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What does 'Drinking Your Calories' Mean to You

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Posts: 3,116
2/1/13 2:49 P

For me it would be wine. The other things I drink have no calories: water and coffee.

Posts: 610
2/1/13 10:20 A

It means drinking pop which I have cut out to a large degree and I can see the results on the scale.

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Posts: 49
1/31/13 11:23 P

I used to drink a lot of my calories, but now instead of drinking so much juice, I eat more fruit and drink water instead. Sometimes, I drink crystal Light instead of juice, which has less calories.

Posts: 11,749
1/31/13 4:45 P

milk tends to make your mucous more visible, but it doesn't really make more of it. and this is from someone who has actually measured dairy and dairy free during bad sinus issues.

Posts: 13,530
1/31/13 4:30 P

NOTE: Everyone is different and this may not work for everyone. Consult your doctor.

I have also heard that milk creates mucous. So suffering from allergies I was afraid to give milk a try. My allergies have gotten better since I started drinking milk. One or two glasses a day.

They had been so bad that I was going to switch my daily allergy medication. I might not have to take it anymore. (Of course consult your physician before stopping any medication)

Posts: 79
1/30/13 3:57 P

To me, drinking or eating calories, is essentially the same thing. Either way, I am consuming them. Yesterday I had a sandwich and orange for lunch. Today I had a smoothie that contained the same amount of calories, as I had to work through lunch. If I'm tracking, it doesn't matter if it's a solid food or beverage. It all ends up on my tracker at the end of the day. What does matter is the nutritional value of the calories I've consumed.

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1/30/13 2:02 P

To me, it's any drink containing calories. That certainly doesn't mean that all calories a person drinks are bad, but I feel much more full and satisfied when I've actually eaten--chewed--my food. So for the most part, I prefer to consume my nutrients in solid form. YMMV, and as long as your beverage fits into your calorie range, if you prefer to drink milk or protein shakes or smoothies or whatever, have at it!

Posts: 822
1/30/13 1:55 P

Milk I would consider a 'food', since I use it as such (personally I'm a soymilk type) -- I drink it as a recovery drink after working out, sometimes mixed with protein powder. Add a little bit to dessert tea, or have a small amount in oatmeal or cereal. I don't drink it idly, I guess, is the difference. I don't use it as a primary beverage to slake my thirst -- I drink water or unsweetened hot or iced tea.

Maybe it can be catagorized a little?

Drinking your 'bad to to-be-limited' calories could be things like: energy drinks, soda, venti mocha frappuccinos, ice cream milkshakes, slurpees/icees, alcoholic drinks etc.

Drinking your 'good to not-so-bad' calories could be things like: fruit juice, fruit & yogurt smoothies, vegetable juices, protein shakes, mixed fruit/veg juices ('green monsters'), etc.

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1/30/13 1:40 P

"Drinking my calories" to me, as the big "no-no" is drinking UNNECESSARY calories, or well, empty calories... I guess I fall more into the zone of, "Don't eat empty calories." But with drinking, it means that when I JUST feel thirsty, I don't drink something that has calories in it. Of course, switching to maintenance, I have had to drink more caloric beverages to get in my calories (meaning more milk and OJ for me!), but I tend to have a rule... if it offers other nutrients, it becomes OK to drink. Orange juice is one of the only things that I feel OK enough to eat when I get sick, and so despite the fact that it is all sugar basically, I'll have 6-8 oz of it in the morning. But OJ also has a lot of potassium, which makes me feel okay about drinking it. I wouldn't drink something like a soda. As far as milk goes, I often will drink milk as hot cocoa that I make myself. I find that it works really well as a snack for me!

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1/30/13 12:21 P

I won't sit down and just drink a glass of milk unless I'm aware it's a part of my actual meal, and not just a beverage. I'm very mindful when I'm drinking anything with calories, and count it as food.

Posts: 305
1/30/13 8:11 A

Drinking calories to me is one of my BIGGEST danger zones! My love in life is regular coca cola and I literally could drink it by the GALLON!
Before starting this journey I did drink on average 3 super-sized cokes a day! I had also on occasion (a lot) add a can of soda to the empty cup BECAUSE I didn't want to waste the ice!
Ok so my thinking wasn't always rational but hey, we learn from our mistakes right!!

As for me I am sticking to my water (oh, and milk) and staying far away from McDonalds and there $1.00 super-sized sodas!

Posts: 2,667
1/30/13 7:54 A

for me, it's smoothies, coffee-bar beverages, and the types of things that are easily consumed, without regard to how many calories they might be (until you calculate them and go into shock)

Juices would be of a similar nature.
I like to chew my food; not drink it.

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1/30/13 7:48 A

to me it's drinking the empty calories of wine, soda and alcohol ..... i'm not much of a soda drinker, but do enjoy the grape juice! have almost totally cut it out of my diet until i reach my goal weight. i'm surprised at how much better i feel. I usually have 2 glasses of wine in the evening and now i'm limiting myself to a bottle every other week - if i'm on target.

