It’s finally warm outside and time to get out those pretty glasses and whip up some fun, fruity drinks. But watch out. That cool beverage that goes down so sweetly could contain more than half of your daily caloric intake.
What you drink counts just as much as what you eat, and if you’re trying to lose weight, drinks should be treated as a meal or at least as part of a meal. You can certainly sip away your daily caloric intake from just two or three of summer’s high-sugar drinks. Add in some alcohol and things only get worse. Not only is alcohol void of any nutrition, it also reduces your body’s metabolism of fat. Now, you’ve probably heard that protein and carbohydrates (or sugar) have 4 calories per gram. But alcohol, at 7 calories per gram, is exceeded only by fat (at 9 calories per gram). A 1.5-ounce shot of vodka, rum, tequila or gin contains 100 calories — about the same as a slice of bread. Make it a double and you’re already at 200 calories — and that’s before you’ve added any fun flavors.
So next time you pick up a nice cold drink — or you’re offered one to go along with your meal — it’s worthwhile to contemplate just how much exercise it would take to burn off that seemingly little splurge.
Of course a nice glass of sparkling water (zero calories) with a twist of lemon or lime lets you enjoy a festive, refreshing drink with no guilt — and no sore muscles.
All caloric calculations are based on a 155-pound person.
Model: Adrienne Thommes. Photos by Young Kwak.