Home Did You Know How Many Calories Are You Drinking?

How Many Calories Are You Drinking?

by Erika Nicole Kendall

lobsteritaWhen I lived in Texas, my girl and I used to hit up the Red Lobster every other weekend. We’d crack jokes, catch up (school kept us very busy, plus my added little bundle of joy) and enjoy a couple of drinks. Namely, the gloriously decadent Lobsterita. A delicious [not-so-] little 18oz margarita.

Full of tequila and triple sec from the first Lobsterita, I’d go in again! “One more for the road! I’m in there like swimwear!” Clearly drunk.

Let’s do some quick math, shall we? One Lobsterita – 890 calories. Guess who had two? Allow me to raise my hand.

1,780 calories went strictly to drinks. Stuff that couldn’t even substantially fill me up. Granted I enjoyed myself, but 1,700 is more than I eat in a single day now… if the mixed drink game is like that, then I’d rather do straight tequila shots. (Not advocating that at all, though. Just sayin’.)

Here’s my point. Calories are not to be wasted. Sure, there’s plenty of good food out there that people love to indulge in.. but how valuable is it to your body? People love a Twinkie all day but darn if they don’t notice that the stuff is so far removed from being food that it doesn’t perish. There are no nutrients in a twinkie to even cause it to mold or rot. How valuable could that possibly be to your body?

That brings me to drinks. If there are no nutrients in what you’re drinking, it is empty calories. A waste of an opportunity to nourish your body properly. You’re taking in something that simply isn’t beneficial to your body in any capacity.

drinksThink about this. If I drink a single 20oz pepsi every day for 30 days, that’s what – about 250 calories (100cals per 8oz)? So that’s a total of 7,500 calories from drinking a single pepsi every day. Considering how 3,500 calories is the equivalent of a pound… you’d lose at least two pounds from dropping the pepsi habit. Look at it this way. Orange juice is about 100 calories per every 8oz serving. You’re going to get vitamin C, calcium, as well as vitamin b – in their natural origin (meaning those vitamins naturally exist in oranges, they’re not put there by scientists in a chem lab) – and because of those nutrients, it’s going to fill you up.Your body will have obtained what it needed in the form of vitamins, and will send the signal that you don’t need much more.

Which 100-calorie indulgence is going to be more beneficial to your body? 8oz of pepsi, or 8oz of orange juice? Especially since I can almost assure you that you won’t need to drink as much orange juice as you could drink in the soft drink. More on that later.

Every time you take in food, you should be taking advantage of the opportunity to nourish your body. Yes, the soft drink might give you sugar-originated energy, but wouldn’t some green tea do the same? Wouldn’t a regular cup of coffee do better for you than a [insert super long name] from Starbucks? And really, wouldn’t anything do better than the 860 calorie cup of egg nog? (Yes, 860 calories, and when I saw it, I started to cry. I love egg nog.)

What do I drink? I drink lots of water. I drink lots of teas. I occasionally indulge and serve myself a glass of rum. I gave up soft drinks a very long time ago, and I find it hard to take oranges in drink form. I use apple juice sparingly. I don’t drink anything that may have partially come from a powder, or anything that recreates the taste of a fruit (so all the strawberry, grape, watermelon and orange impersonators – yes, that means YOU, Sunny D – need to fall back!).

I ask you, take a good hard look at your daily eating habits. Is there an excess of useless calories in there? If so, why not swap it out for something a little more useful to your body? I promise, it’ll thank you for it in multiples!

Tell me… what drinks aregoing to be the most difficult for you to give up? Which ones are you going to try to give up? Let me know!

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elledub December 10, 2009 - 11:50 AM

definitely all the girly cocktails (cosmos, flirtinis, and whatever else an establishment wants to name them)! in general, i TRY to stick to red wine…doesn’t always work out that way though.

i stay away from soft drinks–gave it up years ago as well.

i don’t mind orange juice though during the day at work i drink tea though admittedly i could stand to drink more water

Nicci@NiftyEats December 10, 2009 - 2:32 PM

WhenI go out, I stick with Michelob Ultra, Wine or club soda,but I do enjoy a drak beer here and there. I’ve drank at Red Lobster, but NOW i know not too.

Randi December 10, 2009 - 2:44 PM

I read something like this a long time ago and since I wasn’t really a juice drinker it wasn’t too hard for me to give it up. Also my kids cherish water and will take it over anything so if we do have juice it lasts for ever in my house. Also if I want some juice it will be freshed squeezed or made in my juicer.

The hardest thing was mixed drinks. now I usually don’t get the frou frou drinks so for me it was my Cranberry & vodka. That was during my clubbing days. Now it’s wine, I make sure if I drink wine I limit it to two glasses.

princessvalecia December 10, 2009 - 4:11 PM

I must admit its hard to stay away from those! They are so cute and fruity and delicious. I stick to wine (which I still tend to over due) or I get a lil umbrella in my tea and call it a day! I really don’t drink soda anymore just h20, tea, and coke zero (very infrequently) I used to put a day and a half away in just drinks sheesh what a waste!

