Fit Tip: Liquid Calories- My Top 3 Temptations

sweet teajpg1. Sweet Tea is a staple of the Southern Diet. The sweeter the better. If it flows like syrup, then it might be sweet enough. One of the first dietary changes I made when I moved out of Mama’s house was to cut the amount of sugar in my tea. It’s not that I didn’t like it sweet, but I couldn’t button my jeans without holding my breath. It was a problem. Nowadays, when I drink it, I order it out and ask for half & half. If I get to mix it myself, it’s more like 2/3 unsweet: 1/3 sweet. It takes some getting used to, but it’s doable. I’ve gotten to where I reserve my iced tea drinking for special occasions, like Thanksgiving. They might take away my GRITS (Girls Raised in the South) card for admitting this, but I can go for months without drinking tea. If you’d like to cut back, I suggest doing it gradually. Sweet tea withdrawals are almost as bad as quitting smoking.

coke

2. Coca-Cola stock is owned by almost everyone I know. Thankfully, I’ve never been a huge soft drink person, but if I have one, it’s a Coke. I don’t do diet. Yuck! My theory is that in nature, poisonous/dangerous things taste funny so you won’t consume them. Diet sodas have always tasted funny to me, so it can’t be good for me. Right? In addition to the caloric (sugar) content, soft drinks have a lot of acid, which damages enamel and leads to stained teeth and cavities. (Yes, I’m a dental person. Can you tell?) I limit myself to about one soda a month, and I usually don’t drink the whole thing. Hubba-luv tells me to order water and have a few sips of his Coke so I don’t waste the money. Practical? Yes…until he gives me the stank-eye for stealing a sip of his soda.

beer

3. Alcohol- well, it’s Friday. Kip Moore’s “Beer Money” is playing in my head right now. Oh, wait! It just changed to “Thirsty” by Hank Jr. I never really thought about the empty calories in alcohol until I’d been partying living in Atlanta for several months. When I went clothes shopping, I had to get the next size up. Who’s been there? I increased my physical activity, but marathons and triathlons didn’t help as much as cutting back on the booze. If you’re gonna imbibe, think about the physical effects. Where/When can you cut back? Save it for Friday or Saturday, not most nights of the week. Sipping a stout lager is often more satisfying than a sixer of the kind that tastes great but is less filling. The next time you look at a beer or wine or bourbon bottle, think about the empty calories inside that want to attach themselves to your backside. If you’re willing to adjust your diet and exercise to make up for it, go on wich ya bad self. Me? I’m not that disciplined. I do better to curtail the intake.

What liquid calorie cuts have you made and how have they helped?