Don’t Drink Your Calories!
I know, nothing offers a little lift on a hot, humid day like an ice-infused combination of coffee and chocolate or some other sweet favor. It’s just important to remember those kicks can pack quite a punch when it comes to calories, fat and sugar.
Even though Starbucks has created quite a buzz with the new mini Frappuccino®, the 10-ounce regular coffee flavor still has 120 calories and 24 grams of sugar. Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, the new S’mores Frappuccino packs a whopping 330 calories and 43 grams of sugar in a 12-ounce tall serving. (I won’t even list the numbers in the grande, venti or trenta sizes. You can check out those eye-opening digits for yourself by clicking here.)
If you’re a Dunkin’ Donuts drinker, this may be the time of year you start sipping the signature Coolatta®. Here’s how the small frozen coffee flavor breaks down:
- Coolatta with cream: 210 calories; 23 grams of fat; 49 grams of carbs and 43 grams of sugar.
- Coolatta with skim milk: while you knock out the fat (O grams total), you still end up drinking in 210 calories and 49 grams of sugar. (The full list of frozen beverages can be found by clicking here.)
As you repeat readers know, I would never tell anyone not to enjoy a treat once in awhile. However, it’s a good time of year to pay attention to what’s on your daily menu. If a frozen coffee beverage becomes a routine extra at breakfast, lunch or snack time, remember, those are extra calories you’re adding to the entire day. Also, substituting real food with a large or extra-large frozen anything is never a good idea. Your body needs the proper fuel to keep running. And when you come down from your frozen-sugar buzz, you’ll probably still be hungry.
Yes, treats are a fun part of life. We just need to keep them in check so that we take the best care of our bodies. If you’ve already taken that positive step of adding exercise to your daily routine, you will only reap extra benefits by eating wholesome, healthy foods. Remember, you really are what you eat – and during these hot, steamy months -that includes what you drink! Keep track of those treats and you’ll be able to stay the course on your journey to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!
Friday Fast Fact: Don’t Drink Your Calories
As I often wrap up the work week with a food-related post, I thought I’d address one of the biggest mistakes I see people make all the time. The good news is it also happens to be a mistake with an easy fix.
You already know the most basic way to lose weight is to slash calories. Studies show the average person can drop a pound a week by trimming 500 calories a day. If you’re looking for an easy way to cut back, here it is: just say no to those sugary drinks!
Here are a few things I urge you to nix right now:
- Soda: You might be saying, “Oh come on, Laura, I only have one large Coke from the deli everyday for a caffeine fix.What’s the big deal?” I’ll tell you. That’s usually a 16-oz serving, which weighs in at roughly 187 calories. Cutting it out means you’re already 1/3 of your way to eliminating those daily 500 calories for weight loss. If you look at the bigger picture, you’re saving 1,2888 calories each week; 5,610 each month and a whopping 68,255 each year!
- Frosty coffee drinks: If your idea of a “light lunch” is “I’ll just have a (insert name of favorite frothy coffee drink here),” it’s time to re-train the brain a bit. Starbuck’ Mocha “Frappuccino” packs 400 calories while a vanilla bean “Coolatta” at Dunkin’ Donuts registers at 440 calories. Considering both have zero nutritional value and will most likely leave you hungry for real sustenance after, it’s easy to see how using these drinks in place of real meals is healthy-eating sabotage.
- Sugary cocktails: I’ve written several posts on how many frosty drinks are more like indulgent desserts thanks to ingredients like syrup, sour mix, sugary fruit juice and cream. Sipping drinks mixed with club soda, diet tonic water and a splash of citrus as opposed to full-on juice can help shave off hundreds of calories.
- Sports drinks: The truth is unless you’re a power or endurance athlete who plays a sport for more than an hour, there’s no need to re-hydrate with a high-calorie option like Gatorade or Vitamin Water. On days when I can can only squeeze in 30-minutes on the elliptical followed by a plank Tabata, I’ll burn approximately 350 calories. If I guzzle a sports drink, I’ll consume roughly 125 calories. So I walk away from my abbreviated workout with only 215 calories burned. That is not the post-cardio high I was looking for!
When in doubt, put down the syrupy beverage and load up on the water. The bottom line is good ol’ h2o will always be one of your best friends when it comes to keeping you on track with your plans to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!