Tuesday, August 7, 2012
How many calories are you drinking?
While trying to lose weight every calories counts. Knowing how many calories are in the foods you eat and in your favorite drinks is half the battle. It's always shocking to find out your favorite food or drink is more caloric than you thought.
It is really easy to drink a large amount of calories and not even realize it. For example coffee. If you are anything like me I like to treat myself to a coffee every so often. When I do I like go to Starbucks. I used to get a venti coffee then add creamer and zero calorie sweetener. Coffee its self doesn't have any calories, it's all the items you add to the coffee that adds up.
Half and half is 20 calories per-tablespoon, which doesn't seem like a lot but adds up quickly. I add about 1/2 cup of half and half (8 tablespoons) to mine which brings the calorie count for the coffee to 160. If you use the flavored creamers your looking at 35 calories per-tablespoon so then you would be looking at 280 for that same coffee.
If you like sugar in your coffee add 15 calories per-tablespoon. Once again doesn't seem like a lot right? Say you add 3 tablespoons of sugar and 8 tablespoons of flavored creamer, your looking at 325 calories. That's a lot of calories in a drink. If you drink a smaller drink and use less sugar and creamer of course the numbers would go down but my point was that it is very easy to drink more calories than you are aware of.
Starbucks specialty drinks are another example. It is shocking how many calories are in some of there drinks.
Venti White hot chocolate 520 calories
Venti Vanilla Frappuccion 400 calories
Venti Java chip Frappuccion 440 calories
Those are just a few of the higher calorie drinks. Here is the link if you would like to check out the calories of your favorite drink: Starbucks nutrition
You can get a Venti non-fat latte for 170 calories. You just have to take the time to look at the nutritional information to find the lower calorie healthier choices. I like the non-fat latte because instead of creamer which is not nutritional it is made with skim milk which adds protein and calcium to your drink. You may still choose to treat yourself to your favorite coffee but you will be aware of the calories you choose to drink.
Soda or pop can also add up. An 8 oz soda is between 80-110 calories. This means a 24 oz soda is between 240-330 calories. For 330 calories you could eat a lot of food. A turkey sandwich, a smoothie, or a ton of vegetables. Cutting out high calorie drinks is a great way to kick off your weight loss journey.
Wine, beer, and other alcoholic beverages are another type of high calorie drinks. From what I can gather red wine is about 25 calories an oz. Does not sound like much right? 8 oz red wine = 200 calories. Sometimes you just need a nice glass of red wine to unwind from your busy day but just make sure you are aware of the amount you are drinking and if you have the extra calories to spare. Beer can be quite caloric at around 90-300 calories per 12 oz, most of them being in the 150 range. Here is a good chart if you would like to see where your favorite beer lands: Beer Chart.
Sweet tea is another high calorie drink. A McDonald's sweet tea 21 oz is 180 calories. Tea is like coffee it is zero calories so all the calories comes from sugar or sweeteners. Tea has many health benefits check them out here: tea health benefits. If you want to enjoy some tea with out the bad calories try honey, or zero calorie sweeteners.
Finding ways to enjoy your favorite drinks for less calories will help your weight loss dramatically. It is always so exciting to find a drink that is low to zero calories that you really enjoy and can be healthier for it. Water is always the best zero calorie drink but can get boring over time. My favorite drink has to be my homemade chocolate latte. I invested an espresso/latte machine because at $4 a coffee it was adding up. I buy Starbucks dark espresso beans and have them grind them for my machine, Silk light chocolate milk, and a little zero calorie sweetener. Yummo!
I would really like to find some good organic espresso beans. My sister suffers from headaches when she drinks coffee but she found that the organic brands do not give her a headache. That says a lot to me so time to hunt down some good organic coffee!