Without food and beverages, our bodies wouldn’t be able to produce the energy necessary to “run” our organism. Those energy units in food and drinks are commonly called calories (though the accurate term is kilocalorie), and we need to consume a certain amount of them to function properly. You’ll see the average daily calorie recommendation on many food labels, and it amounts to 2000 calories. Of course, this number can vary a little, depending on whether you are a small child, tiny or tall person, man or woman, a physically active sportsman, or an office employee who spends most of the time sitting.
In any case, you need to fill your body with calories, and the best way to do that is to have balanced meals with enough healthy nutrients and vitamins. However, we all know how difficult it is to only eat “healthy” food. With so many delicious products calling to us from grocery store shelves, deli shops, pizza places, bars, ice-cream booths and cool refrigerators, you can’t just say “no”. And you don’t need to. As long as you don’t succumb to sugar and fat cravings too often, and know how to watch calories, you don’t need to worry.
When tracking calories and trying to intake the proper daily amount, it is important to know that beverages are a very serious source of sugar and calories. Many diets that prescribe certain types of food for breakfast, lunch and dinner don’t elaborate on how much beverages contribute to the daily calorie value. They simply recommend that only water and tea are drank during the diet. The reason for that is that some of the most commonly consumed beverages contain a very high amount of sugar and calories.
One of the ways to track how many calories you eat and drink is to read food and beverage labels that can be found on product packaging. However, that is difficult when we eat and drink out, in restaurants or bars. This is where the infographic below can come in handy.
Take a look at the infographic to see what we mean when we say that some beverages contain a lot of calories. People tend to take in visual information faster and better than written, so the graphic will help you grasp the following:
1. In only a few hours in a bar (drinking shots, for example) you may be be consuming HALF of your recommended daily dose of calories.
2. A fun family gathering at Baskin Robins that includes a super delicious peanut butter and chocolate milkshake means you’ve consumed an ENTIRE daily calorie amount with that single (large) shake.
3. Note that the recommended serving sizes of most alcoholic drinks are much less than the standard beer glass of 12 oz. That’s because they are packed with alcohol and calories, so even if you “diet” all day long on food, it will all go to waste if you drink alcohol or sweet non-alcoholic drinks.
4. Compare the amount of calories in Smoothy King’s strawberry shake (579 cKal) and a banana strawberry smoothie that you can make at home (188 cKal). This is only one example of how you can make much healthier choices if you prepare your meals (including smoothies and shakes) at home.
5. A glass of wine has a pretty low calorie count compared to other alcoholic beverages, so it is definitely a good choice of drink to go with meals or to order on a night out – as long as it doesn’t turn into more than a few glasses.
The infographic sends a clear message: do not underestimate the power of beverages to ruin your plans for a well balanced diet plan. Equip yourself with information about the number of calories in commonly consumed drinks that you can find here, and learn how to make smarter drinking choices.