7 Tips for Making Better Beverage Choices

Calories Count: image by HomeMadeInterest.com    Beverage Calories Count

When you are being careful about what you eat do you find yourself wondering why you aren’t losing weight as quickly as you think you should be? The reason may be as simple as forgetting to count the calories from the liquids you consume. In fact, you may not be thinking of how many calories are in your beverage but some may contain added sugars and offer little or no nutrients. Others may provide nutrients but include too much fat and calories. Remember, beverage calories count too!

Since most drinks have at least some calories, take care that at the end of the day they haven’t put you over your calorie-limit. While this isn’t bad one or two days a week, adding those extra calories every day adds up. You want beverages that contribute to a healthy lifestyle and don’t hinder you from reaching your weight-loss goals.

Even milk and sugar added to your coffee or tea can add up if you have a few cups every day for a week. Just because you aren’t chewing does meant there aren’t calories. Don’t let these ‘hidden’ calories sabotage your weight loss plans.

7 Tips to help you reduce your beverage calories for weight loss.

1.  Swap any drink for a cool glass of water

Drink water – Why?
Regular soda, energy or sports drinks, and other sweet drinks usually contain a lot of added sugar, which provides more calories than you may realize or need.

A thrifty option 
Water is usually easy on the wallet. You can save money by drinking water from the tap at home or when eating out. If you like you can buy a filter – the ones that you add to your faucet are pretty easy to install.

Helps you Manage your calories 
Drink water with and between your meals. Adults and children take in about 400 calories per day as beverages – drinking water can help you manage your calories.

2.  Make other options readily available

Make your Home a Kid-friendly drink zone – Why?
Water, low-fat or fat-free milk, or 100% juice are more nutritious for your family than sugary drinks. Have ready-to-go containers filled with water or healthy drinks available in the refrigerator. That way, they’ll grab them when in a hurry. Place them in lunch boxes or backpacks for easy access when kids are away from home. Depending on age, children can drink ½ to 1 cup, and adults can drink up to 1 cup of 100% fruit or vegetable juice* each day.

3.  Don’t forget your dairy** 

Choose Dairy Alternatives – Why?
When you choose milk or milk alternatives, select low-fat or fat-free milk or fortified soymilk. Each type of milk offers the same key nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, and potassium, but the number of calories are very different. Older children, teens, and adults need 3 cups of milk per day, while children 4 to 8 years old need 2½ cups and children 2 to 3 years old need 2 cups.

4.  Water on the go 

Bring some water along when out and about – Why?
Water is always convenient, it doesn’t spoil the way some other beverages can and it’s super convenient. Fill a clean, reusable water bottle and toss it in your bag or briefcase to quench your thirst throughout the day. Reusable bottles are also easy on the environment. Adding some fruit makes a refreshing treat – try lemons or limes, add some ice.

5.  Enjoy your beverage 

Why? We all need a treat once in a while!
Sometimes we need to reward ourselves for a job well done. If that mean that, for you, water just won’t do – have the beverage of your choice, but just cut back. Remember to check the serving size and the number of servings in the can, bottle, or container to stay within calorie needs. Select smaller cans, cups, or glasses instead of large or supersized options.

6.  Check the facts 

Use the Nutrition Facts label to choose beverages at the grocery store – Why?
Food labels list contain information about added sugars, saturated fat, sodium, and calories to help you make better choices. Watch for corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, etc. as high-calorie, empty calories. The top ingredients are  listed first so if you see that the fruit you selected is low on the list, chances are pretty good that it’s not as healthy as you may hope.

7.  Compare what you drink 

Choose My Plate offers a great app – Food-A-Pedia, an online app that can help you compare calories, added sugars, and fats in your favorite beverages.

*100% juice is part of the Fruit or Vegetable Group. Juice should make up half or less of total recommended fruit or vegetable intake.

** Milk is a part of the Dairy Group. A cup = 1 cup of milk or yogurt, 1½ ounces of natural cheese, or 2 ounces of processed cheese.

Be sure to check out these articles for additional information about why you should create a plan as well as tips to help you stick to, your nutrition goals – Good Nutrition and Why You Need It and My Grocery Shopping List.


Lifetime Fitness Tip:

Beverage Calories Count! Replacing just one glass of wine a week with a glass of water will eliminate about 6,396 calories a year.  A small 5 fl oz. of Chardonnay has about 123 calories. That’s 9 pounds over the course of 5 years for a single glass of wine a week!


Thank you for stopping by. We hope you found this article a useful reminder to count your beverage calories too. Wishing you the best of health!


Source: My Plate

Author: Joan E Wilder

We provide information and motivation focused on the importance of physical activity to our quality of life. It is our hope to help people invest in themselves by staying active throughout their lives. It's that important.

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