Just Say “No” to Liquid Calories!

The FIRM Master Instructor Team by The FIRM Master Instructor Team | July 13th, 2011 | 9 Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating, Weight Loss

Liquid CaloriesAre high-calorie drinks that boast all sorts of health benefits duping you? I have seen clients of mine get completely sidetracked by calorie drinks that they purchased at Starbucks, Jamba Juice — even at the gym!

Many of these beverages promise you everything from increased energy to younger looking skin, but don’t even think about taking a sip before looking at the nutrition label. Because what manufacturers aren’t boasting about is the sugar and calorie content of these “wonder” beverages — enough to throw off any well-intentioned dieter.

5 liquid calorie diet wreckers

Here are a few of the high-calorie drinks that I’ve found listed in my clients’ food journals, which I promptly asked them to eliminate.

  • Vitamin Water (the regular version has approximately 125 calories, and more than 30 grams of sugar)
  • Acai juice (can contain anywhere from 100-250 calories per 8-ounce container)
  • Protein smoothies (Jamba Juice’s beverages can cost you a whopping 800 calories per drink!)
  • Any yummy drink from Starbucks, including the healthy-sounding chai tea latte (approximately 150-375 calories depending on size and type of milk)
  • Gatorade (100 calories and 28 grams of sugar per 16 ounces)

It’s time to make the switch to that zero-calorie thirst quencher: water. Your waistline — and your wallet — will thank you. By swapping out 150 calories of “sweet liquid” for 0 calories of water each day, you can lose up to 15 pounds in a year! And studies show that when giving up these sweetened beverages, you won’t feel any additional hunger pangs, since these beverages aren’t satiating anyway. (Liquid calories are the very definition of the term “empty calories.”)

If you find water boring, try adding lemon, lime or orange slices to your H2O. I would even condone ½ cup of fruit juice distributed amongst your eight glasses of water per day.

Confess your favorite empty calorie beverage below. I’d love to hear from you!


  1. I agree these are empty calories, however I believe your starbucks comment could be miss construed. As low fat milk is good for people, it has calcium, protein etc Often body builder will drink it after training specifically for the protein content.

    AD | July 13th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  2. I should add as you said size does matter even with low fat options.

    AD | July 13th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  3. I’m usually pretty good about staying away from liquid calories, but every once in a while I like to mix fruit juice with sparkling water.

    Regina | July 14th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  4. What about mineral water? Is that a healthy alternative? The label reads no sugar, so I actually buy these in bulk as an alternative to soft drinks.

    Edith | July 14th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  5. I loved Vitamin Water. I was trying to wean myself from my Diet Pepsi habit and that was my crutch (before the low cal version came out). Having to work late nights, until 2:00 a.m. every day, I wanted something to help keep me awake, and two bottles of the Revive (Vitamin B) version would do it. After I quit my job, I felt like I didn’t need it any more. Now I have green tea if I want caffeine, but truth be told, it doesn’t have the same kick that Diet Pepsi has.

    bmw | July 14th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  6. My guilty pleasure is Starbucks iced coffee …with cream! Going to have to try it with milk to slim it down a little. But for all the flavored water lovers out there, try Hint water -has a little flavor, but NO added sweetener (like the old Smartwater before Vitaminwater came out) – a hint of some fabulous flavors like my fave tangerine/pomegranate, but no carbs or calories -just refreshment! They sell them at most Starbucks, and also lots of health food stores and major grocery chains. :)

    peacelily | July 14th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  7. And watch out for V8 Fusion, yummy and alledgedly supplies you with veggies but LOADED w/calories!!

    drew0301 | July 16th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  8. There is something about water that is really good when its cold, but not so good when its warm. I have to admit, I indulge in a delicious drink once in a while, like the caramel macchiato at Starbucks. I don’t even want to think about whats in that! But the key is that i only do it once in a while. Doing things in moderation is the best way because if you stick to water all the time, it can get really boring.

    Christina | July 18th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  9. Thanks for your comment, Christina. Water is best, but the last thing we want is for you to be bored! We love the tried and true trick of adding a splash of lemon juice to water to up the taste factor. Or, a new favorite is adding sliced cucumber and mint leaves to a pitcher of water — even more refreshing in the summer heat! And don’t worry, we indulge in the occasional (and sometimes not-so-occasional) latte too :)

    Gaiam Life | July 19th, 2011 | Comment Permalink

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