Liquid calories are the empty calories that sneak into our diet and add on extra pounds. Many drinks on the market have additives that are high in calories and don’t have any beneficial nutrients. It would be a shame if all the hard work you put into your health and fitness regime are counteracted with calories you don’t even know you’re consuming. Just as you’re aware of everything you eat, make sure you know exactly what you’re drinking. There are a number of low calorie drink options that will keep your body fit and ward off any extra weight gain. Here are some of the best, guilt-free, low-calorie beverages:
Coffee drink varieties oftentimes have hidden calories in their additive flavors or milk. The most low-cal coffee option is drip coffee, which has 5 calories per every 12 ounces. However, if you drink drip, be wary of the cream you add to the coffee–1 tablespoon of half and half has 20 calories. If you can’t go without your latte, opt for a non-fat milk substitution that has 40 calories less, per serving, than whole milk. For coffee sweeteners, skip the sugar and look for sugar free-alternatives. Many of the sugar-free syrups contain chemicals that will actually increase your appetite and may damage your liver and kidneys. Opt for a plant-based sweeteners, like Stevia, and add some extra flavor to your coffee with some cinnamon.
The word “smoothie” seems like it carries a more healthy tone than the word “shake”. However, don’t be deceived by the smoothie label that food joints will use. The Sonic Strawberry Fruit Smoothie is surprisingly high in calories, at 670 calories in its 20-ounce serving.The best, low-cal, fast food smoothie options can be found at Jamba Juice or Evolution Fresh. But there are lighter menu options out there too. The Light Strawberry Nirvana, by Jamba Juice, is 150 calories in a 16 ounce serving, with 0 grams of fat and 5 grams of protein. The Evolution Fresh Sweet Greens Smoothie is 155 calories per 12 ounces, with 1 gram of fat and 9 grams of protein.
The Guinness Nitro IPA is only 154 calories per serving, versus other brands of IPAs that have up to 230 calories. This IPA is refreshing with its citrus accents that pop out of its delicious blend of hops and roasted barley. It is smooth and creamy and has a bitter hoppy finish. This beer is a refreshing beverage that you can enjoy, year-round. Its richness makes the Nitro IPA an ideal beer for cozy nights, though its citrus tones lend a refreshing quality that suits the summertime.
Champagne and other sparkling wines are a calorie-counter’s best friend. There is a reason you see professional models and actors nurse flutes of bubbles at award shows and parties– it is a glamorous, low-calorie party drink. Champagne is served in smaller glasses than other wines, which helps with portion control. Four ounces of Champagne is roughly 90 calories, whereas a 6-ounce serving of red wine is around 165 calories. Make sure the Champagne you choose doesn’t have any added sugar. Gravitate towards the Spanish sparkling wine, Cava, and the brut nature varieties of Champagne, which have more regulations on the amount of added sugar.
Cocktails are some of the most dangerous high-cal drinks because of their many hidden calories. The sugary liqueur ingredients amp up the caloric value of these drinks. Some of the lowest calorie cocktails include a simple martini, made of vermouth and gin, which contains 70 calories. A bourbon Old Fashioned — bourbon, water, sugar and orange peel — has 100 calories. A gin and tonic comes in at 143 calories. You can replace your tonic for a sugar free tonic or club soda, which will dramatically reduce the calories and sugar content of the drink.
About the Author: Kyla Stelling is a graduate of the University of Washington, where she studied literature. She is the curator of the blog Seattle Street Style, which focuses on fashion and design where she lives — Seattle. She has worked in L.A. doing costume design but has recently shifted her career focus to public relations. When she isn’t working as a freelance writer, she is preparing herself delicious food or working on a DIY home decor projects.