Don’t Drink Your Calories!

One of the simplest action steps you could take to dramatically improve your overall health is to replace anything you drink with water or no-calorie options. If people committed to this and changed nothing else, most of their health metrics would improve significantly.

Many people wonder why they can’t seem to lose any weight when they hardly eat, when in fact they are consuming excessive calories from the drinks they indulge in daily. A basic Frappuccino could easily be 400 calories and a chocolate shake could pack a whopping 700 calories. Even a 16-ounce glass of orange juice will give you 250 calories. You’d have to eat 4 oranges to consume the same number of calories as a glass of OJ. 

Soda pop, juices, energy drinks, fancy coffees, shakes, and cocktails make it easy to consume a day’s worth of calories just in the fluids consumed. It is recommended to consume no more than 25-36 grams of added sugars per day, whereas many of these drinks can provide significantly more than this amount in just one drink!

Even juices and smoothies, which can offer healthy ingredients, can be high in calories. Be aware and make educated decisions on how you consume your calories.

It’s typically better to eat your calories than to drink them for the following reasons:

Liquid calories are not as satiating compared to solid foods.

A sugary drink fails to trigger the same feelings of fullness and satisfaction. As a result, you may find yourself consuming additional calories shortly after a drink, leading to excessive caloric intake. This can lead to weight gain and obesity and a host of associated health problems including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Eating versus drinking your calories will keep you full longer. 

Liquid calories can be consumed quickly and easily.

Often, we drink mindlessly. Unlike solid food, which requires utensils and chewing, beverages can be consumed quickly and easily, making it easier to overlook the actual quantity being consumed. You could easily drink 300-800 calories in a very short period without even realizing it. 

Liquid calories can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels.

The amount of sugar found in many drinks can wreak havoc on blood glucose causing spikes and crashes in energy leading to feelings of fatigue, irritability, and increased cravings for more sugary foods. The long-term consequences of regularly consuming high-sugar beverages can lead to insulin resistance and an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. 

Liquid calories often lack nutritional value.

Often the drinks we regularly enjoy lack vitamins, minerals, fiber, and key nutrients. They offer excessive calories with little to no nutritional benefit. 

Liquid calories pose a threat to dental health.

Sugars in drinks serve as a feast for bacteria in the mouth and can erode teeth enamel. Over time, this can result in cavities, tooth decay, and other oral health issues. The impact on dental health is often underestimated but can have lasting consequences on health.

Liquid calories in the form of alcohol can be problematic.

Alcohol provides additional calories, lowers inhibitions causing many to make poor health choices, can affect your sleep, is a toxin to our system, and can interrupt your progress. 

Opting for water, herbal teas, or other zero-calorie alternatives can help maintain a healthy weight, support stable blood sugar levels, preserve dental health, and ensure that nutritional needs are met through whole, nutrient-dense foods.

Commit to eating rather than drinking your calories for one month and track how your body feels. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results! 

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 33 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver, the founder of WHY Racing Events & WHY Community, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at

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