Drinking a 20 Ounce Beverage Daily=26 Extra Pounds a Year

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Want to know the easiest way to drop a few pounds? Stop drinking sugary beverages, according to a recent study.

In a study of 810 adults from across the States, researchers found that liquid calories are a bigger problem than food when it comes to weight gain and weight loss.

Think that one can of cola, vanilla venti latte or fruit punch sports drink everyday isn't going to affect your waistline? Think again, the study found.

According to the MSNBC report:
"Among beverages, sugar-sweetened beverages was the only beverage type significantly associated with weight change at both the 6- and 18-month follow up periods," said Dr. Liwei Chen, lead author of the study and an epidemiologist at Louisiana State University's School of Public Health.

The study also looked at other categories of beverages, too: sugar-sweetened beverages (regular soft drinks, fruit drinks, fruit punch, or high-calorie beverages sweetened with sugar), diet drinks (diet soda and other "diet" drinks sweetened with artificial sweeteners), milk (whole milk, 2 percent reduced-fat milk, 1 percent low-fat milk, and skim milk), 100 percent juice (100 percent fruit and vegetable juice), coffee and tea with sugar, coffee and tea without sugar and alcoholic beverages. The results are published in the April 1 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Even one sugary drink a day can have a long-term effect:
A 20-ounce bottle of cola has 250 calories, almost 68 g sugar, contains high fructose corn syrup and stomach-irritating acids. Sure, it's marketed as 2 1/2 servings of soda, but most people drink an entire bottle.
One of those every day for two weeks is exactly 3,500 calories--the amount you'd need to eat to gain a pound. One 20-ounce soda a day is more than 91,250 calories--more than 26 pounds a year! (At $1.25 each in most vending machines, that one soda a day costs $456.25 a year.)

A 12-ounce can of lemon lime soda has 140 calories and 38 g of sugar. Over a year, that's almost 15 pounds worth of calories!

Adults following a diet of fewer than 2,200 calories should get no more than 200 calories a day from liquids and should consume no more than 32 ounces a day of artificially sweetened and no-calorie beverages, according to experts.

Soda can also increase your likelihood of developing diabetes. Women who drink two or more soft drinks a day risk damaging their kidneys from all the sugar. To reduce those risks, put down the soda (and sugary juice and flavored waters) and reach for the water!

How often do you drink sugary beverages? Are you trying to cut back? If you kicked the soda habit, how did you do it?

