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Slurping Down Your Calories

By Rachael Attard, Updated Feb 16, 2018

You’re working out and being careful about what you eat. You even check to make sure your food meets your caloric intake guidelines. But have you thought about those drinks that you’re having with your food or between meals? Have you considered how  much you are slurping down your calories each day simply from beverages?  

When you’re trying to slim down and re-sculpt your body, you need to be mindful of everything you put into your body, and that includes drinks too. Even “healthy” drinks such as fruit juices, smoothies and iced tea can throw you off track.  

I’m not saying that you need to avoid all of these drinks altogether. It’s just about being aware of the calories and sugar in them, so you can decide what’s healthy and what’s not. And if something is on the less healthy side, try to have it in moderation.  

So let’s take a look at the calorie and sugar content of some of these popular drinks.  

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Fruit Juice 

Fruit is good for you right?! Well, yes fruit is definitely good for you. But some fruit juices can be a different story. 

Unlike eating an actual piece of fruit, fruit juice contains very little fiber. Fiber is what makes you feel full. So you could easily have 5 apples in your juice, but you are less likely to actually eat 5 apples because you would feel full!  

Another factor to consider is that packaged fruit juice is packed with sugar and preservatives. A small 240mL glass of Simply Orange Pulp Free Orange Juice contains 26 grams of sugar. And a small 240mL glass of Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice is 28 grams of sugar. 

Fruit juice does contain lots of vitamins and minerals, so it is still a lot better than other drinks such as soda. If you’re drinking juice, opt for freshly squeezed varieties and try to get one with some veggies in there too! If there are no freshly squeezed options, I would recommend avoiding the juice altogether.   

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Smoothies 

Some smoothies are great, while others can be very high in sugar and calories.  

The healthiest smoothies are those that contain fruit, vegetables, lean protein, nuts and seeds. A lot of smoothie places add extras that can really increase the sugar content, such as sweetened almonds milks or coconut waters, honey, granola, frozen yoghurt, etc. Try to avoid these unnecessary sugary ingredients. Another thing to keep in mind is that lots of fats (even if they’re healthy) can significantly increase the calorie content. So go easy on the coconut milk, nuts, seeds and nut butters. 

A lot of trendy smoothie bars these days don’t have the calorie content available. But generally, I would think these are healthier than the fast food chain smoothies. Plus you can usually have more say as to what goes in your smoothie (or even create your own!).  

Smoothies at Jamba Juice range from around 200 calories up to a massive 660. And if the calories don’t seem like a lot, know that the sugar content can range from around 40 grams to up to 140 grams! (Remember, the suggested daily intake of sugar is about 20 grams for a female). 

If you love smoothies (like me), why not try making your own at home! That way, you’re 100% in control of the ingredients that go in it :)

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Iced Tea 

Homemade iced teas can be a good option. If you make your iced tea at home and don’t add any sweeteners, then your iced tea is basically calorie free, which is great. If you do want to add sweetener though, 1 tablespoon of honey is 64 calories and 17 grams of sugar, so just keep this in mind.    

Pre-made iced teas that come in a bottle can have many more calories. 500mL of Arizona Iced Tea contains 160 calories and 45 grams of sugar! 500mL of Lipton Ice Tea comes in at 150 calories and 33 grams of sugar.  

Alcohol  

I thought I should cover alcohol because, let’s face it, most of us drink it! And most of us know that it’s not good for us (read this blog post if you want to find out more about how alcohol affects your weight). So I want to give you some tips on how to drink alcohol but keep the calories and sugar down. 

First of all, here are calorie and sugar facts from your favourite drinks: 

  • Cosmopolitan – 200 calories and 44 grams of sugar;  
  • Margarita – 174 calories and 19 grams of sugar;  
  • Pina Colada – 300 calories and 43 grams of sugar; and 
  • Long Island Iced Tea – 454 calories and 61 grams of sugar!  

Here are some alcoholic options you can have on a night out, without adding too many calories and sugar: 

  • Red wine (small glass of merlot) – 118 calories and 3.7 grams of sugar (HINT – the drier the wine, the less amount of sugar it has); or  
  • Vodka, lime and soda – 96 calories and 0 grams of sugar. not gain weight over the weekend

Starbucks Frappuccino  

Just a standard cup of coffee contains basically no calories. But when you start adding all of the milk and flavours in, it goes a bit crazy. A 16 ounce (500mL) coffee flavour Starbucks Frappuccino contains 260 calories and 50 grams of sugar. Move up to the Java Chip flavour and you’ve got yourself 340 calories and 52 grams of sugar!

If you are looking for a cold coffee pick-me-up, consider an unsweetened Iced Coffee. Grande size (16 ounces/500mL) will only cost you 5 calories and has no sugar.  

As I mentioned above, you don’t to avoid these drinks altogether. Just be mindful of what’s in them, and drink them in moderation :) I hope this helps you be more mindful about slurping down your calories! X

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Rachael is an Australian born certified personal trainer and nutritionist who holds a Bachelor degree in Science.

After struggling for years to find an exercise and diet program that is tailored to women striving for lean and toned body with no bulk she designed her Lean Legs Program. This program is tailored to each body type and focused on helping women get toned but feminine bodies, without getting bulky.

Her mission is to empower women and help them stay in shape in a healthy and balanced way.

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