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Cut Down on Calories. Watch What You're Drinking!

Por Lucky Barillas*, Nutrition Counselor, MyDiet™ -
Cut Down on Calories.  Watch What You're Drinking!

General recommendations for daily water (and other liquids) intake ranges from 2-3 liters, depending on your age, sex, and physical activity level among other things. Yet this is something very few people accomplish.  The water and other liquids we consume help to “clean” and hydrate our body, as well as to improve digestion and keep our skin moisturized. 

From the 1970s to the present, the types of beverages people are choosing to drink have changed dramatically. People used to drink more milk and water. Now, people are drinking beverages with a high sugar content, such as sodas and artificial juices. These drinks are lower in overall nutrient content and are therefore high in “empty” calories. 

Studies have shown that the calories that come from sugar-containing drinks represent around 22% of the average person's daily calorie intake. This can add up to 400+ calories that could be eliminated from your diet. This number may not sound significant to you, but it translates to ~13,000 calories per month, which can add up to a few extra pounds of body weight.

Sometimes we forget that drinks also provide calories to our diet and they can contribute to overweight and obesity.

As part of your diet and exercise plan, it is very important to assess the types of beverage you drink every day, so you choose the best options. 

Try to keep a bottle of water with you at all times. This way, you will start drinking more liquids, and soon you will get used to this healthy habit.  

Try to avoid sodas or canned drinks; they have around 10 teaspoons of sugar per can. The excess amount of calories from sugar will become fat in your body if you don't burn it off. 

If you choose beverages with no sugar added, you will be saving between 150 and 160 calories per drink. If you are used to drinking 3 sodas each day, for example, this is equivalent to +450 extra calories (depending on the size of the can/bottle).  Replacing these 3 drinks with better options, could result in a loss of 1 pound per week. 

This is why it is important to take control of what you drink, and not only what you eat.  

The following table shows a list of drinks you should avoid, and healthy choices to replace them with.   



Regular sodas


(1 can 12 oz 155 cal)

(0 cal)

Sugared fruit juices

Fruit juices with an artificial sweetener

               ( 1 glass 8 oz 88 cal)

(0 cal)

Sports drinks

Light sodas

(1 bottle 16 oz 100 cal)

(0 cal)

Whole milk

Natural fruit juices

( 1 glass 8 oz 145 cal)

(1 glass 8 oz 30-50 cal)

Chocolate milk

Low fat milk (1 or 2%)

( 1 glass 8 oz 207 cal)

( 1 glass 8 oz 102 cal)

Hot chocolate

Regular coffee

( 1 glass 8 oz 190 cal)

(1 cup 8 oz 5 cal)


Coffee with low fat milk (1-2%)

(1 cup 8 oz 80 cal)

(1 cup 8 oz 55 cal)

Latté or Mocha

( 1 cup 8 oz 85 cal)

Milk shakes

( 1 glass 12 oz 350 cal)

Alcoholic beverages


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