Fat Loss Nutrition

Are You Drinking More Calories Than You Realize?

“You can’t out-cardio a bad diet.”

This saying means that no matter how much we exercise, we still need to watch what we eat—and how many calories we consume.

And some of us might be reaching our entire calorie allotment for the day “in one fell swig.” Before I started researching, I probably was. I was shocked at the calorie counts in popular beverages. Did you know that a medium McDonald’s chocolate shake contains 700 calories?! And even a plain old glass of juice can take us soaring over our daily calorie goal at over 200 calories.

So here’s what you might be consuming, calorie-wise, if you have four popular beverages in a day:

Breakfast: Specialty Latte or Hot Chocolate

Who doesn’t love starting the day with a fancy coffee drink or a hot cocoa? But these drinks shouldn’t be considered equal to a cup of black coffee. With a grande (16 oz) caramel macchiato from Starbucks, you’re adding 240 calories to breakfast. That includes 60 calories from fat, 3.5 g of saturated fat, which is bad for your heart, and 32 g of sugar, which can harm your metabolism. A grande hot chocolate from Starbucks, even without whipped cream, is 360 calories, which includes 80 calories from fat, 5 g of saturated fat, and 41 g of sugar.

You could be replacing these sugar-laden, high-calorie beverages with something not only lower calorie, but also a lot cheaper than Starbucks: IdealBoost, a drink mix that you add directly to healthy water. IdealBoost gives you just as much energy as that caramel macchiato, with a green tea + caffeine combo and vitamin B12 to fuel your day. And calories? Only 5!

Breakfast: Orange Juice

Orange juice sounds like such a wholesome accompaniment to breakfast. But orange juice, like lemonade, is deceiving. A medium (15.2 oz) Minute Maid® orange juice contains 220 calories and a whopping 45 g of sugar. Recommended daily amounts of sugar are just 25 g for women and 37.5 g for men! This means that your glass of orange juice alone exceeds the amount of sugar you should be consuming over the course of an entire day.

Not only can sugar cause weight gain, it can also cause problems leading to diabetes and a compromised immune system.

There’s a better way, and it doesn’t have to be drinking plain old water! IdealBoost comes in three delicious fruity flavors, and contains no sugar at all! Because you dissolve IdealBoost in water, it helps improve your hydration while giving you a little green tea + caffeine boost and tons of B vitamins.

Refreshing Brown Soda with Ice

Lunch: Soda or Iced Tea

In the middle of the afternoon, many of us reach for a caffeinated soda or a sweetened iced tea to get us through the rest of the day. It’s probably not surprising to see our old friend (or enemy) soda sabotaging our diets and our health: a 20 oz bottle of soda packs 240 calories and 65 g sugar.

The “healthier” iced tea option might surprise you, though: a 16 oz bottle of Snapple peach-flavored tea has 160 calories and 39 g sugar, more sugar than you should be eating in an entire day. And here we thought it was just tea! In reality, it’s filtered water, sugar, citric acid, tea, and “natural flavors” (yes, tea is only the fourth ingredient).

You can get healthier teas than Snapple, like HonestTea, but most popular iced tea options are far worse choices than a sugar-free, low-calorie option like IdealBoost!

Dessert: Chocolate Shake

And last but not least, we have a dessert drink. Now, we know it’s dessert, but since it comes in a cup it’s easy to forget that it could also be a whopping 850 calorie splurge! If you get a 22 oz chocolate shake from McDonald’s made with reduced-fat ice cream, that’s how many calories you’re drinking. A healthier-sounding berry smoothie is only a tad better at 260 calories and over 50 g of sugar.


Chelsea Ratcliff

Chelsea Ratcliff

Writer and expert

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