested in losing weight, drinks like these are the first thing you should drop from your diet.


The coffee vs. tea debate

Coffee isn't a bad thing to drink. In fact, the caffeine in coffee is known to be a fat shuttler, which helps your body transport fat to be burned. That's actually a wonderful thing when you are trying to lose weight.

The issue with coffee is actually with the "fixings." We all tend to add cream, milk, sugar, syrups, and more to our coffee drinks. It's those that add the liquid calories. And when you drink a venti mocha latte with whip every day, or more than once a day, the liquid calories quickly add up as pounds on your body.


Tea is typically lower in calories because fewer fixings are added. However, if you drink sweet tea, which has lots of added sugar, or you like adding cream and sugar to your tea, this won't be a lower-calorie option for you.


With either tea or coffee, the key to avoiding liquid calories is to avoid the extras. Some good options include espresso, Americano, black coffee, or unsweetened tea.


There are health benefits to both coffee and tea, so you don't need to avoid these beverages altogether, just watch the total calories.


Juice is not your friend

If you are trying to lose weight and looking to cut liquid calories, juice should be on that list of no-nos. Yes, juice can offer some vitamins, such as vitamin C. But juice is without fiber, fat, or substance to keep your blood sugar level from spiking. This is particularly bad because it will encourage your body to feel hungrier after you've had the juice, so now you are eating more calories too.


A smoothie is a better alternative to juice because it does include fiber. However, you have to be diligent about what else goes into the smoothie because ingredients like full-fat yogurt, peanut butter, or avocado aren't doing your waistline any favors.


Liquid calories don't fill you up

The main problem with liquid calories is that they go down quickly without really filling you up. Soda is another example of something to limit or cut if you are trying to lose weight. There are a myriad of beverages that fall into this category, but the main rule to follow is default to water.


Whenever you can, try to drink water instead. It's what your body needs, and it will free up more calories for you to put toward food. If you are trying to lose weight, you don't have many calories you can spare for unnecessary beverages like milkshakes without feeling starved while sticking to your target calories.


Just remember that if you aren't drinking water, you are probably consuming extra calories.


List of liquid calories to avoid:

  • Beer

  • Wine

  • Cocktails

  • Weight-loss drinks

  • Breakfast drinks

  • High-fat smoothies

  • Hot chocolate

  • Soda

  • Juice

  • Frappuccinos

  • Eggnog

  • Sweet tea

  • Milkshakes

If you feel it's too big of a sacrifice to drop your favorite drink from your diet, that's okay. However, if you want to avoid weight gain, you will need to factor those calories into your total daily intake. Eat a little less food or exercise a little more.

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I'm Kat, the author of the healthy, happy blog. 

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