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I'm working on cutting sugar out of my diet... at least the unnecessary ones like Soda..I had my last soda 01/28/14 and I was drinking like 3 a day.. I quit cold turkey... I need to work on me and soda was blocking that! Report
I like sodas sweetened with Truvia, especially the fruit-flavored ones. My husband used to drink several Cokes a day, but now he usually gets one when we eat out. We're trying to cut back on that. Report
Is anyone surprised? Face it, 63 grams of sugar equals 15 teaspoons of sugar. Is that not CRAZY for anyone to consume???? I only drank regular soda back 55 years ago, when SUGAR was the ingredient not high fructose corn syrup. But then we had NO DIET drinks until Fresca came along, and you do NOT want me to tell you how much I drank of that because it was DIET....yet years later when they brought it BACK, I tried ONE can, and after ONE sip, OUT IT WENT...
Give me my water please!!!! Report
I'm lucky enough that my mother raised me on diet soda, so that even now I can only manage a small amount of regular soda at a time. But I went through a period of sucking down a ridiculous amount of Gatorade daily - at least 44oz. OH MAN. Any weight I lost the previous year came right on back. When I got back on SparkPeople and started tracking my calories again I was FLABBERGASTED by the amount of mindless calories I was consuming, day after day after day! It took an adjustment period, but now I drink water and water only, allowing myself 8oz of sports drink occasionally as a treat. Report
THIS is what I needed! As it is 7:30 in the morning and I have finished my first (of 2) sodas for the day. I know I need to stop but this was an eye-opener! Thanks! Report
I drink black coffee day and night, and now and then some water, that's it. We couldn't afford soda's when I was young, so never got the taste for them, guess I should be glad!! Report
Occassionally, I deal with refux whenever I drink soda (or coffee) so I rarely drink it. Before the reflux, I grew up mainly lemon lime (sometimes grape or orange) soda. My grandparents got me into liking pepsi (and i don't drink dark drinks much) which I only drank when I went to their house. There are periods of time while in college that I quit drinking soda and just drank juice. After I left the Army, I had gained a habit of drinking water, and I only drank that (with other drinks occassionally) for a while. While this is all good, in my mind, the unfortunate thing is I won't see a weight loss difference by dropping sugary drinks b/c my weight gain did not come from them. A couple of years ago, even with me drinking mainly water, I gained weight b/c of the food I ate. Report
WOW WOW WOW!!! What an eyeopener. I love pepsi...but after reading this I love it a whole lot less. Report
Luckily I have never been much of a soda drinker and now that I am trying to lose weight I have just cut it completely out of my diet. Also, the fact that it has absolutely NO nutritional value made it even easier to give up. However, I did tend to drink a lot of sugary lattes from coffee shops, which wasn't doing much for my figure. Now I stick to lots of water and coffee or tea with no sugar. It took a little bit for my taste buds to adjust, but now I feel like I am truly savoring the flavor of my coffee or tea without covering it up with sugar. Some teas are also naturally sweet without adding all of the calories of sugar, one of my favorites is Good Earth Original tea, it is sweet and cinnamony and I like to drink it when I want a sweet drink without completely blowing my calorie count. Report
it's a good thing I never liked sodas.... Report
i used to drink a diet dr. pepper with every meal especially one at lunch but now i have completely switched to water except for maybe once a week i will have a Lipton Diet Green Tea just to switch things up. Whenever i get tired of plain water, I will add a package of Propel Grape , Raspberry Lemonade, or Cherry Lime. It tastes great and helps me to stay on track with my goals. Not to mention, I don't even want a dr. pepper anymore. I have been craving water. Report
i stopped drinking soda in college. all they had was soda in the dining halls and i got so sick of it, that i didnt drink ANY for years after. now occasionally i will drink a diet coke, or if i feel like i need sugar, maybe a regular one, but it always tastes so sweet that after a few sips i put it down. i love water, but do crave a varied taste. i discovered that I LOVE seltzer more than anything on the planet. Now, when i want a fruity drink i pick flavoured seltzer, which has no calories, carbs, sugars, or sodium. i drink so much of it, my boyfriend has abandoned drinking soda and now drinks seltzer too Report
I gave up soda 4 years ago. I was really addicted to it. I do drink an occasional Starbucks Cafe Mocha, though. As long as I don't drink one everyday I am fine. Report
Never been much of a soda person. My downfall is Coffee with cream and sugar. Have been drinking water for about a month now. Have 1 or 2 cups of coffee in morning then I shut it down and start with water. Report
A couple of years ago I quit soda altogether and actually LOST 7 lbs. during December! I did great for a year and then started drinking it again. On my worst days I'll put away 4-5 16 oz. cans of Pepsi, no water. I know I can do it, since I've done it before. But it's HARD! For now I'm trying to just cut back. And I joined a gym, which should help, since I'll start feeling healthier overall and will be more inclined to make better choices. :-) This was a great article, btw! Report
By cutting out soda and most candy, I was able to drop 40 out of the 80 lbs I gained in college. No extra exercise, which just goes to show how much of an effect it was having and just how much I was drinking. Report
I stopped drinking soft drinks altogether. I'd rather spend those calories eating real food. Report
I have cut way back on soda especially in the last year. i only drink diet soda now and most days i don't even finish a can. i only drink it at lunch and dinner. I drink what satisfies me and put the rest in the fridge for later. And I don't it at work at all - i work a 12 hour shift. The only other time i drink soda is when I eat out, and even then i can never seem to finish the glass. I stay away from sugary juices. I'll take fresh or frozen fruit over juice any day! Otherwise i have soy milk with cereal or a protein drink (with fruit mixed in sometimes!). I always have a bottle of water with me almost anywhere i go. Report
I believe it! I "mysteriously" gained 50 pounds the year I turned 21. Hmmm...wonder how that happened!! Report
Might I suggest trying Zevia. Zevia is the first All Natural, 0 Calorie, Stevia sweetened soda in the world! No Aspartame & No Splenda! Six delicious flavors including Cola, Orange, Twist, Ginger Root Beet, Ginger Ale and Black Cherry. Try Zevia and Kick The Diet Soda Habit!

