They’re everywhere, and they can seemingly pop up out of nowhere. You’ll find them lurking in your daily coffee or the seemingly innocent soda you enjoy during your afternoon break. They bombard you when you refresh yourself with a cold sports drink after a serious workout. Hidden liquid calories quietly sneak up on you, but you can overcome them with careful vigilance, wise choices and strong willpower.
You don’t have to stop drinking everything except water, but you do need to make better choices when it comes to deciding what to drink. Here are a few ways to prevent hidden liquid calories from interfering with your healthy weight loss.
Avoid packing on extra pounds by flavoring your coffee and tea with skim milk and non-sugar sweeteners. To see how this works, consider that a regular 16-ounce Cafe Mocha made with whole milk from a popular coffeehouse delivers 330 calories, 19 grams of fat and 35 grams of sugar. Switching to the Skinny Mocha will save 190 calories, 17.5 grams of fat and 20 grams of sugar. The difference in those numbers can make an incredible difference in the speed of your weight loss.
If the safety of artificial sweeteners concerns you, consider using natural sweeteners that have fewer calories than sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. Stevia is a completely natural sweetener that is 25-30 times sweeter than sugar with no calories. Xylitol is another healthy choice. Studies have shown that xylitol protects your teeth from cavities, cuts down on ear infections and aids the growth of the healthy bacteria that lives in your gut.
While drinking diet soda can help you lose weight, there are good reasons to avoid soda as much as possible. It isn’t healthy in any form. Even diet sodas contain phosphates that pull the calcium from your bones.
Sports drinks have a good reputation, but they’re really only beneficial for extreme athletes or people who are suffering from severe dehydration. They are full of sugar and sodium that your body just doesn’t need in regular circumstances. For normal rehydration purposes, nothing beats plain water.
Another source of hidden liquid calories is fruit juice. Fruit juice tastes great, and it isn’t necessarily bad for you. However, it provides a lot of calories, and it lacks the important fiber you get from eating whole fruit. For weight loss purposes, it’s best to avoid fruit juice.
If you don’t control your intake, hidden liquid calories will wreak havoc on your diet and sabotage your weight loss. Carefully consider your beverages and make the right choices to succeed in reaching your weight loss goals.