Sunday, September 27, 2009

What Not To Drink

Since my latest posts have been revolved around the the subject of drinking fluids and how much of them to drink, I thought I'd continue the theme by giving the low-down on what beverages one should absolutely refrain from consuming. Drinks can really add a punch to your pouch. Often loaded with empty calories, beverages can easily cause you to put on some extra weight without you even knowing it. While drinks may be packed with calories, people don't often associate the calories in drinks as they would with food. Consuming a 155 calorie granola bar would probably leave a person feeling satisfied or at least curb their hunger, whereas a person downing that same amount of calories by drinking a can of Coke often wouldn't feel full, especially mentally. Therefore, the calories in drinks often aren't compensated for later in the day and end up being purely extra calories added into the diet.

While countless drinks are unhealthy, containing loads of sugar, artificial sweeteners, and food-colorings, there are a few that particularly stand out as being atrocious in terms of one's diet. Try to avoid consuming the following drinks, as they are loaded with calories and aren't beneficial at all to one's health.

-Venti Double Chocolate Chip Blended Creme Frappuccinno: This drink has more calories and fat than in a typical meal, containing 670 calories and 22 grams of fat. That's as much fat and more calories as two McDonald's cheeseburgers. In fact, I would tend to stay away from Starbucks in general, considering more than a handfull of drinks on the menu contain as much calories and fat as most meals on fast food menu. For instance, the hot chocolate with whip creme has a whopping total of 24 grams of fat. Is this something you really want to be guzzling down? Wake up with something a little more healthful, such as a homemade green smoothie. If you really feel the need to hit Starbucks on your way to work, opt for a cappuccino with soy or nonfat milk (about 80 calories), or simply stick to a plain cup of joe.

-Margarita- Going out for a night on the town? Well, skip this drink. With their often exotic sounding flavors and bright, neon colors, Margaritas can often sound like the drink of choice. However, they'll cost you about 400 calories, a ton of sugar, and lots of processed food colorings. And while they may look appetizing, unless you're getting them fresh such as in the Caribbean islands, they usually taste like syrupy, processed crap. Stick to something lighter such as a Mint Mojito (180 calories), a simple combination of rum or vodka, a little sugar, fresh squeezed lime and fresh mint. This drink refreshing drink is sure to leave you satisfied and walking out of the bar a little lighter than that loudmouth sipping on a candy apple margarita.

-"Juice Drinks"- Juice can be deceiving. I often find myself quickly grabbing something such as a bottle of cranberry juice at the gas station, only to find out once I get to my car that what I grabbed is not really juice at all. In fine print, labels often read "10%" juice...then list off a bunch of artificial flavorings and processed ingredients. I didn't want 90% crap, I wanted juice god damn it! Juice as it is isn't as nutritious as eating the actual fruit, but it's even worse when if the "juice" you're drinking barely even contains the fruit from which its titled. When choosing juice, make sure the bottle says 100% juice, and limit yourself to one serving size. Since juice is very concentrated, it tends to be high in calories and sugar, and unlike the fruit, it contains no fiber so it often won't make you feel full like eating an actual apple would. One small juice box often contains 100 calories which is more than if you just ate the actual fruit. If you're craving something sweet, go for the real fruit and grab a glass of water to clench your thirst, rather than downing 100 calories in a few quick sips from a juicebox.

These are just a sample of the high calorie drinks that are out there. In general, use sodas, juices, and coffee "milkshakes" as treats, rather than daily consumptions. Stick to water which is actually the best at doing its job of clenching one's thirst. If you're looking for a little variation away from your everyday water, check out these natural, low-cal, refreshing beverages.

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