Liquids can be a source of high calories, be aware!
Are you drinking your way to weight gain?
When we think of excess calories we usually think in the form of the food we eat, and yes this can be the case a lot of the time. But in some cases excess calories can be consumed in the form of drinks. This tends to be the case as liquids are much easier to digest and it feels like we are not consuming much, however in some cases we could be consuming more calories than a regular meal.
The main culprits for this are of course soft drinks. Firstly, they contain excessive amounts of sugar that are unnecessary and provide little nutritional benefits. Not only do soft drinks hold a poor nutritional profile they are also not good for our mouths, mainly our teeth!
The next beverage culprit is alcohol, a regular drink of choice in a lot of Australians diets. Alcohol is very high in calories and again very poor when it comes to its nutritional profile. Pre mix drinks and cocktails can contain excess amounts of syrups and juices resulting in a high amount of sugar in the drink. The Australian guidelines recommends no more than two standard drinks in one occasion to reduce the risk of life time alcohol related harm.
And incase you were wondering a standard drink contains 10grams of alcohol (~12.5ml of pure alcohol) and a serving of alcohol usually differs from a standard serve. So when you are out at your favourite restaurant you are usually getting a 150ml glass of wine where as a standard drink is only 100ml of wine. Sorry to be the barer of bad news!
Another sneaky drink on the list is juices/smoothies. A healthy disguise in some cases, though I am not saying that they are all bad and we shouldn’t be having them I am just advising to be aware. Fruit juices from the store are usually extremely high in sugars and sometimes-artificial flavourings. It is good to be mindful of how much sugar and actual real fruit is in the juice. As one glass you may be consuming up to 20g of sugar! Smoothies are sneaky in the way that a lot can be put into the mix and gulped down in a small 250ml cup. For example smoothies can be jam packed with yoghurts, ice creams, fruit, powders and milks.
I am not saying these are bad but all piled in together you are again nearly looking at a whole meal in a cup! So it is just important to be aware what you are consuming in relation to the rest of your meals. I’ll attach one of my personal fav protein smoothies below! Dietitian approved ;)
The moral of this post is not to scare you off liquids or say they are all bad it is more to make you aware, that many drinks can contain more calories than we think and may need. One thing I will advise is to cut back on the concentrated/artificial fruit juices and soft drinks as they contain little to none nutritional value.
When it comes to fresh juices and smoothies just be mindful of what is in them and think if you would eat that amount of food if it wasn’t blended into 250mls.
Enjoy the smoothie below mmmmm!
Protein Breaky Smoothie
This smoothie is perfect as an entire meal for your breakfast as it contains a good amount of protein and fibre to keep you fuller for longer and complex carbohydrates to give you plenty of energy. Smoothies are a perfect option for breaky if you are short on time!
1 cup almond milk
1 serve protein powder (optional)
1 ripe banana
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 tsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs natural pnb/nut spread (optional)
Blend all ingredients together