The biggest increase in caloric intake on weekends is not from indulging on extra desserts or having another afternoon snack. It is, though, from drinking alcohol.
Alcohol is not the only drink needing to be careful of, though. Even liquid calories from juices, sodas, and other beverages need to be accounted for. Besides, drinking these fruit juices and sweetened beverages increases the risk of weight gain and chronic diseases.
Ultimately, drinks can be a source of empty calories. These calories are "empty" because they tend to lack any sort of nutritional value. Learn how to avoid them with these tips.
(And read on for healthy drink recipes to guiltlessly enjoy during the fall, winter, summer and spring seasons!)
Avoiding Empty Calories
From practicing moderation to ditching the soda, utilize these tips to reduce and avoid empty calories throughout the entire year.
Moderation is key when it comes to drinking seasonally and moderating calorie intake. Men should moderate alcohol consumption to two servings, while women are limited to one.
Standard drinking sizes include 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, and 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.
Ditch the Soda
Soda is essentially empty calories, offering no nutritional value and can tarnish weight loss goals if regularly consumed.
Alcohol also already sources calories within itself. Reduce total calories by limiting soft drinks, juices, and other concentrated syrups and sweeteners.
Sip on Water
Water always reigns supremacy when it comes to the healthiest way to keep hydrated. Especially if needing a mixer, reduce both sugar and calories by limiting soft drinks, juices, and other concentrated syrups and sweeteners.
Relish the Seasonal Favorites
Instead of sipping on year-round drinks, relish on the ones only offered during designated seasons or during special holiday favorites.
Appreciate the flavors and aromas each brings, reminiscing on good memories linked to them while building new ones!
Seasonal Beverages - Fall
The warm air turning crisp means warming up the fall flavors of pumpkin, apple, cinnamon, and cloves!
• Pumpkin Spiced Latte: That beloved "PSL" is often rich in sugar, so give it a healthy makeover by preparing at home. Start by whisking a ½ cup of nonfat milk with one tablespoon of pumpkin puree over medium heat in a small pot. Continue to mix and add in a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Once the mixture becomes frothy, pour atop of your favorite coffee!
• The Golden Apple: Cider is a popular drink come fall, so prepare this healthier cider drink for the next gathering! BistroMD's Golden Apple drink puts a healthier spin on alcoholic beverages, with only 146 calories per serving.
Seasonal Beverages - Winter
Snow falling to the ground signifies warm and festive drinks pouring into your favorite mug! Whether cozying up by the fire or celebrating the holidays with loved ones, relish on these healthier-for-you seasonal drinks.
• Hot Cocoa: A warm cup of hot chocolate is a childhood memory that deserves to be carried into adulthood. But the high sugar content should be a thing of the past! Sip on these eight healthy hot cocoa recipes and ideas, including dark chocolate mint and gingerbread variations.
• Eggnog: Eggnog is a highly sought out seasonal beverage come wintertime. But with this healthified eggnog recipe, guiltlessly indulge and balance health goals this holiday season!
• Purely Pomegranate Mojito: BistroMD's team of chefs believe this purely pomegranate mojito is delicious enough to enjoy all year long. But it does make a festive holiday drink you and your guests are sure to love.
Seasonal Beverages - Spring
These lighter drinks accommodate New Year's resolution during the spring season leading up to summer.
• Sugar-Free Mint Julep: Each spring, the Mint Julep is the official Kentucky Derby drink. Though simple syrup is traditionally used, bistroMD took sugar out of the equation to lower calorie content. In fact, this sugar-free Mint Julep totals to less than 100 calories per serving!
• Fizzy Blueberry Mint: Lighten up the spring menu with a refreshing, fizzy blueberry mint cocktail. The simple and fresh ingredients of lime, orange, blueberries, and mint infuse vodka and sparkling water.
Seasonal Beverages - Summer
The shining sun warrants cold, refreshing drinks during the hot summer season.
• Lemonade: On a warm summer day, pouring out and sipping on a refreshing glass of lemonade is hard to bargain with. These homemade lemonade recipes reduce added sugars and other preservatives often found in prepackaged, store-bought packets and bottled products.
• Starfruit Infused Water: Stay cool and hydrated this summer with this refreshing starfruit splash infused water. It truly is a fun way to drink more water with more nutrients!
• Guilt-Free Strawberry Margarita: The average strawberry margarita can contain upwards of 600 (or even more) calories in just one serving! Keep health goals on track with bistroMD's guilt-free frozen strawberry margarita, weighing in at just 130 calories per serving.