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1/30/13 7:28 A

I think that any drink that contains calories qualifies as "drinking your calories". That includes smoothies, protein shakes, juice, coffee, tea, soda, etc. That's my personal definition.

I drink my coffee with cream and sugar (carefully measured out) so I do drink those calories. But I vastly prefer eating fruit and yogurt over drinking it blended up in a smoothie. For me, satisfaction and fullness comes from chewing food, not just gulping it down in liquid form.

But I mean all of this is a personal choice. Some people really enjoy their protein smoothie shake things, which is great for them.

Posts: 4,763
1/29/13 9:26 P

pop, milk, beer, fancy coffee etc.... I drink unsweetened almond milk and green tea... oh yeah juice too it is just sugar

Posts: 62
1/29/13 8:04 P

I don't think of milk as food but I also enjoy a glass everyday. Paired with my oatmeal, it adds proteins that go along with the carbs to energize my day.

I don't mind drinking my calories. I avoid drinking *empty* calories--even if there's sugar involved, if I'm also getting protein, calcium and other micronutrients, it doesn't seem like a waste to me.

Plus it's delicious.

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1/29/13 7:58 P

To me that phrase means empty calories. Not milk or protein shakes

Posts: 1,818
1/29/13 6:11 P

I very rarely drink calories, either. I'll occasionally have a fruit smoothie, but it never leaves me feeling satisfied, just hungry shortly thereafter. I think that milk is a great food, but, when I drink it, I also don't find it satisfying. So, instead, I use it to cook things (e.g. I make my oatmeal with milk instead of water, put milk into my homemade waffles, etc.). I just feel more satisfied that way.

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1/29/13 4:45 P

drinking your calories would include alcohol, including beer and wine, fruit and veggie juices in place of fresh fruits & veggies -
coffee and teas with SUGAR and/or CREAM
dairy drinks like fully fatted milk, shakes, egg nogs etc.
if you stick to water, bouillion, clear teas and coffee would be wiser.

Posts: 4,848
1/29/13 4:40 P

I posted on the milk thread that I don't drink calories, and it's true. All that means is that the fluids I consume are water, seltzer, and tea, period. Even if I'm having a "cheat day" which I do once/month, I still don't drink calorie containing beverages.

I do eat soup, but the soups I eat are hearty with lots of vegetables, pasta, rice, meat, etc. The broth has almost no calories anyway, so I don't think it would even count as "drinking calories."

I do not drink milk. Milk is not nutritionally superior to yogurt, but yogurt is superior to milk in terms of satiety. So, I eat yogurt. I never drink milk.

I think culture plays a role here. We're not all the same. Where I live (Greece), yogurt is a staple food. Milk is considered a children's drink but adults rarely drink it (however, my husband does -- he must have his chocolate milk for breakfast every morning, he got in the habit as a toddler...)

I've seen it reported that studies have shown that drinks - including juice, milk, and others - are NOT as satiating as food that you have to chew, but that soup is. And that is exactly my experience.

ETA: the very rare occasions that I eat cold breakfast cereal, I put water instead of milk on it. My mom (who doesn't do so well w/ lactose) taught me this. I swear I can't tell the difference, as long as the water is very cold. It's great because it means that for the same calories you can have more cereal and stay fuller longer.

Edited by: NAUSIKAA at: 1/29/2013 (16:47)

Posts: 11,749
1/29/13 4:32 P

i think it comes from people who are having a problem with their recommended calories. and since that is where it comes from, it makes sense. if you are having a problem fitting in the calorie range that you need to be in, not drinking your calories is a good way to free up calories for food that can make you full. just like if you are having a hard time getting calories in, having a glass of milk is an easy way to add calories without feeling too full. now milk, followed by 100% juice are probably the last you should take out and the first you should add back in because they have some actual value to them. but if you are having problems overall, liquid calories can help address the issue in a big way.
i mean, i think most people, if given a test, would find 60 cals of greens and 40 cals of cheese more filling and longer lasting than a 100 cal glass of milk. same calories but very different volumes. and milk, while having nutrients, is a pretty easily digestible thing [barring lactose issues obviously]. greens you have to break down.

there is also that some people just have this disconnect with what they are eating. how many people hear avocado is good for you, try to eat three in a day, then are shocked to find out that an avocado is essentially pure fat and a serving is 1/4 of one? milk is good for you, the calories don't really count kind of lives in that same land. and by extension, when you're starting to track your food, calories you drink can be an honest omission, just like vitamins and medicines or oil you cook in. depending on what you're actually ingesting, it can really add up. it's like the day you suddenly realize susie from work's brother bob is bob from your church. even though you knew both rock climbed and went to mount rushmore last summer with the family and liked making ethiopian food and have mohawks. it's that line of two separate sources of information that it takes to long to connect. and i think that reminder to pay attention to what you're drinking can really help make that connect if you haven't already. so in that sense it's a little reminder to check your assumptions. again, if you don't have that other problem, milk is a great choice. but if you do have a problem fitting in calories, milk should be placed at the end of the quit list.