Reecie December 10, 2009 - 7:18 PM

good info, exactly why I mostly drink water at restaurants and pretty much every day, all day. I DO allow for some juice and coffee though because I love them but 80% of the time I’m drinking water. just got into green tea a couple years ago too! I JUST had a conversation with one of my besties yesterday that loves Pepsi and drinks it daily about those empty calories. I haven’t given soda up entirely, but I do drink it rarely when I just have a craving for some.

Jheanelle December 11, 2009 - 2:10 PM

I read something about the amount of sugar in mixed drinks a couple of years back and was shocked. From then on, I switched to white and red wine.

My biggest issue when changing my eating habits was juice. Yes…juice. Sunny D and I had a life long relationship…much to my own detriment. And I loved soda and lemonade (powdered or fresh) and iced tea (but I hated sweet tea). Now I drink water all of the time and will occasionally indulge in a diet soda when I go out for dinner.

But, yes…that juice habit was a mean one to kick. And it did take a while lol.

chellbellz January 2, 2010 - 8:21 AM

I just started my weight lose blog, your blog is such an inspiration! I cut out sodas about a year and some change ago. Its crrazy how much sugar is in cheap can of grocert store brand soda. Its about 56 grams. I recently realized that Low Fat doesn’t mean it isn’t pounded with sugar as Sugar and Oil Fat isn’t in the same category.

JME January 21, 2011 - 9:11 PM

First, let me say that I am a newcomer to this blog, but I LOVE it already. I am an information hound. Things that I learn here will stick in my head when I am about to buy something, and that makes this 100% effective for me already!

As to the topic, I gave up soda about a month ago, and I feel great about it! It wasn’t even as hard as I thought. On the other hand… I love juice, haha! I am sticking (mostly) to 100% juice, and staying away from high fructose corn syrup, but I still love it. It is going to be hard staying away!

Sandi April 22, 2011 - 2:36 PM

I just began to eliminate Soda in my life… So Long Pepsi… Next will be, dare I say this… Coffee(Hearts begins to beat slightly) Only because I love it with cream and sugar in the raw… BTW, I watched the Sugar Video… “thanks” I decided to increase my water to the recommended 1/2 your body weight in ounces… I’m only half way there but I feel better already… I only drink Natural juices, No Corn Syrup, for the past year or two. Now I have to watch “natural” juices that HIDE a lot of Carbs by using concentrated grape and apple juice… THEY NERVE! My GF and I are going for drink in a few and this was right on time… Thanks so much for this website and information…

drea April 22, 2011 - 2:43 PM

first of all, i must say that i absolutely love your site. i came upon it by accident a few months ago and am very happy with the valuable info you provide. i have never been a pop drinker, nor do i drink a lot juice due to being a diabetic, so those are things that thank god i do not have to give up. yay because i know it’s hard. my issue is finding a sugar substitute for my tea. i have @ least 5 cups a day and feel really frustrated that honey, which is mad expensive, and brown sugar are the only things i find tolerable for a sweetener. i don’t like equal, sweet n low, truvia or stevia. splenda is ok, but i’m not certain what it does to the body and tend to stay away from it, guess more research is required. if i could conquer this issue, then i’d be all good with my drinks.

Latoya J. June 13, 2011 - 8:02 PM

Right now I declared to only drink water and for three days that’s all I have been drinking but I do love v8 splash and sprite. Those maybe my two I can’t live without.

Stefanie August 5, 2011 - 10:40 AM

For me, soda was easy to let go, I like others on this site, gave that up a while ago – easy 20 pounds down (from 260 to about 240). I enjoy water a lot, so I drink water more than any thing else. I am a coffee drinker and I do enjoy the Starbucks fancy drinks; however, I know in regards to unnecesary calories, I had to sacrifice. So, I drink straight black coffee now (gasps!). At first I was like I can’t do this; but now, honestly, it’s alright. Since I do enjoy my coffee, I just enjoy the coffee itself – not the sugar and cream I used to add with it. Plus, I read coffee by itself is about 7 calories a cup – so 14 calories for me since I do about 2 cups – I can take that over hundreds of calories for a fancy coffee drink.

Stefanie August 5, 2011 - 10:44 AM

Oh, and as far as alcholic drinks (laughs lightly), I enjoy a good drink – but I read an article of yours, Erika, and my thoughts were the same – enjoy them only for special occasions. I was at a point where I always had a drink – after work or every time I visited family. But, it came to me that having a drink (or two max) is ok, but keep it celebratory. Then, I won’t be so concerned about calorie count because I know this is not something done often….
It’s not easy because sometimes after a hard day of work I may want to stop at the liquor store (lol – that sounded like a wino talking) and grab a bottle of wine and go home and relax on that or call a friend and do after work drinks. But by the time I skip the liquor store and avoid the girlfriend phone call and go on home, I’m quite content that I avoided the ‘stress relieving’ drink.