PS. If anyone wants to try Zevia and review it on their website please feel free to email me at margaret at zevia dot com. Report
I stopped drinking soda and juice and any other form of sweetened drinks several years ago when I was diagnosed with diabetes. I had hoped to see some instant weight loss results from cutting out the soda and juice but nothing happened. Unfortunately, I have a low thyroid issue, losing weight requires a lot more than simply cutting out the sweetened drinks however, I now LOVE water. There was a time when the thought of drinking water first thing in the morning was disgusting and now I LOVE IT!! I crave water and prefer it over all other drinks. On the rare occasion that I think I want soda and I try it...it upsets my stomach. I can't even drink a full can. Juice is still a weakness so I just don't keep it around...one serving of juice is 8 ounces...that's a 1 cup measuring cup full. That's NOTHING!! At least to my juice loving taste buds it seems like nothing. So with the option of just a tad vs none at all...I'd rather forgo it altogether. And this article didn't even go into the calories that are probably in all those iced vanilla venti whatever they're called or java juice type drinks!! I know folks who have to have one of those every morning just to start their day...CALORIES GALORE!!! Report
I am addicted to water. I sometimes feel shy about the fact that when I go out to eat at a restaurant, I order water with my food. I drink water all day. But recently, I'm drinking Gatorade Drink during and after a workout. If I don't I will feel very dizzy because I was told that my sugar/salt levels, goes down. Gatorade is an Energy Drink...I divide 1 bottle of 500ml into 3 different days. It's 125 calories for a whole bottle. I hope I'm not doing much harm with this now :/ Report
I already knew drinking sugary drinks would put weight on me, either soft drinks or tea. So now I drink water and green tea, no sugar, sometimes skim milk and very little juice. I gave up the soft drinks in January and I don't really miss it even though I have always loved cokes. I don't believe "diet" drinks are good for you either, no proof yet but I believe thay contribute to weight gain as well. I have lost 35 pounds, I have also been tracking my food and exercising but it all helps. When I started tracking all my food on Sparkpeople I just realized that cutting out the softdrinks was a good way to get rid of lots of calories in a realatively painfree way and it left more room for healthy filling food in my daily meal plan. Report
i frankly don't understand the figure of less than 200 calories in liquid form per day. When i started dieting, i adopted a one-smoothie a day rule. made myself from either skim milk or non-sweetened soy milk, a frozen banana, frozen berries/melon/etc. and some whey protein. Report
I gave up soda about a month ago and the weight has been falling off. I only drink water, no tea or anything. If i crave a little flavor i add in some crystal light flavoring packets which only have 5 cals per serving. I'm doing great and do not miss soda at all! Report
I stopped drinking soda 16 months ago. I knew that the easiest way for me to start losing weight was not to drink my calories away! I found it more satisfying to eat more food. I made it a point to give myself the freshest fruit possible each day. It was actually a treat to have a juicy apple, the just perfect pear, the ripest strawberry. Money has always been tight, so I had always given the best food to my children and ate what was left. The sad thing is that soda can seem cheap compared to eating good produce.
To get rid of the sugar in my coffee, I started putting a dash of cinnamon in with my non-fat milk. It took about a month forme to get used to the new taste, but your taste buds do adjust. The trick is not to give up! Report
Gladly gave up the soda habit years ago, when I developed Osteopenia. The phosphorus in the soda, was runining my bones. Though I still have osteopenia, now border line, it has never gotten worse.

