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Drinking Calories

Beverages and even cup sizes can easily add calories to our days and inches to our waist.  We all know that staying hydrated is important, and especially after bariatric surgery, when Dr. Huguet recommends drinking an ounce every half hour.  Choosing calorie-free or low-calorie drinks can help keep the calories down and the pounds off.

MIIS, Registered dietitian recommends tricks like switching to unsweetened tea and bringing water to parties to ensure the temptation and calories stay at bay.

Choosing beverages and even cups more wisely will make a big difference and is an easy lifestyle change.  Did you know that in 1955, when Coco-Cola and McDonald’s first partnered up they offered one drink size – a 7-ounce fountain drink?  That was deemed plenty and sodas were seen as a special treat.  Across the corporate lands and over time, decisions have been made to make drinks/container sizes larger and larger until today when fountain drinks can be more than 120 ounces.  Even a child’s size cup now holds more than 12 ounces.  Not falling into the pit of the beverage wars can save a ton of calories.

How many calories?  If each ounce of regular soda is approximately 12 calories (and this is an approximation), a fast-food industry’s average small size (which currently sits between 16-32 ounces) holds 192-384 calories.  Losing 1/6th to 1/4th of a daily calorie allowance to a small beverage that adds little-to-no nutritional value isn’t the best decision.  The numbers get even worse when ordering a medium or large sugar-filled drink!

Sodas aren’t the only bad guys when it comes to weight gain. Sugary lattes, fruit juices, smoothies, alcohol, and mixers can all pack on the calories.  Portion control and calorie tracking apply no matter what the beverage.   Using things like refillable bottles and fruit extracts can make keeping hydrated and adding flavor easy.

Individuals who have completed their bariatric surgeries will find that avoiding certain drinks, such as carbonated beverages, is important to avoiding bloat, gas, and unnecessary pain.  Some artificial sweeteners can cause bloat and should be kept out of beverages, too.

Simple changes like swapping sugary and high-calorie beverages for low-calorie or calorie-free options can help reach and maintain goals.