Reality Check! Drinking calories can be a big hurdle to maintaining a healthy weight. Even traditionally healthful options, like juices and smoothies, can be loaded with calories. Just think of the nutritious and filling foods you could be eating instead! Replacing sugar-sweetened, high-calorie beverages in your diet with water or—at the very least, reducing consumption of those drinks—is an essential step in any weight management plan.
Sugar-sweetened beverages contain calories, but little else. Get your energy from nutritious snacks instead paired with water. You’ll pack in much-needed nutrients, get a great hydration boost, and cut calories. Here are a few ideas.
Calories were determined using standard reference values in the USDA Nutrient Database. Calculations are approximate due to rounding.
Tip: Add a sprinkle of chopped nuts for a little crunch.
Tip: Change up your fruit selection to take advantage of seasonal choices.
Tip: Turn the flavor up by adding some of your favorite spices, like onion powder and paprika.
Tip: Sprinkle some cinnamon on your snack to enhance the flavors.
Importance of Hydration
Weight management is simple, right? Eat fewer calories, move more, and the pounds just melt off.
We wish it were that simple. The reality is that genetics, temptation, and well, life get in the way of our healthy weight goals. Don’t get discouraged!
A healthy lifestyle is critical to attaining and maintaining a healthy weight. Small, manageable changes to your daily routine can turn into healthy habits over time. Build up enough of these small changes, and you’ll likely see a big impact on your weight management efforts.
While cutting portion sizes and passing up tempting high-calorie foods can feel like monumental challenges, one often-overlooked change is relatively simple to accomplish: Make smarter beverage choices.
The Connection Between Water and Weight
We all know water is a great option to stay hydrated and slash calories when consumed in place of high-sugar beverages. In fact, experts advise that you swap out high-calorie, high-sugar beverages for water as a first step in your weight management plan if you haven’t already.
Drinking Water In Place of Sugary Beverages to Lose Weight
So how much water should you drink to lose weight? While there isn’t a magic formula, research suggests a potential beneficial effect on body weight when sugar-sweetened beverages are replaced by water. You’ll be happy to learn that even small calorie savings can quickly add up. In fact, swapping out just one 12-ounce sugar-sweetened beverage with water each day could cut about 50,000 calories and more than 65 cups of sugar from your diet in a year.1 So drink up!
More Water, Fewer Calories
Think beyond your beverage. Foods provide a rich source of water, too—about 20% of your daily total water intake. Better still, water-rich foods like fruits and vegetables typically have a lower calorie density (number of calories per given volume of food). Simply put: the more water a food has, the more diluted the calories.
These principles are key to a weight management strategy called “Volumetrics.” Dieters are able to maintain their preferred volume of food (how much they eat) by selecting choices with lower calorie density (number of calories in how much they eat). As a result, they remain satiated on the same amount of food but with fewer calories—all thanks to water!
Leading a Healthy Lifestyle
The benefits of hydration are just one piece of the weight-loss puzzle. Drinking water as part of a healthy lifestyle that includes eating right and regular exercise is the best strategy for smart, sustained weight management. Consistency is the most critical thing to remember, though. Starting healthy habits—and sticking with them over months and years—is the hardest, but most important way to manage your weight.
1Calculation based on 140 calories per 12 oz. serving.
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