Give me my GREEN tea and water anyday! Report
I've long ago kicked the soda habit- only having once in a while. However, I've replaced it with tea. When I have the option, I drink sugarless, but more often than not, it's got sugar in it. I've been neglecting to add it into my tracker too, which I should do starting today. Report
I drink 1-2 cans of diet coke a day- does anyone know if this has the same effect?? I STRONGLY DISLIKE coffee and tea, but need my caffeine in the morning, and sometimes, one at lunch. If anyone by chance has an answer, please email me at reesecenturione@yahoo.com- Report
I gave up regular soda 40 years ago. I never was a big soda drinker, 2-3 cans a day would be a lot. Lately I have replaced even that with water. The only time I have soda is on the weekend and that is limited to no more than 2 cans. Report
i am a diet coke drinker from about 10 yrs now. I use to drink mt dew like a mad person, when i switched to diet coke, i lost weight. Now that i am working out, and on my diet, i am slowly cutting down on diet, i have managed to get it down to about 3 or 4 cans a day. I have replaced it with water, and slim fast ( i dont always have time to sit down and eat lunch, so slim fast gives me the calories i need to get me through till dinner). I am waiting for the day i can stop caffine and run on my own energy. :} Report
I was a huge pepsi freak! I have been hooked on it since I was four years old, that was when I had my first drink. I drank it from the time I got up until I went to bed, bottle after bottle. I was worse than a drunk on alcohol. When I realized how unhealthy I was and wanted to lose weight I knew I would have to give up soda. At first I thought oh God how am I going to handle this? but I have got to do it cause I want to be healthy. My daughter who at one time was also a pepsi freak had switched over to Dasani water. I hated water with a passion, any kind of water whether it was regular or had flavor. I drank my first bottle of water and thought not great but not too bad, and then the next bottle and it's better until hey this Dasani is great! so yeah now it's mostly skim milk and water. I drink a little pepsi if I really feel the need to have it but nothing like it used to be. I think that is one of the things that has helped me shed a few pounds and pop isn't worth all the extra fat. Report
I have never been a huge pop drinker, but have liked my iced tea. I gave up sugar in my tea about four years ago. I have always been a water drinker, now it is my main beverage throughout the day. I still like iced tea in the summer and drink hot tea in the winter.
I have kicked the soda and sugary drink habit, but I did it cold turkey. In doing that I would get really bad headaches, so I would have to drink at least a cup to ease the pain, but now I all I drink is water and on occasion I may have a cup of juice or soda just to reward myself. Report
The secret to losing weight is to burn more energy per day than the amount you take in. You can do this in several ways, eat better foods with less sugars and carbohydrates or exercise more to burn those sugars and carbohydrates. The easiest way to elimiante sugars is to NOT drink sodas and juices. A little know secret however is that chemicals such as preservatives play a big role as well as the toxicity of the foods which you eat in maintain your body weight. Your body is in a constant struggle to keep your blood sugar levels normal and to keep your blood at a PH of 7.35 Depending on the acidity level of the foods you may eat ( a soda is usually a PH of 5) your body will expel or store these toxins. Since not all the toxins are expelled many of them are stored in fat. You can help your body by not drinking just ordinary water but by drinking alkaline ionized water, which allows your body to get rid of these waste much easier and results in natural rapid weight loss. Water ionizers produce this water, it cannot be bottled or stored as it will lose its properties withing about 1 days time of being produced. Learn more about alkaline ionized water at our website: http://www.bawellwaterionizers.com Report
I don't drink pop. Never liked it, even as a kid. Don't like the fizzies. I do like Nestle Iced Tea though and that I don't drink often. I go in spurts. And it's always the beverage that I order at a restaurant. I feel guilty not getting a drink otherwise. I do get the sugar reduced powder crystals at least. Report
Funny thing, because I grew up in South America, I hate soda in a can or cup. The only time I'll drink soda is Coke in a glass bottle, and it has to be from Mexico so there isn't high fructose corn syrup (real sugar makes it so much better, lower calories too). Man... that is good soda. But because it's hard to find and kind of expensive, it also means I get to have it maybe 3 time/year and one small bottle. Report
I have never been a big fan of pop or juice, so it wasn't hard for me :)
pretty much all I drink now is water and skim milk, but it gets hard when i'm out with my friends and they're all guyzzling pop...I probably have sweetened drink about 2x a month. Report
This is a very informative article. It is very easy to under estimate the power of the drink when calorie counting. I basically kicked the soda habit years ago, however, the ongoing tempation for me to occasionaly sip a soda is linked to a longstanding struggle with gastro-intestinal issues and nausea. The carbonation in a white soda or a bottle of Coke can really help settle a troubled stomach. Currently, I am trying to use sparkling water during these episodes to see if that will help. I have also done well in studying herbal and natural remedies for nausea and gastro-intestinal upset, such as the use of peppermint tea and ginger.

