Why we say "Don't Drink Your Calories"
You’ve probably heard people say “don’t drink your calories” or “stop drinking calories” and that’s because on average we consume 200-600 calories from our daily recommended intake through beverages such as coffee, juice, pop etc. The problem with this is that it makes it very easily to consume a lot of calories quickly and if you are still eating a normal amount of food this could lead to weight gain. Plus, those calories found in pop, coffee (from any added sugar) and juice are almost always 100% carbohydrate..and not the good kind, the sugary kind. And sugary drinks cause spikes in our blood which can lead to cravings and hunger quicker than if we had had a healthy snack instead.
· 1 cup of Orange Juice = 120 calories and most people drink more than the 8oz serving size in one sitting· 1 can of Cocoa Cola (150 ml) = 140 calories
· 1 can of Tonic Water (150 ml) = 130 calories
· 1 oz alcohol = ~100 calories
· Tim Hortons Medium Double Double = 240 calories
· Starbucks Grande Caramel Latte = 240 calories
· Starbucks Grande Caramel Brulee Latte = 430 Calories
1 cup of orange juice with breakfast, a mid-afternoon double-double and a pop with lunch or dinner quickly adds up to 500 calories and that’s if you are having only one serving size!
SO WHAT ABOUT GREEN JUICES…
For people following this rule it definitely puts a damper on cold pressed or fresh squeezed juices. The reality is these juices are high in calories and it is all simple sugars BUT you are getting a non-pasteurized, nutrient-packed drink. Depending on your health status and lifestyle a green juice may or may not be a good option. If you are pre-diabetic/diabetic for example that quick shot of sugary juice may send you blood sugar and all the other hormones that come with it into a bit of a frenzy. However, if you are someone who is trying to cut out pop and a fresh juice is the next best option ABSOLUTELY have at it. If you are at a healthy weight and love the little energy boost you get, that’s another awesome reason to drink fresh juices. But note my emphasis on fresh. Grocery-store bought juices are almost always pasteurized. Pasteurization is a quick heating process that, unfortunately, destroys Vitamin C and other vitamins. After the process Vitamin C is added back as a synthetic powder and mixed into the juice. Because of this I vote raw juice from a juice bar or your own home kitchen is the best option. Authentic, original nutrients and fresh plant material for ingredients.
OKAY….BUT WHAT ABOUT SMOOTHIES?!
To put it simply I wouldn’t consider a smoothie a drink. Yes, you drink it but if you had left that cup of spinach, sliced banana, coconut oil and hemp hearts on a plate and eaten it as a meal that way you would be ingesting the exact same ingredients! So smoothies are a go. Homemade is best and always try to add a healthy fat and/or protein!
Staying hydrated is important so try cutting out sugar/dairy from your coffee or start by cutting it in half! Drink water throughout the day and infuse it with lemon, mint, cucumber, berries etc. for a hint of flavour. Save yourself the calories in the beverage department and instead enjoy small healthy snacks like fruit, cheese, homemade granola bars, or nuts!
Love & health,
1- Ogden CL, Kit BK, Carroll MD, Park S. Consumption of sugar drinks in the United States, 2005-2008<. NCHS Data Brief. 2011:1-8.