Courtney September 25, 2011 - 3:33 AM

I live by the philosophy of not wasting calories. Anytime I eat out, I will always order water. Saves calories and money = win-win. Soda was never really a huge part of my life so I can do without it. Every once in awhile, I get a hankering for a cream soda so I indulge in that a few times a year. At home, I live off of coffee, tea, and water/Crystal Light. Coffee and tea naturally have zero calories and are available in so many flavors that I don’t ever feel like I’m “missing out” on anything. And cold fruit teas can be made into soda-like beverages with seltzer water. Fortunately, I don’t have an aversion to artificial sweeteners so a couple of Splenda and a splash of fat-free half-and-half and I’m good to go with coffee.

I think once you ARE finally able to give up soda/juice for good, it will be easily to leave it out of your life. There are so many flavorful calorie-free options to take advantage of now. The biggest thing for me would be alcohol – because I don’t consider those “empty”calories per se, lol. I love the taste and that is a beverage that I truly do savor. Just in moderation, of course. I’m also really fortunate that I’m very sensitive to alcohol and so can only drink it maybe 1-2x a month or I will be sick as all get out. Keeps me in check 🙂

For those who are partial to soda, have you tried weaning with diet soda? I know it’s not the same taste, but it could be useful for changing in the right direction. Or maybe not, lol. Like I said, was never a huge soda drinker.

Alexandrea Ward April 3, 2012 - 11:19 AM

Exactly! I figured that out a few years ago. I was so busy drinking soda and espresso drinks to stay up to study that I ignored the fact that I was gaining regularly. I cut back on sodas (still a work in progress) and I try to eat more fruit than drink juice. I also don’t drink as much as I used to.

Briana @ The Health Life Balance April 22, 2012 - 1:47 AM

I feel like I’m on the late train as far as giving up soda. I honestly live for sodas. I crave them often. Sprite, Pepsi, cherry anything, bring it on. I knew they were empty calories but for some reason, reading it here hit home. I gave up coffee more than a year ago, which wasn’t hard. I drink it occasionally when the smell gets so strong, but I never finish my cup. I switched it with green tea and only sweeten my tea with honey. Anywho, I’ve been switching from soda to Sobe LifeWater (mainly the ones with 0 calories) but really trying to increase my plain water intake. I’m at 40 oz for the day already. What I hate is getting back on the bandwagon, because it goes right through me so quickly. But once I’m on the ball, it keeps rolling. I’m going to continue increasing my water and (sigh) letting go of my beloved carbonation.

As for alcohol, I’ve never been a big drinker. Hubby would want to drink with me and I would begrudgingly participate. I much prefer wine, and even that is limited. Here’s to using those calories in a better way.

Goldeelocks May 3, 2012 - 10:55 PM

very informative. It’s certainly a habit I’m going to have to kick if I am truly going to commit to the weight loss journey.

Jame June 12, 2012 - 2:11 PM

Over the weekend, I went to chickfila (my fave fast food indulgence, but I only have it a few times a year). And I got an Arnold Palmer. My brain did not want me to have it. “Look at all the empty calories!” I drank about half and then stopped.

I mostly drink water, tea, diluted coconut water or juice. I love sparkling water. And I have a drink at the bar once and a while. Just one. I have a really low tolerance. It is usually one and a sip or two to try everyone elses. 😀

I have sodas around once or twice a month if I see an interesting flavor.

I guess when it is all said and done, I drink maybe 16 ounces of drinks with calories in a given week. (Not counting cappuccinos — I count that as milk). Mostly coconut water these days.

Laurie June 28, 2012 - 2:04 PM

I’m not huge on coffee or soda. Beer on the weekend is more my vice, bit of a struggle at the moment to change that habit.

christine January 24, 2013 - 3:26 PM

I wish I could’ve read this 2 years ago lol. Hey I didn’t eat that much, but damn the weight kept coming..Me and merlot were best friends..how could wine instead of food make you gain weight roflmao. I still like my wine but as much as before.

Ericka January 24, 2013 - 3:10 PM

Luckily, for me it wasn’t hard to give up soda and juice because my mother MADE us drink lots of water. It’s to the point where soda is entirely too sweet for me now. I don’t miss it to tell the truth.

Danyelle January 31, 2015 - 2:04 PM

I don’t drink soda or juice, I do enjoy coffee with sugerfree creamer which I measure.My problem is Lemon drop martini’s my hubby makes me one every night and we talk about our day etc..trying to replace this with red wine but the hubby looks so cute standing at the bar shaking those YUMMY martini’s…sigh…

Vanessa B November 28, 2015 - 3:29 PM

Minute Maid Berry Punch….release me from your shackles!!!

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