For the most part water has always been my favorite beverage of all. On a hot summer day nothing is more satifying for me than a nice cold glass of ice water. Report
I drank 3-5 sodas a day. I had a Physical Fitness test in 4 weeks and just went cold turkey. It was SOO hard. I loved Soda's. Now, all I drink is water, water, water. I dont like the crystal light stuff and all that, I just drink ice cold water. It was tough, but had to do it. Report
This is good and useful information for everyone to know,the only calories I drink is when I have an occassional glass of orange juice and my consumption of milk. I do drink diet soda though, when ever I want soda. Report
I had to stop drinking sodas when I got my lap-band procedure. Not a big deal, I wasn't addicted to them, anyway. I did like Dr. Pepper, tho. I drink my coffee with half & half creamer most of the time - some days, it's the only way I make my fat nutrition minimums. Report
I too like my diet Pepsi and an occasional diet Dr. Pepper. At the beginning of this year I committed to drinking more water during the day, which means fewer sodas. If plain water gets boring, I add a Crystal Light Peach Tea flavor packet. I have also designated certain days each week as no soda days and only drink water those days. In restaurants I no longer order soda or tea but instead order water. Better for me and my wallet. Report
I'm guilty of this, but I drink only diet pepsi's. I like another lady here have diabetes, and other health problems where I can't drink a bunch of juice, milk causes me problems, and so I drink diet pepsi mainly.

In the time I have been on Spark People now though I have added 10 glasses of water a day to what I drink, and I never ever drank any water before as a regular thing I didn't like water at all so that was something I didn't drink.

. So as I see it I am improving because ten glasses of water a day is a lot of water for someone who never drank it, and cuts down some on my diet pepsi but since I gave up regular sodas years ago, gave up smoking now I am learning to eat different which cuts out a lot of stuff I was eating I don't think this one vice will do me in hopefully.

I still love my diet pepsi and to me drinking water all day with nothing else to drink is boring to me but not to everyone I realize my choices aren't for everyone, nor theirs right for me always. So I am going to lower my amounts of diet soda by adding the 10 glasses of water a day, but I still drink a "Gasp" 2 litre bottle or two a day still. It used to be 3 to 4 of them I drink a lot not sure if it is due to my diabetes or not but I always have a 32 ounce mug of something to drink wherever I am unless out running errands then it is my bottle of water now which used to be more you got it diet pepsi. Report
I haven't drank a regular soft drink in a long time. I just don't care for the sweetness in them. I do drink a diet soda and unsweetened tea (almost a crime to not drink SWEET tea here in the south!) from time to time but mostly I just stick to water. Report
Haven't had regular soda in many, many years. I do occasionally have a Fresca but otherwise drink water and coffee (half regular/half decaf). My big vise is wine. I try to limit that to one or two glasses per week, but occasionally will have more for special occasions. Report
I am definitely sharing this blog with one of my friends. She has been struggling to lose a few pounds for awhile now, but since she works at a restaurant she has a difficult time staying away from soda. I know that cutting soda out of my diet has been huge. While I still indulge in some every now and then, it is an indulgence, not an every day occurrence. Report
I still drinik a soda, every now and then. I kicled my habit by learning to love and drink water. I started out by buying the water with fruit and then moving on to water on the rocks. I love water now and sometimes can drink more than my daily rations. Report
That was surprising to read. I gave up soda about 2 1/2 years ago. I would drink Diet coke all through the day, and felt that it was somewhat healthy as I was drinking caffeine free most of the time. Hard to believe soda has that much sugar/carbs in it. Now, I'm more or less addicted to Crystal Light... walking around with a bottle of water non-stop.

It was amazing though, after not having one for so long. I tried a sip a few weeks ago, and I didn't like the taste at all. In fact, it left a nasty taste in my mouth. How weird!

I used to think I couldn't live without it. I think a lot of things are like that. Sure has been a long road cutting those things out, but well worth it in the long run.
I fondly recall many years ago now when I would go through about 2 or 3 3 liters of Mountain Dew and Classic Coke a day. Yes, fondly.

Now before you gasp and fall over dead from the thought, I was younger, I have never known a "normal" metabolism, and it was replacing a lot of meals. Also to note my average day then was about 20-38 hours long. The combination of school, computer "stuff", pre-med studying etc. stretched things out a little weird. So maybe it was average to about 1-1.5 during a normal day? Sometimes more for sure.

Even then I thought it was simply horrid on some levels, but I was an addict and it was more culturally acceptable to do this to oneís self. My how things have changed. *shrug* Oddly I didnít gain weight during that time of my life. I didnít lose any either. It was after I quit drinking soda and took on all the other stresses of blissful adulthood that my weight got back to being "out of control."

The stuff is sweet evil. Itís everywhere. You cannot avoid it. It takes a long time to get to the ďJust say noĒ stage.

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