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Are You Drinking Your Calories?

Between running the kids all around in your mom taxi service, maintaining the household, working on your career and giving your hubby some attention, you barely have time to even think about what you’re eating, much less what you're drinking, right? But what you consume in fluid form is very important to your weight and your overall health.

Think about it for a minute. Do you drink mostly water, or are you drinking other fluids? If you are drinking something other than water, flavored water with no calories, or diet drinks with artificial sweeteners, you are probably getting in more calories than you think.

And they can sneak in on you where you'd least expect it. For example, do you stop at a Smoothie King, Jamba Juice or other smoothie joint for a quick, healthy meal or snack? Many of those smoothies use some kind of fruit juice as the fluid. Yes, fruit juice is natural, but do you know that they pack a real calorie punch?

Even though you may be getting the same amount of calories in two glasses of orange juice as you would in a chicken breast, your body just doesn't register it. You aren't satiated from drinking calories, so when you eat a meal, you eat as if you never had that drink.

The problem is, you did, in fact, consume those calories. You can't trick your body into thinking that it didn't happen - wouldn't that be nice if we could do that?

Like, if we have a margarita before noon, it doesn't count, right? Keep dreaming, chica! It just doesn't work that way.

Take a look at the photo to the left. It can take six oranges to make one glass of orange juice. Do you think you can eat six oranges? Probably not. That's because when you consume the whole orange, or any fruit, you are also consuming the fiber. And the action of chewing registers in your brain that you are eating something, thus sending the signal that you have something going to your stomach, triggering all of those hormones that go along with consuming food.

If fruit juice is full of non-satiating calories, what can we say about soft drinks? Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I'm sure you already know that they are full of calories and sugar.

When you drink them, it's one of those situations where you drink for pleasure and put your blindfolds on to what they are doing to your weight and your health, and we are allowed to do that, on occasion.

But I just want to quickly point out that the 150 calories in one can of cola is pure sugar calories. Drink several cans a day, and you can see how it adds up. If this is your vice, start with drinking one less per day. Before you know it, you will be down to one a day, and then just one every now and then. You'd be amazed how quickly you can change this habit if you set your mind to it!

So, the next time you go to drink something that isn't water, take a look at what you are drinking. Is it full of sugar? Or is it natural (like juice), but void of fiber, so your body won't register that you even consumed those calories? Throughout the day, think about what you are drinking, and make it mostly water, or flavored, no-calorie water if you need some diversity. You'd be amazed at the results you will get just from changing this one habit!


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