Since the new year, I have been making a real effort to lose the excess pounds I have gained over the past 2 years. I have a whopping 6 stones to lose! In my recent posts, Binge Eating and Me and Why I’ve Ditched the Diets I explain my struggle with my weight. My weight loss journey has not just affected me, but my whole family. The hot chocolate and soda drinks I would once buy in bulk have now been replaced with healthy drink swaps. And these have been enjoyed by us all.
In the past week alone I have lost 5 pounds by considering what I eat and drink. I have in no way been starving myself, rather considering what foods I eat as well as sourcing some healthy drink swaps!
Healthy Drink Swaps
Don’t Drink your Calories!
It wasn’t until I started to jot down my calories with my husband that I realised how many calories I consumed in my drinks! I had never counted the calories in my beverages before, I thought they didn’t matter. But I could quite easily consume over 600 calories in my drinks alone per day! That’s more than I consume in my breakfast and lunch alone in my new healthy eating regime!
Here are some simple healthy drink swaps!
Fruit Juice → A Piece of Fruit
Fruit juices, such as orange and apple juice are loaded with sugars and or sweeteners and can contain a large number of calories. One 150ml glass of orange juice could contain 75 calories, whereas one medium orange contains only 47 calories. Eating a piece of fruit will also make you feel fuller for longer and provide you with vital nutrients. So, rather than pouring a glass of pure orange juice, drink a glass of water and eat an orange instead.
Flat White → Americano
I’m not much of an expert when it comes to coffee. I love to drink it, and that’s about all I felt I needed to know! A few days ago, I was casually talking to a waitress in a coffee shop while ordering a flat white. I told her I was trying to lose weight (thinking the flat white was a much healthier alternative to a cappuccino). She recommended an Americano with semi-skimmed milk as it only contains 13 calories. She explained to me that a flat white contained up to 200 calories with full-fat milk or 93 with skimmed milk!
Hot Chocolate → Herbal Tea
My children and I would often indulge in a hot chocolate in the evenings. That was until I found out they contain over 100 calories per serving as well as lots of sugar! I had to find an alternative. I love Green Tea, what’s more, it’s calorie free! Since I drink this throughout the day, it didn’t feel much of a treat. So I tried a few different herbal teas and found Nettle Tea to be absolutely delicious! It’s slightly sweeter in taste than green tea and contains many nutrients. And, like green tea, each cup is calorie free!
Coke → Diet Coke
This was something I struggled with for a while. I would automatically order a regular coke at fast food restaurants or when sitting down for a meal at a restaurant. Without thinking, I even used regular coke as a mixer with alcoholic drinks! I dread to think how much sugar I consumed on a night out, in coke alone! It has taken a while to become accustomed to the taste, but now I don’t even think about it. When eating out, I now automatically order a diet coke.
Diet Coke → Flavoured Sparkling Water
Although diet coke trumps regular coke in calories, it is still full of sweeteners and additives that make this a less than healthy drink. Studies have even shown that it can increase weight rather than help you to lose weight. When at home, I opt for a bottle of flavoured sparkling water. Amounting to around 2 calories per glass, sparkling water gives me that sweet fizzy fix when I need it. My favourite flavour is Lemon and Lime!
Energy Drinks → Smoothie
Energy drinks can be extremely unhealthy. I have seen many dieting friends slurping down cans of energy drinks to make up for the lack of food they have consumed throughout the day. The sugar-loaded drinks can be highly addictive. In a bid to wean herself off energy drinks, a friend of mine started to make her own smoothies. Using a smoothie maker at home, she added bananas, grapes, apples, strawberries, or whatever she fancied to no added sugar fruit juice.
When I make a smoothie at home, I make an even healthier healthy drinks swap:
Fruit Juice Smoothie → Flavoured Water Smoothie
That’s right, whenever we have a fruit smoothie in our house, we replace the fruit juice with sparkling flavoured water. It gives the smoothie a real kick and tastes amazing. I use frozen fruit to reduce the cost or use fruit that is overly ripe to add to the flavour and use up fruit that would otherwise go to waste. The sparkling water is a healthy drink alternative to fruit juice which means fewer calories!
Everything → Water
There is nothing healthier than plain, filtered water. I recently discussed the ways in which you can encourage yourself to drink more water throughout the day – 10 Simple Ways to Drink More Water. Water is the cheapest and easiest beverage to buy when out and about. If I’m not sure of the calories contained in a particular drink when I’m not at home, I always opt for water. However, I have now got into the habit of carrying my water bottle around with me everywhere I go. I now drink water before and with every meal to help me feel fuller for longer.
I’m totally new to counting calories in my drinks! It’s quite remarkable how many calories go unnoticed in your drinks throughout the day. By making some simple changes, you can really make a difference to your health and weight loss. If you know of any healthy drink swaps, please let me know in the comments below!