Summertime, and the Drinking is Tricky!

Long, lazy day. The hot sun beating down on beach-goers and city dwellers alike.  Summer is in full swing and we all want to look lean and sleek! However, some seemingly innocent summer habits could be sabotaging your weight loss and fitness efforts.

What’s holding you back may not be what you are eating – but what you’re drinking.

Our efforts to stay hydrated may have some figure busting effects.  While dieters often carefully count the calories in the food they consume, many don’t take the calories in their beverages into consideration.  These four tips can help you better “think your drink” and keep your summer calories under control:

Juice Judiciously – Even 100% fruit juice provides a calorie blast. The calories tend to add up during the hot weather as we drink more to quench our thirst.  Did you know you could eat an entire medium orange for the calories in just 6 ounces of orange juice?  Apple, grape and cranberry juice cocktail are particularly high in sugar and calories.  If you must “get your juice on” try diluting your favorite juice with water or soda water to make a much lower calorie juice “spritzer”.

Curtail Your Cocktails – While it wouldn’t be summer without the occasional adult beverage, excessive alcohol intake could have disastrous effects on your physique.  Besides the calories in the alcohol itself (over 100 in just a “shot” glass of whiskey, rum, vodka or gin), the inhibition lowering effects of alcohol almost always leads to overeating.  Watch out especially for the fruity or creamy drinks which pack a calorie wallop.  Opt instead for a glass of red or white wine, light beer, or a mixed drink made with a sugar free mixer.

Scrutinize the Sports Drinks – Exercising outside in the heat and humidity always requires we replace our fluids with sports drinks like Gatorade, right?  Not always.  Sports drinks containing carbohydrates (thus calories) and electrolytes are necessary only when you are exercising vigorously (and continuously) for over an hour outside.  For more recreational activities, calorie free water is the best way to stay hydrated. Sports drinks can be particularly hazardous for kids.

Be a Wise “Smooth Operator” – While popular smoothie chains imply that all smoothies are health drinks, many contain up to and beyond 600 calories.  If you’d like to indulge, consider ordering one without any added sugar or one sweetened with Splenda.  This could save you over 200 calories.  If the smoothie has added protein powder, you can even opt to use it as a meal replacement and not merely a beverage.

You can stay slim AND hydrated this summer!

+ Sign up for a personal nutritional assessment and counseling with a Registered Dietitian!

We will be publishing expert fitness and nutrition blogs from the In Motion experts through October as part of our Team Lean Challenge. You can also keep up with the weight loss group and learn expert weight loss tips on the official Bon Secours Hampton Roads Facebook page and Bon Secours In Motion Facebook page! Through this process, we hope our Bon Secours Wellness team will inspire others to begin or continue on their own wellness journey.

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