Don’t drink your calories!

By Alexis Finniss | In Fitness, Food and Diet | on March 26, 2017

As busy moms there are few things that give us that moment of sweet pleasure like a hot cup of coffee.  The smell, the boost of energy, it makes us feel like we can take on the day – or make it through the afternoon slump.  But do we know what’s really in those sweet cups of deliciousness that we grab in the drive thru?  Calories.  Empty calories.  While a cup of plain black coffee is less than 5 calories.  Our mocha-frappa-latte with whip can have the same number of calories as a meal, maybe more.


Yup.  I confess, my guilty pleasure when I am distance running is the Dunkin Donuts Vanilla Chai.  I knew by tasting it that it had a lot of sugar.  I reasoned that I only have one after a long run.  What I didn’t realize until I was logging my food for a Challenge was that one large Vanilla Chai has 450 calories and 64 grams of sugar. WHAAAAT?!?! That is a meal’s worth of calories and almost THREE times the amount of sugar an adult female should have in a DAY, yes a whole day!  No wonder they taste so good!  What about your favorite drink?  Here are links to Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts nutrition pages.

What about other pick me ups?

Soda is another caffeine source we tired moms resort to for a little boost. One can of regular coke has 140 calories and 39 grams of sugar! A Mountain Dew has 170 calories and 46 grams of sugar.  Even fruit juices and smoothies pack in the calories.  There are 105 calories and 20 grams of sugar in a cup of orange juice and a blueberry bliss smoothie from Tropical Smoothie has wine-bottle-glass-take-entire-bottle-with-you-1311 calories and 67 grams of sugar.

Now I am going to go there… alcohol.  Yes, there are some days when we think we just need a drink.  It was a long day full of screaming, crying temper-tantrums and kids challenging your ability to discipline.  I just want to sit and relax with a nice glass of wine… Check out the calories in your wine, beer, liquor drink.  Make sure your realistic as to your serving size when you calculate those calories!

What, you want me to cut out coffee and wine?!?!  Have you lost your mind???  No, I tell you all of this not to put these on the no, no list of things we shouldn’t have, but instead to make us aware of where those sneaky calories are coming from.  The biggest thing to remember is that these calories are not fueling your body to perform i.e. not giving you any nutritional value. If you are trying to maintain or lose weight, make sure you account for them in your daily caloric intake.   Replacing one of these with water can make a huge difference not only in the number of calories you take in, but also in your level of energy. Or try to make a lower calorie swap.  Can’t handle black coffee, maybe almond milk instead of cream or whole milk, flavored seltzer water instead of soda and La Croix lime and coconut rum instead of a margarita???

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