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1/29/13 2:30 P

Any kind of liquid is drinking your calories. This is because liquids usually lack the things that make you FULL, and therefore while you're getting calories (many times the ones you need, as with milk) it does nothing for your "fullness" factor, and at the end of the day you can be at or even over your calorie limits and still legitimately hungry.

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1/29/13 1:46 P

For me, it would be empty calories, like a soda or sweet tea or some other super sugary beverage that isn't offering me any other nutritious benefits. If it's something that is going to make me feel satiated, like a fruit/veg smoothie or nutrition drink, then for me it isn't the same thing.

Posts: 29
1/29/13 1:34 P

I have always thought that it is drinking alcohol.

Posts: 478
1/29/13 1:34 P

empty calories - like alcohol or sugary drinks.

Milk is food - so no, I would no count it. (well I would count it but its not empty - so fine)

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1/29/13 1:30 P

I personally don't get the same enjoyment out of drinking something as I do with eating it. Milk, smoothies, plain broths, juices, etc. all fall into that category. So when it comes down to what I spend my daily calories on, liquids, of all types, generally don't get included since I might drink a cup of milk but I still want to eat something else after that. However, if I ate a cheese stick or something in place of the milk, Id feel satisfied with just it on fewer calories.

Consequently, I VERY rarely drink anything but water--that includes soda, coffee, smoothies, tea, juice, milk In its own, and pretty much any other liquid. And by very rarely Im talking maybe once a month, if that. I do drink the last of the milk in a bowl of cereal, but that milk served another purpose besides just a drink on its own.

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1/29/13 12:30 P


"Drinking your calories" most often refers to drinking "empty" calories or consuming drinks which have low or no nutritional value. However, in certain fitness circles, it can mean taking calories in any liquid form. Which is not necessarily a bad thing.

For our purposes here, we will use the less broad definition and stick with drinking "empty" calories. These are most often drinks with a high sugar content like energy drinks, sports drinks, soda pop, fruit juice made from/with concentrated or condensed sugars, blended teas, coffee with added flavors, etc...

Even "all-natural" drinks can be made with condensed fruit as a sweetener. These are nothing more than drinks which used boiled down (concentrated) juice from high sugar fruits like grapes and apples to sweeten the drink, so be careful when you read the label. They may be all natural or "100% juice" but they are no better for you than main-lining granulated sugar.

Drinks like milk are great for you and are actually one of the best after-exercise drinks you can consume. But for proper absorption they need to be combined with other foods to metabolize the nutritional value. So, have milk with your cereal in the morning, have another cup (8 oz) at lunch and a third cup at dinner. It's more important to keep your nutritional markers (calories, fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals) within guidelines than to worry about whether you get 90 calories from milk or a banana.

Good luck and JUICE to you!

Jonny Mac

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1/29/13 12:02 P

Booze, pop, sugary drinks. Certainly not milk or protein shakes. I consider milk an essential dairy and/or protein source that can help stave off hunger and give me the nutrients my body needs. Those are calories I don't mind coming in a liquid form. What I do begrudge myself, though are the empty calories that lead to cravings and over eating such as beer, wine, coolers, mixed drinks and even any non alcoholic drinks that contain lots of sugar and no nutrition.

Posts: 16,783
1/29/13 11:59 A

My brother's skim milk has 12 g sugar in an 8 oz glass. Pepsi has 28 g in the same serving. They are both sugary drinks.

The problem with drinking calories is that they are easily digestible, and are converted to glucose quickly, spiking your blood sugars, increasing Insulin release, and excess glucose is turned into bodyfat, that most likely will not be burned off, since we continually eat carbs, and have dietary glucose to use, instead of the stored fuel on our bodies.

Once again it is a general " rule ", which at certain times is hogwash. If you were at the end of a workout, you might be low on glucose, and drinking a glass of milk would bump it back up to normal levels. Most often though, it is just a huge spike in glucose, that your body can't handle. I prefer not to drink it because of the sugar content. I would consider it to be a cheat, like ice cream, or fruit juice.

Milk is still healthier than pop, but I would rather have cheese, which has the same calories, protein, and calcium, minus the sugar. Plus, it doesn't spike my blood sugars.

Edited by: RUSSELL_40 at: 1/29/2013 (12:03)

Posts: 252
1/29/13 11:28 A

well if it is liquid it is a drink to me so I would consider it "drinking" my calories. BUT it doesn't have the same effect on my stomach as a sugar drink so I do consume milk. But I have consumed less of it since restarting spark people. The thing is that a cup of milk is between 90 and 140 calories a cup. calcium can be consumed in green leafy veggies like bok choy in higher quantities at a lower calorie expenditure and for me most of the time far more satisfying too. But I have drank a glass of milk at night when my calories are far too low and I don't want a meal weighing me down before bed.

Posts: 13,530
1/29/13 11:02 A

I was reading a topic about Milk. And a couple people said that they don't drink Milk because they don't like to drink their calories.

That is fascinating to me. Personally I don't consider Milk a beverage, it falls into the food category for me. I learned this from a hospital dietitian many moons ago.

What I would consider drinking my calories is to drink a soda or something else that is calories, sugar and has no real nutritional value.

I was just wondering how other people felt about this? So discuss away.


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