Get Control of Your Drinking for Better Health

How much are you really drinking each day?

Are you drinking too much each day

How much do you really drink?

Try this 4 Step Plan to get control of your drinking!

 I’m referring to calories you are drinking, by the way!

Does your typical drinking day look anything like this?

You start your day with a healthy glass of orange juice (110 calories), and then coffee at home (45-120c).  This is followed by a large Salted Caramel Mocha Frappuccino (440c) or your own personal favorite, on the way to work. 

As you work, you sip on a soda (140c) and then have another with lunch (140c)

Later in the afternoon, you have another coffee to stay awake (45-120c)

On the way home, you grab a vitamin drink (120c) from the vending machine.

While cooking dinner, you have a glass of wine (140c) and then another with dinner (140c)

You just drank a whopping 1320 to 1470 calories and that doesn’t include any calories from food!  Even if you drank only half this many calories, that is close to half of your recommended calories for the day.

How many of your calories are from Drinking?

Your drinking habits may have been fine in your 20’s but they may be adding on pounds as you get older.  If you are watching your weight and counting food calories, that’s great for your overall health and waistline.  But, are you sabotaging your efforts by ignoring what you are drinking each day?

Typical adult weight gain is 1-2 pounds per year past age 30.  That weight gain doesn’t slow down and plateau until mid 50’s or later.  Adults can gain as much as 25-35 pounds as we age!   NO Thank You to that statistic!!  Now is a good time to take a closer look at your drinking!

Who cares what statistics say? 

I can’t stop aging but I can certainly try to control my weight gain and fitness level!!

Using the drinking numbers above, I will apply them to the recommended daily calorie intake for Gale, a 57 year old female.   The USDA recommended calorie intake for Gale who is moderately active, is about 1800 calories per day.  If she drank all of the coffee, soda and wine listed above, she would only have about 300-400 calories left for food.  Obviously, this would be problematic if Gale was trying to lose weight or just maintain her current weight!

I don’t believe in making drastic dietary changes because they just don’t last.  A new diet seems like a good idea for a few days or even a week, but it won’t last.  I have been successful in weight loss and maintaining the loss by changing my habits one at a time.  After four children I certainly had some weight to lose.  I made many small changes and have changed the way I eat, drink and exercise to develop new habits.  To read more about how I lost 18 lbs. and kept it off, click here.  Try the simple plan outlined below to look more closely at your own drinking and eating habits.

4 Step Plan to Control your Drinking!

1- First, find your recommended calorie intake

As a guideline for adults age 30-60, the USDA recommends between 1600 and 2200 calories per day for females and males 2400 to 3000 calories.  Since your metabolism slows as you age, a 25-year-old can eat 2200 calories but a 55-year-old should only be eating 1800 calories per day.

Use the chart from the USDA (Click Here for the Chart) , to determine your optimal calorie intake based on your age and current activity level.

 

2- Analyze your Daily Drinking Habits

For a few days, write down what you drink throughout the day.  It is easy to overlook some of the items you drink throughout the day if you are not having them during a meal.  You may be surprised at how many calories are in certain drinks.  Even flavored water can have lots of calories and sugar.  Watch out for the misleading labels that say there are 4 servings in one bottle.

I was never a calorie counter, and still not really.  I don’t count calories, I just pay more attention to what I’m eating and drinking and what my danger areas seem to be.  For more about calorie counting in general, read this post.  Click Here for a printable worksheet to help you track your calories.

How to avoid middle age weight gain

3- Replacing Drinks

Rather than making drastic changes, and making your self miserable, try one small change at a time.  Try replacing one of your higher calories drinks with a lower calorie substitution.  There are many low calorie and no calorie substitutions other than water.  Let’s face it, too much water gets boring.  There are many flavored seltzers,

We are well aware that it is important to stay well hydrated each day. I for one, am never quite able to keep up with 8 glasses of water each day.  I am told that all the coffee I drink counts towards that my water intake, I like that!  I try to make smart choices when choosing my drinks each day.  My favorites include flavored seltzers, plain tea or my own flavored water.  I make my own water flavors by adding a splash of juice or some sliced fruit to my glass.

I love a nice glass of wine with dinner but its not always practical, besides the calories it adds.  If I need to stay awake for several more hours helping with homework, catching up on chores and reading; too much wine can interfere.  One of my favorite replacements is what I call a reverse spritzer.  I fill my glass with club soda and then add a splash of red wine.  This way I enjoy a nice drink, save calories and stay awake longer!

Related Posts

Benefits to Morning Exercise                 How I lost 18 Pounds

5 Step weight Loss Plan            Fun with your Fitness Tracker

4- Start Developing some New Healthier Habits

  • Often some drinking turns into a habit like morning coffee, afternoon soda or a nice cold beer.  Try to adopt a new habit to reduce the calories you are drinking.  Replace one of your higher calorie drinks with a lower calorie substitute.  Beware of some of the low calorie and no calorie drinks.  Although many have no calories, they contain artificial sweeteners and chemicals.
  • Instead of stopping to buy coffee, make it at home.  This may stop you from buying a higher calorie version.  It will also save you money.
  • Rather than hitting up the cafeteria or vending machine at work, bring your own drinks.  You can make your own flavored water or bring in a supply to leave at work.
  • There are several Juice smoothies available at the grocery store that I happen to love.  They are packed with vitamins from healthy fruits and vegetables.  They may not have added sugar but they still have sugar from the fruits.  These are hardly low calorie drinks, my favorites are 140 – 170 calories per serving.  For me, these are a snack in between meals rather than a bag of cookies or a candy bar.
  • Rather than another coffee in the afternoon, try having tea or green tea instead.
  • Even if you are able to cut just 200-300 calories each day, that can make a noticeable difference over time.



Try getting started right away making one change at a time. 

Change one of your high calorie drinks for a lower calorie substitute.  Try drinking one less coffee or soda each day.  Add in a little exercise by walking more.  Try bringing some healthier drinks to work instead of buying them.  Start making little changes so that you stop drinking too much!




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4 comments

  1. Love all of the great tips about watching the hidden daily intake calories that beverages have. Usually I’m just thinking about the food! Great idea about the “reverse spritzer”, I’ll have to try it next time I’m on homework duty!

    1. Calories are everywhere! If you don’t look at what you are drinking, you may be in for a surprise! So many people drink diet soda because of the lack of calories but the sugar content is very high! That is another trap to avoid! Thanks for reading, Gina!

    1. In the old days, before children, I never looked at any type of food label! I finally started to pay attention to the foods I was eating. Many months later is when I finally realized I should be looking at what I was drinking as well!

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